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HQ 954590

OCTOBER 5 1993

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 954590 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8465.94.00

Ms. Zennie Royals
Stefani Group America, Inc.
4322 Piedmont Parkway
Greensboro, NC 27410

RE: Edgebanding Machines; Machine Tools That Apply Hot Glue and Trim Material; Machine Tools That Carry Out Different Types of Machining Operations Without Tool Change, Subheading 8465.10.00; Bending or Assembling Machine Tools; HQ 089434

Dear Ms. Royals:

Your letter to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, dated May 26, 1993, has been referred to this office for reply. Your inquiry concerns the classification of certain Stefani edgebanding machine tools from Italy. Descriptive literature was submitted.


The machine tool models in issue are the BRT/Univer, Ministef, Mono Beta, Beta 4000, Beta 6000, Ibimatic, CS Bimatic and Monomatic. These models operate at different rpm's, have motors with different hp outputs, and process materials of differing widths and thicknesses. However, they have the same purpose, to finish the edges of two or more pieces of veneer, melamine, plastics materials, solid wood in strip form, and other hard panel products. They operate to coat the edges of the panels with hot glue, then apply edging material fed from a magazine, after which they finish the edges by trimming with saw blades and buffing them.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8565 Machine tools (including machines for nailing, stapling, gluing or otherwise assembling) for working wood, cork, bone, hard rubber, hard plastics or similar hard materials: - 2 -

8465.10.00 Machine tools which can carry out different types of machining operations without tool changes between such operations...3 percent


8465.94.00 Bending or assembling machines...3.7 percent


Whether the machine tool models in issue carry out different types of machining operations


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

GRI 6 states, in part, that the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, by appropriate substitution of terms, to Rules 1 through 5, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the notes should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80.

The machine tools of heading 8465 are essentially of two types: those which carry out different types of machining operations without tool change between such operations (subheading 8465.10.00) and other machine tools, including those of subheading 8465.94.00. Under GRI 1, applied at the subheading level through GRI 6, the provision in subheading 8465.10.00, if applicable, provides a more specific description for the machine tool in issue than does a provision for "other" machine tools. - 3 -

ENs at p. 1285, paragraph (6), list machines which assemble two or more parts by means of binding agents, adhesives or gummed paper. This group includes veneer splicing machines. The ENs at p. 1286, include among the machines of heading 8465 that carry out different kinds of machining operations without tool change between such operations machines for assembling, using adhesives and finishing (for the production of veneer strips or making panels from lathes). Therefore, the ENs describe assembling machines of the type in issue here both as machines which can carry out different types of machining operations and also as bending or assembling machines. Because the notes do not further differentiate between the machines of each subheading, we conclude they are inconclusive as to the meaning of the expression different types of machining operations.

In the absence of a contrary legislative intent, tariff terms are to be construed in accordance with their common and commercial meanings which are presumed to be the same. In common meaning the term machin[ing] means "...to process by machine; specifically, to reduce or finish as by turning, shaping, planing, or milling by machine-operated tools." In a different context, ENs at p. 1132 include as examples of multi-function machines of Section XVI machine tools for working metal using interchangeable tools which enable them to carry out different machining operations (e.g., milling, boring, lapping).

From this discussion, we conclude that the machines in issue perform a single machining operation, i.e., edge trimming, which is a cutting operation. HQ 089434, dated September 16, 1991, is in accord. The buffing in this case is not believed to be a separate machining operation. Therefore, these machines do not carry out different types of machining operations for purposes of subheading 8465.10.00. This provision is eliminated from consideration.


Under GRI 1, the Stefani models BRT/Univer, Ministef, Mono Beta, Beta 4000, Beta 6000, Ibimatic, CS Bimatic, and Monomatic are provided for in heading 8465 as machine tools including machine tools for gluing or otherwise assembling [similar] hard materials. They are classifiable in subheading 8465.94.00, HTSUS, as bending or assembling machines. The rate of duty is 3.7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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