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HQ 955390

FEBRUARY 15 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 955390 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8414.59.80

Mr. David B. Murry
Paxton Superchargers & Centrifugal Blowers 1260 Calle Suerte
Camarillo, CA 93012-8053

RE: Rotary Blower, Helical-Type and Spur-Type Blower; Fan, Air Compressor, Subheading 8414.80.10; HQ 952670

Dear Sir:

In your letter of November 10, 1993, you inquire as to the tariff classification of certain rotary blowers from the Republic of Korea. Descriptive literature was submitted.


The literature depicts two types of air blowers, the spur lobe version, designated S-type, and the helical lobe version or H-type. These devices function by drawing air into a chamber, compressing it between two counter-rotating rotors and the walls of the blower casing, thereby reducing its volume and increasing its pressure. The pressurized air is then expelled through an aperture. A motor drives the rotors by means of gears.

You state that Customs personnel at Headquarters advised you by telephone that the provision for other fans, in subheading 8414.59.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), might apply.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8414 Air or vacuum pumps, air or other gas compressors and fans; ventilating or recycling hoods incorporating a fan, whether or not fitted with filters; parts thereof

8414.59.80 Fans: Other: Other...4.7 percent

8414.80.10 Other, except parts: Air compressors ...3.4 percent


Whether the air blowers in issue create operating pressures sufficient to qualify them as compressors.


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.

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.

Relevant ENs at p.1163, indicate that air or other gas compressors of heading 84.14 (other than low pressure or intermittent working compressors), have fins or other means for air cooling to dissipate the considerable heat of compression which is generated. Compressors of heading 84.14 are used, among other things, for compressing gas into cylinders, for compressing air or other gases in reservoirs to be used to force feed machines or apparatus such as compressed air engines. ENs on the same page also indicate that fans of heading 84.14 are designed for delivering large volumes of air or other gases at relatively low pressure or merely for creating a movement of the surrounding air. Blowers are not specifically provided for in heading 8414; however, the ENs suggest that blowers are a type of fan. The notes also suggest that compressors and fans can be distinguished based on operating pressures, but do not suggest what these pressures are. The notes, therefore, are not dispositive.

The terms fan and compressor in heading 8414 describe articles eo nomine, by name. General lexicons we have consulted are not helpful in establishing the common meaning of these terms. Technical and scientific definitions are useful in this regard, particularly where they serve to clarify the more general sources of common meaning. HQ 952670, dated December 21, 1992, distinguished fans and blowers from compressors, relying in large - 3 -
part on the definition of the term blower found in Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia. This source indicates that machines whose function is to compress air or gas to a final pressure below 1 lb. per square inch (psi) are regarded as fans, whereas machines creating a final pressure of between 1 and 35 lbs. psi are blowers. Compressors create a final pressure in excess of 35 lbs. psi. Final operating pressures, therefore, are determinative.

Comparing the compression ratios of the air blowers in issue to normal atmospheric pressure of 14.7 psi, we have determined that they do not create final operating pressures sufficient to qualify them as compressors for tariff purposes. This eliminates subheading 8414.80.10 from consideration.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the air blowers in issue are provided for in heading 8414 as fans. They are classified in subheading 8414.59.80, HTSUS, as other fans.

Merchandise is classified and assessed with duty in its condition as imported. Because the accessories you indicate will accompany these air blowers are not described, we cannot confirm their classification.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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