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HQ 955441

JANUARY 5 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 955441 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7326.90.90

Mr. John A. Slagle
Barthco International, Inc.
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

RE: Wheel Hub Forging, "Green" Forging not Heat Treated or Machined; Component for Wheel Hub Assembly With Pulsar Ring and Without Pulsar Ring; Parts of Ball Bearings, Heading 8482, Parts of Motor Vehicles, Heading 8708; Articles of Iron or Steel, Heading 7326; HQ 088762

Dear Sir:

Your letter of October 5, 1993, to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, has been referred to this office for reply. The inquiry, on behalf of SKF-USA, concerns the tariff classification of forgings from Italy for use in wheel hub assemblies.


The article in question is an iron or steel forging which you state will be heat treated and machined after importation then assembled into what you refer to as a wheel hub unit 2. Submitted drawings depict a cylindrical base metal forging, raised in the middle and flanged around the circumference to accommodate five (5) bolt holes punched or drilled after the article is forged. These articles will be assembled into one of two models of a second generation ball bearing flange unit, the subject of HQ 088762, dated December 9, 1991.

The wheel forgings are not machined at the time of importation. You state that they are capable of being incorporated into either model of the wheel hub unit, depending on how they are machined after importation. You cite HQ 088762 as authority for using General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(c) to classify the wheel hub forgings in subheading 8708.99.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as heading 8708 occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7326.90.90 Other articles of iron or steel: Other: ...5.7 percent ad valorem

8482.99.10 Ball or roller bearings, and parts thereof: Parts: Other: Parts of ball bearings (including parts of ball bearings with integral shafts)
...11 percent ad valorem

8708.99.50 Parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705:
Other parts and accessories: Other:
...3.1 percent ad valorem


Whether the wheel hub forgings in issue are unfinished parts of articles for tariff purposes.


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.

In accordance with GRI 2(a), HTSUS, any reference in a heading to an article includes that article imported incomplete or unfinished provided that, the unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article.

HQ 088762 described two models of an article consisting of an inner race machined to accept a splined axle shaft, lubricated rolling elements and an outer race which is integrally flanged to facilitate attachment to an automobile's wheel and brake assembly. The ruling stated that the primary difference between the two models was that one had a pulsar ring that functioned like a sensor and dedicated the article for use with an automobile's anti-locking brake system; the other had no pulsar ring and functioned primarily to reduce friction. HQ 088762 held that the wheel hub assembly with no pulsar ring was a ball bearing of heading 8482, and the hub assembly with a pulsar ring was a motor vehicle part of heading 8708. - 3 -

For tariff classification purposes, the GRIs are applied sequentially. GRI 3 may not be consulted without first considering GRIs 1 and 2.

Heading 7326 covers iron or steel articles obtained by forging or punching, among other processes, other than articles covered more specifically in other provisions of the HTSUS. Relevant Explanatory Notes, which we routinely consult to clarify the scope of provisions in the HTS state specifically at p. 1038 that heading 73.26 does not cover forgings that are recognizable parts of machinery and mechanical appliances and also excludes unfinished forgings which require further working but have the essential character of a finished product.

Our examination of the submitted drawings shows that in the U.S. the hub forging is turned and ground, then heat treated, after which it is finished machined, cleaned and polished. This processing may be slightly modified by cutting a small lip on a portion of the forging's surface onto which a pulsar ring may be attached. This modification in the processing dedicates the forging to either model of the ball bearing flange unit. In its condition as imported, however, the wheel hub forging lacks any distinctive or unique characteristic that would establish its identity either as part of a ball bearing or as part of a motor vehicle. The hub forging does not have the essential character of a complete or finished article and, therefore, is not classifiable according to GRI 2(a). For this same reason, the hub forging is not prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, in this case headings 8482 and 8708, for purposes of GRI 3.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the iron or steel hub forging is provided for as an article of iron or steel, in heading 7326. It is classifiable in subheading 7326.90.90, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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