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HQ 955513

MARCH 23 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 955513 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8407.34.15, 8408.20.20

Mr. Ronald Jacobsen
Yusen Air & Sea Service (U.S.A.), Inc.
P.O. Box 66280
Chicago, ILL 60666

RE: Automobile Front End, Used Automobile Parts; Ferrous Waste and Scrap, Heading 7204, Section XV, Note 6(a); Heading 8407, Heading 8408; Composite Good, Essential Character, GRI 3(b)

Dear Sir:

In your transmittal of November 23, 1993, on behalf of Toyota Isusho America, Inc., you inquire as to the tariff classification of complete front ends of used front wheel drive automobiles from Japan. Photographs were submitted.


Used or rear end-damaged passenger vehicles are cut at the windshield down through the floorboard. Each front end to be imported consists of the entire front portion from the windshield posts forward, and includes the engine, transaxle, steering components, wheels, tires, driveshafts, headlights, turn signals, bumpers, grill, radiator, shocks and struts, ignition, starter, alternator, air conditioner, wiring harness, dashboard and instrumentation,, plus the sheet metal parts (i.e., hood and fenders) that constitute the front of the vehicle. All operating parts are said to be functional at the time of importation.

Each front end is valued at between $500 to $600 with the engine, being the most significant component, valued at approximately 25 to 30 percent of the value. The front ends will be broken down after importation and their component parts sold as replacements. - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7204 Ferrous waste and scrap:

Waste and scrap of alloy steel:

7204.21.00 Of stainless steel...Free

7204.29.00 Other...Free

8407 Spark-ignition reciprocating or rotary internal combustion piston engines:

[o]f a kind used for the propulsion of vehicles of chapter 87:

8407.34 Of a cylinder capacity exceeding 1,000 cc:

8407.34.15 To be installed in vehicles of subheading 8701.20, or heading 8702, 8703 or 8704
...3.1 percent

8408 Compression-ignition internal combustion piston engines (diesel or semi-diesel engines):

Engines of a kind used for the propulsion of chapter 87:

8408.20.20 To be installed in vehicles of subheading 8701.20, or heading 8702, 8703 or 8704
...3.7 percent

Whether the front ends of used passenger automobiles are waste and scrap; whether they are composite articles classifiable according to their essential character.


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. - 3 -

GRI 3 governs goods that are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings. In accordance with GRI 3(b), composite goods made up of different components are to be classified as if consisting only of that component which gives them their essential character.

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.

For purposes of heading 7204, the term Waste and scrap is defined as metal waste and scrap from the mechanical working of metals, and metal goods definitely not usable as such because of breakage, cutting-up, wear or other reasons. Section XV, Note 6(a), HTSUS. Relevant ENs at p. 987 and 988 state that the goods of heading 7208 include iron or steel waste or scrap prepared by fragmentation (shredding) of motor vehicle bodies and other light scrap, followed by separation (which may be magnetic) with a view to obtaining a high density product that is fairly clean. Waste and scrap is generally used for the recovery of metal by remelting or for the manufacture of chemicals. The heading excludes articles which, with or without repair or renovation, can be reused for their former purposes or can be adapted for other uses. Not only do the front ends consist of rubber, plastic and glass components, in addition to their metallic components, but they will be broken down and their components sold as replacement parts. They do not qualify as waste and scrap for purposes of heading 7204.

The used front ends in question are clearly composite goods made up of different components, each of which is prima facie classifiable in a different heading. Under GRI 3(b), the front ends are to be classified according to the component that imparts essential character. The factor or factors which determine essential character will vary according to the goods. The nature of a component, its weight or value, and its role in relation to the use of the goods, are factors that Customs has used in similar cases. Here, the engine is the component that is most independently functional and which provides the means of propulsion for a completed vehicle. It also represents the largest portion of the value of each front end. For this reason, we conclude that the engine is the component that imparts the essential character to each front end. - 4 -


Under the authority of GRI 3(b), the used front ends in issue are provided for as spark-ignition internal combustion piston engines in heading 8407, or as compression-ignition internal combustion piston engines in heading 8408. They are classifiable in subheading 8407.34.15, HTSUS, or in subheading 8408.20.20, HTSUS, as appropriate.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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