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HQ 955547

MARCH 24 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 955547 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8429.51.10, HTSUS

Ms. Linda Campanian
Milne & Craighead Customs Brokers (USA), Inc. P.O. Box 2
Sweetgrass, MT 59484

RE: HazHandler; Remote Controlled Multi-Task Vehicle; Works Truck Fitted With Lifting or Handling Equipment, Heading 8427; Front End Bucket Loader, Heading 8429; Wheeled Vehicle With Skid Steer Loader Attachments; Principal Function, Section XVI, Note 3; HQ 088585, HSC Document 37.380 E Annex M/20

Dear Ms. Campanian:

Your letter to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, dated December 2, 1993, on behalf of Robotech Industries Ltd., has been forwarded to this office for reply. Your inquiry concerns the tariff classification of the HazHandler remote controlled multi-task vehicle from Canada. A brochure was submitted.


The vehicle in issue is four-wheeled apparatus measuring 131 in. x 60 in. x 58 in. It is remote controlled by means of a shoulder harness mounted command unit, all vehicle and attachment motions being controlled from two dual axis, self centering joysticks. It has no space for a driver. The HazHandler is powered by a 4-cylinder, 40 hp. diesel engine with a modified Bobcat 753 skid steer loader chassis and powertrain, and has a hydraulic lifting system that is integral with the structure of the machine. It is equipped with flotation tires and weighs 4,300 lbs. with a 1,300 lb. payload capacity. The HazHandler works a variety of standard skid steer loader attachments to load, dump, bulldoze, auger, grapple, and sweep. Specialty tools are also available such as mechanical arms, drum and barrel handling attachments, and dry chemical or foam fire fighting apparatus. The Hazhandler is suitable for use in spaces too small for manned works trucks and is advertised for hazardous - 2 -
tasks in rough terrain as it has a TV vision system to include 5 in. color screen and camera with zoom lens.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8427 [o]ther works trucks fitted with lifting or handling equipment:

8427.27.20 Other self-propelled trucks:

8427.20.80 Other...Free

8429 Self-propelled bulldozers, angledozers, graders, levelers, scrapers, mechanical shovels, excavators, shovel loaders, tamping machines and road rollers:

8429.51 Front-end shovel loaders:

8429.51.10 Wheel-type...2 percent


Whether the HazHandler has a principal function.


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.

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.

Heading 8427 by its terms specifically delineates works trucks fitted with lifting or handling equipment. The ENs at p. 1202 state that self-propelled shovel loaders of heading 8429 are wheeled or crawler machines with a front-mounted bucket which pick up material through motion of the machine, transport and - 3 -
discharge it. The HazHandler performs functions that are described in both headings.

As stated in HQ 088585, dated May 2, 1991, on skid steer loaders similar to the vehicle in issue here, where headings 8427 and 8429 are in competition Section XVI, Note 3, HTSUS, must be applied. This note states in part that machines adapted for the purpose of performing two or more complementary or alternative functions are to be classified as if consisting only of that component or as being that machine which performs the principal function.

The submitted brochure contains six (6) pictures of the HazHandler in action, three (3) of which show a bucket attachment and one (1) a shovel attachment. The previously-cited ENs indicate that self-propelled "shovel" loaders have a front- mounted "bucket." In addition, the length and width measurements include the bucket. From the available information, it is apparent that the HazHandler is advertized and marketed as a front end shovel loader. We find this to be their principal function. HQ 088585, at p. 3. In addition, at its 9th. Session, the Harmonized System Committee (HSC) ruled in Document 37.380 E Annex M/20, that Bobcat self-propelled front loaders with 4-wheel drive and skid steer, capable of being fitted with other interchangeable tools, similar in all respects to the vehicles here, were front-end shovel loaders of heading 8429.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the HazHandler remote controlled multi-task vehicle is provided for in heading 8429. It is classifiable as a wheel-type front-end shovel loader in subheading 8429.51.10, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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