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HQ 955759

May 19, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 955759 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 4011.91.50

District Director of Customs
511 N.W. Broadway Federal Building
Suite 198
Portland, Oregon 97209

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 2904-93-100204, filed November 18, 1993, concerning the classification of new pneumatic rubber tires.

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on a protest timely filed on November 18, 1993, against your decision in the classification and liquidation of an entry in August 1993, of new pneumatic rubber tires having a "herring-bone" or similar tread.


You classified the tires under subheading 4011.91.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), the provision for "New pneumatic tires, of rubber: Other: Having a "herring-bone" or similar tread: Other," with an applicable duty rate of 4 percent ad valorem.

Protestant claims that the tires have a regular tread, are designed for agricultural tractors, and should be classified under subheading 4011.99.10, HTSUS, as "New pneumatic tires, of rubber: Other: Other: Designed for tractors...." The applicable duty rate for the claimed provision is free.


Whether the merchandise should be classified in subheading 4011.99.10, HTSUS, as agricultural tractor tires having a regular tread; or in subheading 4011.91.50, HTSUS, as other tires having a "herring-bone" or similar tread.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

The proper heading in this case is clear, i.e., heading 4011 for new pneumatic tires, of rubber. The EN to heading 4011 indicates that the tires may be used on any type of vehicle or aircraft, on wheeled toys, machinery, artillery weapons, etc. At the six digit level, the competing subheadings differentiate between tires that have, or do not have, a "herring-bone" or similar tread. At the eight digit level, the subheadings at issue essentially differentiate between tires that are, or are not, designed for agricultural or horticultural machinery or implements.

The protestant describes the goods as agricultural tires, 11.4 x 24/4, and claims that they are designed for agricultural tractors. To support the claim, however, the protestant submits information relative only to 11.2-24 4PR V97 tires. Although Customs believes the tires have a "herring-bone" tread - which may or may not be designed for tractors - no evidence pertaining to tread design has been submitted. In light of the insufficiency of evidence required to support the claimed classification, we find no basis upon which to allow the protest.


The new pneumatic rubber tires, described as 11.4 x 24/4, are classified in subheading 4011.91.50, HTSUS, the provision for "New pneumatic tires, of rubber: Other: Having a "herring-bone" or similar tread: Other." The applicable duty rate is 4 percent ad valorem.

The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Form 19 to be returned to the protestant.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS, and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director

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