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HQ 956476

SEPTEMBER 13, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 956476 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8716.39.00

Mr. Jae Chung
United Customhouse Brokers, Inc.
9950 Marconi Drive, #101
Otay Mesa, CA 92173

RE: Semi-Trailer for the Transport of Goods; Enclosed Container of Aluminum Fitted to Steel Chassis

Dear Mr. Chung:

In your letter, dated May 20, 1994, on behalf of Hyundai Precision America, Inc., you inquire as to the tariff classification of a semi-trailer imported from Mexico. Blueprints were submitted.


The semi-trailer consists of a rectangular, fully enclosed container with rear door assembly, permanently mounted on a steel chassis. The container and chassis components are separately manufactured in Mexico then combined into a semi-trailer 45 ft. long and 8 1/2 ft. wide. The roof, sides, and front and back portions of the container consist of aluminum panels mounted on a hard wood floor, while the chassis consists of a steel frame, front landing gear, and rear double axles with wheels, together with running gear and brake, suspension and electrical systems.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8716 Trailers and semi-trailers; other, vehicles, not mechanically propelled; and parts thereof:

Other trailers and semi-trailers for the transport of goods:

8716.39.00 Other...3.1 percent - 2 -


Whether a container permanently combined with a chassis, as described, constitutes a semi-trailer of heading 8716.


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. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Relevant ENs, at. p. 1439, state that heading 87.16 covers a group of non-mechanically propelled vehicles equipped with one or more wheels and constructed for the transport of goods or persons. Among the vehicles of heading 87.16 are those designed to be towed by other vehicles (tractors, trucks, etc.). The notes continue by stating semi-trailers are fitted with rear wheels only, the forward end resting on the platform of the towing vehicle to which it is coupled by a special coupling device. The vehicles in issue here conform to the description of a semi-trailer.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the vehicle in question is a semi-trailer provided for in heading 8716. It is classifiable in subheading 8716.39.00, HTSUS. Goods of Mexico classifiable in this provision are eligible for free entry under the North - 3 -

American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if otherwise qualified under General Note 12, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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