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HQ 956856

NOVEMBER 9, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 956856 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7307.19.30

District Director of Customs
P.O. Box 619050
DFW Airport
Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX 75261-0950

RE: Internal Advice 23/94; Longbody Transition Adapter, Pipe Fitting, Gland With Rubber Gasket for Connecting Pipes and Tubes and Pipes and Valves; Ductile Base Metal Fitting for Repairing Pipelines; Chapter 73, Additional U.S. Note 1, Heading 7307

Dear Sir:

With your memorandum (CLA-1-D:C SS), dated April 1, 1994, you forwarded a letter from counsel, dated January 20, 1994, initiating this request for internal advice on the classification of certain base metal tube and pipe fittings from China. Photographs were submitted.


The merchandise in issue is the longbody transition adapter, model 3522, an assembly consisting of a cast iron gland, formed rubber gasket and nuts and bolts. It functions as a repair fitting designed to facilitate replacement of valves in existing pipelines by connecting two pipe ends together or a tube or pipe end to a valve. The adapter contains, by weight, 3 to 4 percent carbon and between 0.04 to 0.07 percent magnesium. The gland is not threaded and has flanges cast into the body at both ends, drilled to accept bolts secured with nuts. There is no indication the nuts and bolts are a part of this inquiry.

The internal advice applicant proposes to classify these devices in subheading 7307.19.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other ductile cast fittings, of iron or steel. - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

4016 Other articles of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber:

4016.93 Gaskets, washers and other seals:

4016.93.50 Other...3.5 percent

7307 Tube or pipe fittings (for example, couplings, elbows, sleeves), of iron or steel:

Cast fittings:

7307.11.00 Of nonmalleable cast iron
...4.8 percent ad valorem

7307.19 Other:

7307.19.30 Ductile fittings...6.2 percent

7307.19.90 Other...6.2 percent


Whether the longbody transition adapter is a tube or pipe fitting of iron or steel; whether it is a ductile fitting.


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.

GRI 3(b) states in part that composite goods consisting of two or more components which cannot be classified by reference to Rule 3(a) shall be classified as if consisting of that component which gives the good its 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 - 3 -
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, Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The longbody transition adapter is a composite good consisting of a metal gland and a rubber gasket secured by nuts and bolts. The factor or factors which determine essential character will vary with the goods. It may, for example, be the nature of the component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or its role in relation to the use of the good. The model 3522 transition adapter has a male plain (unthreaded) end that is inserted into the wider (female) bell end of a replacement valve and becomes a part of the piping system itself. The other end incorporates the rubber gasket and completes the connection to a length of pipe to produce a watertight seal. The nature of the merchandise makes it apparent that it is the metal gland which makes the actual connection between tube or pipe sections or between a valve and a tube or pipe section, with the gasket serving to make the connection more secure. We conclude it is the metal gland that imparts the essential character to the good. The longbody transition adapter is to be classified as if consisting only of the base metal gland.

Relevant ENs at p. 1019 state that heading 73.07 includes fittings of iron or steel mainly used for connecting the bores of two tubes together, or for connecting a tube to some other apparatus, or for closing the tube aperture. The heading does not cover articles used for installing pipes and tubes but which do not form an integral part of the bore. The connection can be obtained by screwing in the case of steel threaded fittings, by welding, or by contact, when using removable steel fittings. The longbody transition adapter meets the description for fittings of heading 7307. In accordance with Chapter 73, Additional U.S. Note 2, HTSUS, the adapter is within the expression "ductile fittings" for purposes of subheading 7307.19.30.


Under the authority of GRI 3(b), the longbody transition adapter model 3522 is a tube or pipe fitting of heading 7307. It is classifiable in subheading 7307.19.30 as a ductile cast fitting. This decision has no application to any antidumping duty proceedings relating to similar merchandise.

You should mail this decision to the internal advice applicant, through counsel, no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. On that date the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs - 4 -
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
Commercial Rulings Division

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