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HQ 957171

JANUARY 31, 1995

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 957171 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7320.10.90

District Director of Customs
4477 Woodson Road, Rm. 200
St. Louis, MO. 63134-3716

RE: PRD 4503-94-100029; Leaf Springs; Leaf Springs For Use on Truck Trailer Suspensions; Other Springs and Leafs for Springs, Subheading 7320.10.90; Suitability for Motor Vehicle Suspension

Dear District Director:

This is our decision on Protest 4503-94-100029, filed against your classification of certain automotive leaf springs. The entries in question were liquidated on May 13, July 29, August 5 and August 12, 1994. This protest was timely filed on August 18, 1994.


The merchandise under protest is single leaf and multiple leaf base metal suspensions advertised in submitted literature for various types of trailers and semi-trailers including dump trailers, lowboys, logging trailers and flatbeds. The merchandise was entered under the provision for other leaf springs in an appropriate subheading of 7320. Protestant maintains that the leaf springs in issue are manufactured only for truck trailers, requiring special mounting brackets, and that adapting them for motor vehicles would be commercially impractical. The import specialist determined that they were suitable for motor vehicle suspensions and liquidated the entries under the provision for leaf springs suitable for motor vehicle use.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7320 Springs and leaves for springs, of iron or steel:

7320.10 Leaf springs and leaves therefor:

Suitable for motor vehicle suspension: - 2 -

7320.10.30 To be used in motor vehicles having a G.V.W. not exceeding
4 metric tons...3.8 percent

7320.10.60 Other...3.8 percent

7320.10.90 Other...3.8 percent (Free under GSP)


Whether the leaf springs in issue are suitable for motor vehicle suspensions.


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 6 states in part that for legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, by appropriate substitution of terms, to GRIs 1 through 5, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

A provision based on suitability for use, if it applies, is more specific than a so-called basket provision. To be suitable for a stated use it must be established that the article is actually, practically and commercially fit for that use. Evidence of sole use or even principal use is not required. However, there must be evidence of substantial actual use in the manner required by the provision in question. U.S. v. F.W. Myers & Co., Inc., C.D. 4256, C.A.D. 1097, 476 F. 2d 1377 (1973).

Literature submitted with this protest is the only evidence of record. It relates exclusively to leaves and leaf springs for various types of trailers and semitrailers, with each rated as to axle dimension, payload capacity, etc. The literature states that all leaf springs are manufactured to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) specifications. The available evidence does not support a finding of substantial actual use in motor vehicle suspensions.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the leaf springs in issue are provided for in heading 7320, as springs and leaves for springs, of iron or steel. They are classifiable in subheading 7320.10.90, HTSUS.

The protest should be ALLOWED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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