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HQ 957292

MARCH 3, 1995

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 957292 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7308.90.95/9817.00.50

Area Director of Customs
110 South 4th. St., Rm. 154
Minneapolis, MN 55401

RE: PRD 3501-94-100291; Cast Iron Slats, Panels Used in Sow Confinement System; Cast Iron Flooring for Hog Farrowing Crate; Agricultural Implements; Heading 7325, Articles of Cast Iron; NY 889368, HQ 952143, HQ 955597

Dear Area Director:

This is our decision on Protest 3501-94-100291, filed against your action in classifying certain cast iron slats or floor panels from Germany used as flooring in a farrowing crate. The entry was liquidated on April 22, 1994, and this protest timely filed on July 20, 1994.


The merchandise is rectangular-shaped cast iron floor panels, each measuring 12 inches x 24 inches x 1 inch. Four such panels or slats fit into a raised iron or steel frame to comprise the floor onto which a hog farrowing crate rests. The panels are slip-resistant which results in fewer foot, shoulder and teat injuries. The slats allow manure to drop to the concrete floor of the confinement area for easier cleanup.

The floor panels were entered under a provision in heading 7308, as parts of structures of iron or steel, free of duty under heading 9817.00.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as implements to be used in agricultural or horticultural purposes. The entry was liquidated under a provision in heading 7325, as other cast iron articles. Such articles are excluded from classification in heading 9817.00.50.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7308 Structures and parts of structures of iron of steel:

7308.90 Other:


7308.90.95 Other...5.1 percent

7325 Other cast articles of iron or steel:


7325.99 Other:

7325.99.10 Of cast iron...2.5 percent

9817.00.50 Machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes... Free


Whether cast iron slats or floor panels are agricultural implements for tariff purposes.


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. 1020 state that heading 7308 covers complete or incomplete metal structures, as well as parts of structures. These structures are characterized by the fact that once in position they generally remain in that position. They are usually made up from bars, rods, tubes, angles, shapes and - 3 -
sections, etc., by riveting, bolting, welding, etc. The notes list in heading 7308 articles such as tubular scaffolding, balconies and verandahs, piers and jetties, gangways for ships, etc. The flooring for hog farrowing crates is in fact a raised deck that consists of a welded rectangular frame on metal legs which accommodates four of the weight-bearing panels or slats under protest. Complete flooring modules have many of the characteristics of structures described in the cited notes. Because of their manner of construction and dimensions, we conclude the cast iron slats are integral, constituent and component parts of the flooring modules. They are provided for in heading 7308. We have previously held that holding pens and gestation stalls for swine, of iron or steel, are goods of heading 7308. HQ 952143, dated July 16, 1992. Similarly, iron or steel horse stalls and stall frames have been held to be goods of heading 7308. NY 889368, dated August 24, 1993.

Heading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, is a duty-free provision for machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes. The provisions of Chapter 98 are not subject to the rule of relative specificity in GRI 3(a). Any article described in a provision of Chapter 98 is classifiable in that provision if the conditions and requirements thereof and of any applicable regulations are met. Chapter 98, U.S. Note 1, HTSUS. The cast iron slats are not within the exclusions from heading 9817.00.50 listed in Chapter 98, Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 2, HTSUS.

Floor panels of this kind for hog farrowing applications have previously been held to be "implements" used in a legitimate agricultural pursuit for tariff purposes. HQ 955597, dated May 31, 1994.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the cast iron slats are provided for in heading 7308. They are classifiable in subheading 7308.90.95, HTSUS. The cast iron slats are eligible for duty-free treatment under heading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, upon compliance with the law and applicable Customs Regulations.

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 - 4 -

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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