United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 957315 - HQ 957419 > HQ 957397

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 957397

FEBRUARY 15, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 957397 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8704.23.00/9903.87.00

District Director of Customs
1000 2nd. Ave., Rm. 2200
Seattle, WA 98104

RE: PRD 3001-94-100646; Crane Equipped Log Forwarder; Wheeled Chassis With Enclosed Cab and Rear Mounted Crane; Motor Vehicle for the Transport of Goods; Tractor, Chapter 87, Note 2, Special Purpose Motor Vehicle, Heading 8705; Works Truck, Heading 8427; Section XVI, Note 1(l), HQ 086395

Dear District Director:

This our decision on Protest No. 3001-94-100646, filed against your classification of certain crane equipped log forwarders. The entries under protest were liquidated on August 19 and November 18, 1994, and this protest timely filed on October 31, 1994.


The vehicles under protest are the Valmet crane equipped log forwarders 840 and 892. They are either 6 or 8-wheel motorized vehicles with enclosed cab and what protestant describes as a cranab grapple crane mounted on the trailer portion. These vehicles are described by protestant as used to handle, sort, collect, pile, load and unload timber on tree farms and forests, and to deliver the timber to the transport area.

The log forwarders were originally entered under a provision for agricultural tractors, duty-free in headings 8701. However, the entries were liquidated in a provision in heading 8704 as motor vehicles for the transport of goods. Protestant makes alternative claims as a special purpose motor vehicle of heading 8705, or as a works truck of heading 8427.90.00, HTSUS.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8427 Other works trucks fitted with lifting or handling equipment:

8427.90.00 Other trucks...Free - 2 -

8701 Tractors (other than tractors of heading 8709):

8701.30 Track-laying tractors:

8701.90 Other:

8701.90.10 Suitable for agricultural use...Free

8704 Motor vehicles for the transport of goods:

Other, with compression-ignition internal combustion piston engine (diesel or semi-diesel):

8704.23.00 G.W.V. exceeding 20 metric tons...25 percent under subheading 9903.87.00

8705 Special purpose motor vehicles, other than those principally designed for the transport of persons or goods:

8705.90.00 Other...3 percent


Whether the log forwarders are motor vehicles for the transport of goods.


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

As to the claim under heading 8701, the term "tractor" is defined as a vehicle constructed essentially for hauling or pushing another vehicle, appliance or load, whether or not it contains subsidiary provision for the transport, in connection with the main use of the tractor, of tools, seeds, fertilizers or other goods. Chapter 87, Note 2, HTSUS. Counsel for protestant describes the log forwarders under protest as motor vehicles specially designed for use in the harvesting of cut timber. There is no claim made in the protest that these vehicles have design features that dedicate them to pushing or pulling, rather than transporting.

If the crane operated log forwarders are provided for either in heading 8704 or in heading 8705, they are excluded from Section XVI (which includes heading 8427). Section XVI, Note 1(l), HTSUS. The classification of vehicles virtually identical to the ones under protest here was addressed in HQ 086395, dated February 22, 1990, By it own terms, heading 8705 covers special purpose motor vehicles other than those principally designed for the transport of persons or goods. The real issue, therefore, is whether the log forwarders are provided for in heading 8704. The design features of the vehicles in issue suggest a rugged, off- road vehicle designed to transport logs over short distances in the forest to points where they can be collected. The crane merely facilitates the transportation function. The designation log forwarder supports this conclusion. Further, ENs to heading 87.04, at p. 1428, indicate that self-loading vehicles equipped with winches, elevating devices, etc., but designed essentially for transport purposes, are among the vehicles covered. We conclude, therefore, that the log forwarders under protest are motor vehicles for the transport of goods covered by heading 8704. This precludes heading 8705 from consideration.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the crane-equipped log forwarders are provided for in heading 8704. They are classifiable in subheading 8704.23.00, HTSUS.

This protest should be DENIED. 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, and a copy of 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. - 4 -

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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: