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 957670 - HQ 957791 > HQ 957779

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 957779

July 13, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:M 957779 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 8483.90.50

District Director of Customs
511 Broadway
Room 0198
Portland OR 97209

RE: Protest 2904-95-100074; Cam gears; Hay baler, parts; Agricultural machinery

Dear District Director:

This is in response to Protest 2904-95-100074 concerning your action in classifying and assessing duty on cam gears for hay balers.


The cam gear involved is a component part used in the knotter drive assembly of a hay baling machine. The unit is disc-shaped and contains two partial sets of gears as well as an actuating cam. When the knotter shaft is rotated, the first gear engages a separate pinion gear which moves as "bill hook" (a device for making a knot), while the second gear engages another pinion gear that advances the twine. The cam portion of this unit activates the knife arm, cutting the twine. The two entries covering this merchandise were liquidated on December 16, 1994, and January 20, 1995, under subheading 8483.90.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for parts of gearing, gear boxes and other speed changers. The protest against these liquidations was timely filed on March 9, 1995.

The protestant claims that the cam gears should be classified as parts of agricultural machinery. However, he did not specify what subheading of the HTSUS described this merchandise. We assume that his claim for classification of the cam gears is under subheading 8433.90.50, HTSUS, which provides for parts of harvesting or threshing machinery, other.


Whether the cam gears should be classified as parts of harvesting or threshing machinery under subheading 8433.90.50, HTSUS, or under subheading 8483.90.50, HTSUS, as parts of gearing, gear boxes and other speed changers.


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's]." In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

The competing provisions are as follows:

8433 Harvesting or threshing machinery, including straw or fodder balers; . . . parts thereof:

8433.90 Parts:

8433.90.50 Other . . . . . .

8483 Transmission shafts (including camshafts and crankshafts) and cranks; . . . gears and gearing, ball screws; gear boxes and other speed changers, including torque converters; flywheels and pulleys, including pulley blocks; clutches and shaft couplings (including universal joints); parts thereof:

8483.90 Parts:

8483.90.50 Parts of gearing, gear boxes and other speed changers . . . . . .

The basis for the protestant's claim that the cam gears are classifiable as parts of agricultural machinery is that they are made for use solely on hay balers and will not function as a gear for anything else.

Note 2(a) to Section XVI, HTSUS, which is relevant, reads, as follows:

2. Subject to note 1 to this section, note 1 to chapter 84 and to note 1 to chapter 85, parts of machines (not being parts of the articles of heading 8484, 8544, 8545, 8546 or 8547) are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85 (other than heading 8485 and 8548) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings[.]

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes to the HTSUS (EN), although not dispositive, or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See T.D. 89-80, 54 FR 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). The EN to Heading 84.83 at page 1328, which is also relevant, reads in pertinent part, as follows:

The heading also excludes:

(b) Transmission equipment of the kinds described above (gear boxes, transmission shafts, clutches, differentials , etc.), but which are designed for use solely or principally with vehicles or aircraft (Section XVII); it should, however, be noted that this exclusion does not apply to internal parts of vehicle or aircraft engines-these parts remain classified in this heading.

The two models involved are known and used as gears. Heading 8483, HTSUS, cited above, specifically provides for transmission components, among which are gears, gearboxes, speedchangers and parts thereof. Inasmuch as these gears are for use in agricultural machinery, the exclusionary language of the EN to heading 84.83, cited above, which excludes transmission equipment used solely for vehicles or aircraft of Section XVII, HTSUS, does not apply here. Consequently, it is our opinion that the cam gears for hay balers are classifiable under subheading 8483.90.50, HTSUS, as parts of gearing, gear boxes and other speed changers.


The cam gears for hay balers are dutiable at the rate of 2.5% ad valorem under subheading 8483.90.50, HTSUS.

The 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, this decision together with the Customs Form 19, should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of 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 the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: