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957805 ALS

July 6, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:F 957805 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 3923.90.0000

Mr. Donald C. Groetzinger
PLI Inc.
P.O. Box 4051
1509 Rapids Drive
Racine, WI 53404

RE: Blow Molded Plastic Container for Grease

Dear Mr. Groetzinger:

This is in reference to your inquiry about the subject product which was referred to this office for reply. A sample of the container and a pictorial representation of the system in which the container is used were provided.


The container is blow molded from transparent plastics material. It is cylindrical in shape, with a bellows-like construction designed to allow the unit to expand as it is filled with grease and to contract as the grease is consumed. The container is imported empty and then filled with domestically produced grease. Subsequently, it is sold as a refill grease container for a reciprocating positive displacement pump which is a battery powered lubricating pump. Once installed the filled container continuously feeds grease into the pump to lubricate its bearings and motors. It acts strictly as a grease reservoir for pumps to which it is connected and does not contain any components essential to the operation of the pump.


What is the classification of the subject product?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

We note that the container is cylindrical in shape with a bellows-like construction and that it is empty when imported. It is filled with grease after importation and is sold for connection to a displacement pump. Once installed it continuously provides grease for lubricating parts of the pump, e.g., bearings. The container does not contain any essential working components for the pump but operates solely as a replaceable grease reservoir although it is specially designed to function with a particular displacement pump system.

Since the container does not have any components which are essential to the operation of the pump to which it become attached and since the filled container performs a function, lubrication, which is generally required by mechanical devices, we do not believe that it is a part of the pump. In this regard, we believe that it is similar to the "bicart column" which was the subject of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 957022 of January 24, 1995. That item was a specially shaped, single use polypropylene cartridge containing sodium bicarbonate powder, designed to snap into a special holder attached to a kidney dialysis machine. In use water is drawn from the dialysis machine through the cartridge to produce a saturated sodium bicarbonate solution which the machine mixes with water and acid concentrate to produce the dialysis solution.

Accordingly, we have concluded that the instant product which, when filled with grease, serves solely as a grease reservoir and is not a part of the pump, should be classified under the provisions for article of plastics for the conveyance or packing of goods.


A plastic container with a bellows-like construction which will be filled with grease subsequent to importation and - 3 -
subsequently attached to a displacement pump system for lubricating purposes, is classifiable in subheading 3923.90.0000, HTSUSA, as an article for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastic, other. Articles so classified are subject to a general rate of duty of 3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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