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NY 810897

June 8, 1995

CLA-2-84:S:N:N1:106 810897


TARIFF NO.: 8438.80.0000

Mr. Nigel Nakada
Seatech Supplies Ltd.
7780 River Road
Richmond, British Columbia
Canada V6X 1X7

RE: The tariff classification of a fish fin remover from Japan

Dear Nakada:

In your letter dated May 23, 1995 you requested a tariff classification ruling. You included descriptive literature with your request.

The "Hirehachi" fish fin remover is manufactured in Japan and assembled in Canada. Since there is no information in your request about the assembly process, it will be understood, for the purposes of this ruling, that the country of origin of the article is Japan. This tool will remove the dorsal, belly and breast fins of processed fish such as salmon, cod, flat fish, yellow tail and so forth and is intended for use principally on floating fish factories and fisheries. The tool functions with the aid of a circular cutting wheel and guide edge and is held in the hand. The fin remover is connected to a minimum 2 horsepower air compressor with an air filter, regulator and lubricator attached in between the cutter and compressor. The fin remover is packaged with the regulator and a bottle of food grade oil, both of which are products of the United States.

The classification of goods in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) are governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUSA, 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...according ..to the following provisions." The fin remover answers to the description of both headings 8438 and 8467, which read, in pertinent part, as follows:

8438 Machinery, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter, for the industrial preparation of manufacture of food or drink...;

8467 Tools for working in the hand, pneumatic or with self-contained nonelectric motor...;

GRI 3, HTSUSA, one of "the following provisions" mentioned in GRI 1, must be utilized when an article is classifiable in two or more headings. GRI 3(a), HTSUSA, states that "the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description." Since the fish fin remover is principally used in the industrial preparation of food, whether for immediate consumption or preserving, it is more specifically described in heading 8438.

The applicable tariff provision for the fish fin remover will be 8438.80.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for other machinery, not specified or included elsewhere in the chapter, for the industrial preparation of food or drink. The general rate of duty will be 3.2 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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