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HQ 950948

MAY 29, 1992

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 950948 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8420.10.90, HTSUS

District Director of Customs
40 South Gay Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

RE: Varicoater LF; Laminating Machine; Paper Coating Machine; Plastic Film Coating Machine; Headings 8420, 8439, HTSUS; Chapter 84, Note 2, HTSUS;
PRD 1303-91-100249

Dear Sir:

This is our decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 1303-91-100249, dated July 2, 1991, concerning the classification of a laminating machine from Germany.


Submitted literature describes a machine that performs a laminating/coating function. It employs sets of steel/rubber rolls or cylinders that apply adhesive to paper or plastic film substrates passing between them, followed by impression cylinders that apply a transparent film to the substrate, often utilizing heat.

Protestant maintains that although the Varicoater LF is a machine for solvent free adhesive laminating and coating of paper and plastic film, it is of a type mainly used for paper or paperboard. The primary application in the European market is for the coating and laminating of paper. Accordingly, the provision for machinery for finishing paper or paperboard, in subheading 8439.30.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), is claimed to be the correct classification.

Your office liquidated the entry in subheading 8420.10.90, HTSUS, a provision for other calendering or rolling machines because it utilizes three parallel rollers to spread a polyurethane adhesive. You noted that with certain exceptions, heading 8420 encompasses calendering or other rolling machines whether or not specialized for a particular industry. - 2 -


Whether the Varicoater LF is a calendering or other rolling machine of heading 8420.


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.

Chapter 84, Note 2, HTSUS, states in part that a machine or appliance which answers to a description in one or more of the headings 8401 to 8424 and at the same time to a description in one or more of the headings 8425 to 8480 is to be classified under the appropriate heading of the former group and not the latter.

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.

Protestant cites certain ENs on the scope of heading 8439 which indicate, at p. 1229, that certain paper finishing machines (e.g., for coating, laminating, or reeling), may also be suitable for use in the working of metal foil, plastic sheets, woven fabric, etc., but they remain in [heading 8439] provided they are of a type mainly used for paper or paperboard. Protestant's contention that the instant machine was developed mainly for paper and paperboard applications is undocumented in the record, and is not dispositive if the machine is provided for in heading 8420. In a letter dated May 13, 1992, protestant states that the Varicoater LF is "definitely" a coating machine that uses rollers to apply an accurate layer of liquid mixture to the surface of the material. This coating is then hardened either by drying or some other curing method.

Other ENs, at pp. 1178 and 1179, indicate that heading 8420 covers calendering or other rolling machines whether specialized to a particular industry or not. Such machines consist - 3 -
essentially of two or more parallel cylinders or rollers revolving with their surfaces in more or less close contact so as to produce certain effects on the surface of sheet materials passed between the rollers, e.g., smoothing (including ironing), lustring, glazing, polishing, embossing, graining, or the application of dressings or surface coatings. These machines operate either by the pressure of the cylinders alone or by pressure combined with friction, heat or moisture. The ENs state that machines of this heading are employed in various industries (e.g., the paper, textile, leather, linoleum, plastics or rubber manufacturing industries).

Noting Chapter 84, Note 2, HTSUS, we conclude that the Varicoater LF answers to a description in heading 8420 and at the same time to a description in heading 8439. The ENs for both provisions describe coating machines.


Under GRI 1, the Varicoater LF is provided for in heading 8420.. Actual classification is in subheading 8420.10.90, HTSUS, calendering or other rolling machines.

The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and mailed to protestant, through counsel, as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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