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HQ 952946

MARCH 18 1993

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 952946 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8514.90.00, 8504.90.00, HTSUS

District Director of Customs
P.O. Box 37260
Milwaukee, WI 53110

RE: Electrode Arm, Cooling Panel, Bustube, Parts of Electrical Transformers, Heading 8504; Parts of Electric Arc Furnace, Heading 8514; Section XVI, Note 2; PRD 3701-92-100052

Dear Sir:

This is our decision on Application for Further Review of protest No. 3701-92-100052, dated July 17, 1992, filed by PMX Industries, Inc., against your action in liquidating an entry of certain articles from Sweden used in connection with electric arc furnaces.


The articles under protest are electrode arms, cooling panels and a bustube. All are components used in or with an electric arc furnace that melts stainless steel. The stainless melt then goes to a continuous casting machine.

The electrode arms are mechanical devices that position and hold positively and negatively charged carbon electrodes in the furnace. The electrodes are charged with an electric current to create an arc discharge. This produces the heat necessary for the melting process. The bustube is an insulated electrical conductor consisting of a copper cable encased in sheet metal insulation. It functions to transfer electric current from 200 to 400 volts from a transformer to the carbon electrodes. The cooling panels surround the furnace and act as heat shields. Each encompasses a series of water-filled tubes that absorb radiant heat from the furnace in the manner of a heat exchanger. This prevents excessive heat from escaping the furnace and damaging heat-sensitive equipment nearby. The heated water is recirculated and eventually dumped. It is not used as a power source for other equipment. We are informed that these panels are specially designed and constructed for this one use. - 2 -

The articles in question were entered under the duty-free provision for parts of casting machines of a kind used in metallurgy or in metal foundries, in subheading 8454.90.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The importer replied to a request for information from the concerned import specialist with information on the arc furnace transformer. On the belief that the protested articles were parts of the transformer, the import specialist liquidated the entry under subheading 8504.90.00, HTSUS, a provision for parts of electrical transformers. On the Customs Form 19, the protestant reiterates his claim under 8454.90.00. In a later facsimile transmittal to the concerned National Import Specialist in New York, the protestant restates a claim from the vendor of the equipment that the bustube is in fact part of the electric arc furnace. We will incorporate that claim into the protest.


Whether the electrode arms, bustubes and cooling panels, or any of them, are parts of goods of headings 8454, 8504 or 8514.


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.

Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 or 85 are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings; other parts that are suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, or with a number of machines of the same heading, are to be classified with the machines of that kind. Section XVI, Note 2, HTSUS.

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.

To be a "part" for tariff purposes, an article must be necessary to the completion of some other article. It must be an integral, constituent or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined could not function as that - 3 -
article. On a case-by-case basis, the nature, function and purpose of the article claimed to be a part must be examined in relation to the article to which it is attached or designed to serve.

As to the claim under heading 8454, a continuous casting machine consists only of the components necessary to the creation of a cast article. These include the equipment from the ladle turret, which holds the ladle containing the molten steel, through and including the cut-off table where sections are cut from the continuous casting. The articles in issue here are used in or with an electric arc furnace. None qualify as parts of casting machines of heading 8454.

As to the claim under heading 8514, relevant ENs at p. 1352 confirm that heading includes, among others, furnaces in which heat is generated by an electric arc struck between electrodes. The notes state further at p. 1353 that electrode holders are among the articles regarded as parts of that heading. The electrode arms in issue here are integral constituent and component parts necessary to the completion and proper functioning of an electric arc furnace. They are principally, if not solely used as parts of such furnaces.

The bustubes are rigid electrical conductors whose only function is to transmit an electric current to the electrodes in the furnace. They are not integral, constituent or component parts of an electric arc furnace, and do not qualify as "parts" in a tariff sense. Several alternative classifications have been suggested, but none appear to apply. Heading 8544 provides for insulated wire, cable and other insulated electric conductors. Goods of this heading are made up of the conductor, one or more coverings of insulating material, and a metal sheath or sometimes a metal armoring. The bustubes here consist of the conductor and metal sheath. There is no indication, however, that they have an insulating material as required for goods of heading 8544. Heading 8543 provides for electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in [chapter 85]. We have held previously that merchandise similar to bustubes are classifiable in heading 8543. However, we are unable to confirm that classification in this case because the available information does not indicate whether the bustubes have an "individual function" as required for articles of heading 8543.

The cooling panels are designed for and used only with furnaces of this type. Although they play no part in creating heat in the furnace or keeping heat in the furnace, they are nonetheless integral constituent and component parts necessary to the completion and proper functioning of the furnace. This is because heat escaping from the furnace can damage the computers and other equipment that regulates and monitors the entire - 4 -
operation. Heat-induced malfunctions in this equipment can impair the operation of the furnace or even shut it down.


The electrode arms and cooling panels are parts of an electric arc furnace for tariff purposes and are classifiable in subheading 8514.90.00, HTSUS. Because the rate under this provision is more than the claimed rate but less than the liquidated rate, the protest should be denied except to the extent that reclassification of this merchandise as indicated results in a partial allowance.

For the stated reasons, the bustubes are not parts of electric arc furnaces of heading 8514. The file lacks information from which we can independently determine their proper classification. The protest should be denied as to this merchandise.

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


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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