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HQ 957763

MAY 22, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:M 957763 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8460.90.80

Mr. W.G. Monell
Cavalier Shipping Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 1138
Norfolk, VA 23501

RE: Finishmaster; Polishing and Cooling Machine; Machinery for Preparing Printing Cylinders, Heading 8442; Machine for Surface Finishing Printing Cylinders; Machine Tool for Removing Metal by Means of a Polishing Stone; Composite Machine, Principal Function, Section XVI, Note 3; NY 836749 Modified

Dear Mr. Monell:

In a letter to you, NY 836749, dated March 7, 1989, the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, replied to your request for a ruling, on behalf of the Meredith/Burda Company, on the classification of the Finishmaster and other machinery for preparing printing cylinders. We have reconsidered this ruling and believe the classification of the Finishmaster is incorrect.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification NY 836749 was published on April 19, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 16.


In your ruling request of February 9, 1989, the Finishmaster was described as an automatic unit designed for cooling and polishing printing cylinders after chrome plating or copper plating. No further description was provided. Our experience with similar machinery indicates that gravure printing machines utilize chrome-plated copper cylinders that are engraved with the images to be printed. Polishing and cooling machines like the - 2 -

Finishmaster are designed to remove the chrome plating and the engraved images on a printing cylinder by grinding or polishing it with an abrasive. The cylinder will subsequently be rechromed and a new image etched onto its surface.

The Finishmaster incorporates a working trough to hold the cylinder, a mechanism to rotate the cylinder as it comes into contact with a polishing head with polishing stone, cold/warm water connections with mixing valves and solenoids to wash away extraneous chrome particles and other residue and to cool the cylinder after working, all of which are microprocessor-controlled. These components are mounted in the same housing.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8442 Machinery, apparatus and equipment (other than the machine tools of headings 8456 to 8465), ... for preparing or making printing blocks, plates, cylinders and other printing components...; parts thereof:

8442.30.00 Other machinery, apparatus and equipment ...Free

8460 Machine tools for deburring, sharpening, grinding, honing, lapping, polishing or otherwise finishing metal...by means of grinding stones, abrasives or polishing products:

8460.90 Other:

8460.90.80 Other...4.4 percent


Whether the chrome polishing and cooling machine in issue is a machine tool for tariff purposes.


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 - 3 -
or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

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, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

For tariff purposes, composite machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a whole and other machines adapted for the purpose of performing two or more complementary or alternative functions, are to be classified as if consisting only of that component or as being that machine which performs the principal function. Section XVI, Note 3, HTSUS. The Finishmaster consecutively performs two separate functions that are complementary, i.e., polishing and cooling. Cleansing with water both cools the workpiece after polishing and removes extraneous chrome particles. Machines of different kinds that are on a common base or frame are considered fitted together to form a whole for purposes of the cited note. The Finishmaster qualifies as a composite machine for tariff purposes, the principal function clearly being to polish.

By the terms of heading 8442, if the chrome polishing and cooling machine is a machine tool of heading 8460, it cannot be classified in heading 8442. Relevant ENs state at pp. 1274 and 1275 that heading 8460 covers certain surface-finishing machines for metal which work by removing material by means of grinding stones, abrasives, or polishing products, and includes polishing machines for finishing the surface of the workpiece. For purposes of the heading, the expression "polishing products" encompasses, among other things, polishing discs or polishing pads. The principal function of the chrome polishing and cooling machine in issue is to finish the surface of a printing cylinder by polishing to prepare it to be rechromed and new etching applied. It qualifies as a machine tool for tariff purposes. For this reason, it cannot be classified as machinery of heading 8442.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Finishmaster, a chrome polishing and cooling machine, is provided for in heading 8460. It is classifiable in subheading 8460.90.80, HTSUS.


NY 836749, dated March 7, 1989, is hereby modified. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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