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HQ 958908

MARCH 26, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 958908 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7306.30.10

Mr. Jorge A. Hinojosa
Galvak, SA. de C.V.
Ave. De La Juventud Nte. 340
San Nicolas De Los Garza N.L. C.P. 66450

RE: Round Steel Tubing, Cut-to-Length With Drilled Holes; Pipes, Tubes and Hollow Profiles, Heading 7306; Handle for Hand Truck; Parts of Non Mechanically- Propelled Vehicle, Heading 8716; Unfinished Article, Blank, GRI 2(a)

Dear Mr. Hinojosa:

Your letter to the U.S. Customs Service, New York, dated November 16, 1995, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of welded carbon steel tubes made in Mexico, has been referred to this office. Samples were provided.


The sample is a carbon steel tube conforming to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification A 513 for electric-resistance-welded carbon and alloy steel mechanical tubing. The tube is 1 inch in diameter, 109 inches long, and has a 1/4 diameter inch hole drilled 5 inches from each end. You state that the holes are for drainage purposes. After importation, the tube will be bent into a U-shape and used, without further fabrication, as the handle of a hand truck. The Customs National Commodity Specialist in New York has preliminarily informed you that the tubes are provided for in the appropriate subheading of heading 7306, HTSUS, as other tubes, pipes and hollow profiles of iron or steel. You contend that these tubes should be classifiable as parts of hand trucks.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7306 Other tubes, pipes and hollow profiles (for example, open seamed or welded, riveted or similarly closed), of iron or steel:

7306.30 Other, welded, of circular cross section, of iron or nonalloy steel:

7306.30.10 Having a wall thickness of 1.65 mm or more...6.4 percent ad valorem, 5.6 percent from Mexico

8716 ...; other vehicles, not mechanically propelled; and parts thereof:

8716.90 Parts:

8716.90.50 Other...3.1 percent ad valorem, free from Mexico


Whether steel tubes with drilled holes remain goods of heading 7306; whether they qualify as blanks and, therefore, are unfinished parts of hand trucks 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 or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. GRI 2(a) states in part that any reference in a heading to an article includes a reference to that article unfinished, provided that, as entered, the unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, 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 - 3 -
the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

As to whether the steel tubes with holes drilled at each end remain goods of heading 7306, the GENERAL ENs at p. 1011 state, in relevant part, that Chapter 73 covers certain specific articles and groups of articles not falling in other Chapters of the Nomenclature. In addition, for the purposes of Chapter 73, the expression "tubes and pipes" has the following meaning assigned to it:

(1) Tubes and pipes

Concentric hollow products, of uniform cross-section with only one enclosed void along their whole length, having their inner and outer surfaces of the same form
...They may be polished, coated, bent (including coiled tubing), threaded and coupled or not, drilled, waisted, expanded, cone shaped or fitted with flanges, collars or rings (Emphasis added).

Therefore, steel tubes with drilled holes remain within the scope of heading 7306, unless they fall in another Chapter of the Nomenclature.

As to whether the tubes may be parts of hand trucks provided for in heading 8716, the ENs to GRI 2(a) provide specific guidance on the application of the rule to articles referred to as "blanks." EN (II) to the GRI states on p. 2:

The provisions of this rule also apply to blanks unless these are specified in a particular heading. The term "blank" means an article, not ready for direct use, having the approximate shape or outline of the finished article or part, and which can only be used, other than in exceptional cases, for completion into the finished article or part.

Semi-manufactures not yet having the essential shape of the finished articles
(such as is generally the case with bars, discs, tubes, etc.) are not regarded as blanks.

The ENs address two criteria for articles which are blanks for GRI 2(a) purposes: approximate shape or outline and sole use for completion into the finished article or part.

Initially, the cited ENs state that semi-manufactures such as tubes "generally" cannot be regarded as blanks. In this case, the diameter of each tube, its length, and external surface dimensions are established by the processing in Mexico. However, as imported, the tubes in issue do not have the approximate shape or outline of handles for hand trucks. There is no argument made, nor is there evidence in the file that straight lengths of steel tubing with drilled holes at each end can only be made into such handles. The tubes in issue do not qualify as blanks and are not unfinished articles for tariff purposes.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the round, welded carbon steel tubes in issue are provided for in heading 7306. They are classifiable in subheading 7306.30.10, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification
Appeals Division

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