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HQ 958986

JUNE 28, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 958986 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7312.10.90

Port Director of Customs
1717 East Loop
Houston, TX 77029

RE: PRD 5301-95-100156; Wire Rope on Reels With Becket Loops on Each End; Ropes, Cables and Cordage Fitted With Fittings or Made Up into Articles, Subheading 7312.10.70; T.D. 88-78

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 5301-95-100156, filed on behalf of Thyssen, Inc., against your classification of wire rope with becket loops, produced in Germany. The entry was liquidated on March 3, 1995, and this protest timely filed on April 13, 1995.


As described in the Customs Form 6445A, the merchandise is wire rope, 249.94 meters long and 95.25 mm in diameter, on reels. Becket loops, which are otherwise undescribed, are attached to each end of the wire rope. The wire rope is intended for use on a drag line machine. The merchandise was entered under a provision in heading 7312, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), for other ropes, cables and cordage other than stranded wire. Your office liquidated the entry under a provision for ropes, cables and cordage fitted with fittings or made up into articles.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7312 Stranded wire, ropes, cables, plaited bands, slings and the like, of iron or steel, not electrically insulated:

7312.10 Stranded wire, ropes and cables:


7312.10.70 Fitted with fittings or made up into articles...4.6 percent ad valorem


7312.10.90 Other...3.2 percent ad valorem


Whether becket loops are "fittings" under subheading 7312.10.70.


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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the 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 ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Relevant ENs state, at p. 1023, that the goods of heading 73.12 include ropes, cables, bands, etc., whether or not they are cut to length, or fitted with hooks, spring hooks, swivels, rings, thimbles, clips, sockets, etc. (Provided that they do not thereby assume the character of articles of other headings). The goods of heading 73.12 are used, among other things, for hoisting (with cranes, winches, pulleys, lifts, etc.) in mining, quarrying, shipping, etc.; for hauling or towing; as hawsers; as transmission belting; as rigging or guying for masts, pylons, etc.

Decisions by the Customs Service and the courts interpreting nomenclature under the HTSUS' predecessor tariff code, the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), are not deemed dispositive under the HTSUS. However, on a case-by-case basis, such decisions should be deemed instructive in interpreting the HTSUS, particularly where the nomenclature previously interpreted in those decisions remains unchanged and no dissimilar interpretation is required by the text of the HTS.

A change in the tariff classification of wire rope with becket attachments or becket loops under the TSUS was published in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN on November 8, 1988, as T.D. 88-78 (22 Treas. Dec. 289). That decision cited HQ 072959, dated August 16, 1984, which stated that in the context of the involved provisions a "fitting" must make the strand fit or suitable for, or adapt it to the purpose intended, and that attachments which do not make the strand ready for final use do not "fit" the strand in a tariff sense. Heavy-duty steel wire rope typically used as hoist, drag or similar earthmoving or mining equipment or in other heavy-duty applications is generally supplied with becket attachments or becket loops which provide a means of handling the rope. For example, a more flexible rope of smaller diameter and load capacity may be attached to the larger rope using beckets to guide it for the purpose of threading the larger rope through pulleys or otherwise positioning it. Beckets are typically cut off before full load connections are made. In holding that wire rope with beckets attached on one or both ends did not render the rope "fitted with fittings or made up into articles," T.D. 88-78 concluded that becket end preparations or attachments are facilitating in nature, and do not enable the wire rope to which they are attached to transmit motion or perform some other specific function.

The nomenclature in TSUS items 642.06 through 642.23, inclusive, is identical to the nomenclature in the relevant subheadings of heading 7312. T.D. 88-78 is therefore instructive in interpreting these subheadings.


Under the authority of GRI 1, wire rope with becket loops attached at each end, are provided for in heading 7312. It is classifiable in subheading 7312.10.90, HTSUS.

The protest should be ALLOWED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no - 4 -
later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

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