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HQ 959379

AUGUST 20, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959379 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8417.80.00; 8514.10.00

Ms. Paulette Russell
Scan American Corporation
9505B N. Congress Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64153

RE: Belt Grill; Continuous Contact Roasting Plant; Electric or Oil Heated Cooking Machine Utilizing Upper and Lower Mesh Belts; Industrial Oven, Heading 8417; Machinery for Treatment of Materials by a Change in Temperature Such as Heating, Cooking, Roasting, Heading 8419; HQ 959217

Dear Ms. Russell:

Your letter to the National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated May 16, 1996, concerning the tariff status of the Berief Dubra model 10/1000 Continuous Roasting Plant or Belt Grill from Germany has been forwarded to this office for reply. You state that importations of this merchandise have been made at the ports of Norfolk and Detroit.


Submitted literature describes the Belt Grill as an industrial-type, continuous contact machine that utilizes motor-driven upper and lower conveyor belts to simultaneously cook both sides of relatively flat food products such as burgers, bacon, and pancakes. Enclosed in a stainless steel housing, these conveyor belts are of teflon-coated glass fiber weave and are heated up to 275 degrees Centigrade by top and bottom mounted plates of nickel-plated aluminum. These plates are typically 600mm x 595mm x 60mm and have a 13 kw capacity. They are heated either electrically or by means of oil heated externally in a gas fired boiler and pumped through the plates. The boiler is not part of this importation. Screw jacks adjust the location of the belts to accommodate products of different thicknesses.

You state the Belt Grill was entered at Norfolk under the provision in subheading 8419.81.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), for other cooking stoves, ranges and ovens. You maintain that the Belt Grill is not an oven because the sides are open during cooking, although other information leaves this in doubt. Nevertheless, the local Customs officer proposes to classify the merchandise in subheading 8417.80.00, HTSUS, as a nonelectric industrial or laboratory furnace or oven. The literature states that some of these units are of the thermal oil types while others are electric.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8417 Industrial or laboratory furnaces and ovens, including incinerators, nonelectric, and parts thereof:

8417.80.00 Other...5 percent ad valorem

8419 Machinery...whether or not electrically heated, for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as h eating, cooking, roasting...other than of a kind used for domestic purposes...:

8419.81 Other machinery, plant or equipment:

8419.81.50 Other cooking stoves, ranges and ovens...Free

8514 Industrial or laboratory electric...furnaces and ovens;...:

8514.10.00 Resistance heated furnaces and ovens...1.5 percent ad valorem


Whether the Berief Dubra 10/1000 is an industrial oven 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.

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).

The ENs at p. 1173 exclude the following from heading 84.19: (g) Industrial or laboratory furnaces and ovens, including those for the separation of irradiated nuclear fuel by pyrometallurgical processes (heading 84.17 or 85.14, as the case may be). ENs at p. 1168 state only that heading 84.17 covers non-electrical industrial or laboratory furnaces and ovens, designed for the production of heat in chambers at high or fairly high temperatures by the combustion of fuel. While these notes are not helpful in clarifying the scope of heading 8417, it is clear that the provision for furnaces and ovens is to take precedence over a less specific provision for other machinery, plant or equipment.

For purposes of headings 8417 and 8514, the terms "furnace" and "oven" are not defined in the text of the HTSUS or in the ENs. In such cases tariff terms are to be determined in accordance with their common and commercial meanings, which are presumed to be the same. Circumscribed only by the requirements that they be industry or laboratory types and nonelectric, an oven is a heated chamber or other enclosure used for baking, heating, drying or hardening. See F. L. Smidth & Company v. United States, 59 Cust. Ct. 276, C.D. 3141 (1967), in which the Customs Court established the common meaning of the term "oven" and determined that a kiln was within this common meaning. See HQ 959217, dated August 15, 1996. This analysis is applicable as well for ovens of heading 8514.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Berief Dubra 10/1000 Belt Grill is provided for in heading 8417, if of the thermal oil type, and in heading 8514, if of the electric resistance heater type. They are classifiable in subheadings 8417.80.00 or 8514.10.00, HTSUS, as appropriate.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

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