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NY 805714

February 9, 1995

CLA-2-84:S:N:N3:102 805714


TARIFF NO.: 8481.80.3020; 8481.80.3065; 8481.80.9050

Mr. Fred Turco
Turco Valve Supply Inc.
1407 Oakland Blvd.
Norristown, PA 19401

RE: The tariff classification of steel or iron plug valves from Denmark

Dear Mr. Turco:

In your letter dated December 14, 1994 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Your inquiry details a range of plug valves, some made from steel and others from iron, that will be imported in a variety of conditions. The groups consist of the following: small plug valves that will be wrench operated (wrenches included); small to large plug valves that will be operated by either handwheels or gear-reduction manual actuators (imported attached); and small, medium and large size plug valves imported "bare-stem". It is your position that this last group, valves imported without operators, are solely designed for use with either hydraulic, pneumatic or electric motor type actuators. These valves, while not imported with the actuators, are never-the-less to be sold for ultimate use with such actuators and, in some cases, are imported with a special "key way" stem designed for mating to the applicable actuator. The actuators will be either supplied directly by your firms, or are installed by your customers.

The classification of valves in the United States is governed for a large part on the type and method of operation of the valve. Valves, such as gate, globe, plug, ball and butterfly, are assessed duties based on whether they are imported in condition to be manually operated (physically opened or closed by hand, either directly or by use of a gear box), or by means of some type of powered actuator (normally hydraulic, pneumatic or electric motor). If they are imported with their operators already mounted, their classification is relatively straight-forward. The difficulty that has arisen in this industry is the trend to import valves without any type of operator (bare stem). In these situations we endeavor to determine the final configuration of the valve at the time it is sold. If it can be clearly documented that an imported bare stem valve will be sold with a powered actuator attached, or that the valve will ultimately be equipped by the purchaser with a powered actuator, then our position has been that such valves are classified as unfinished valves, other than manually operated.

In subsequent conversations with your office you stated that each importation will be submitted with an invoice that clearly identifies which valves are equipped with manual operators, and which valves will be sold for use with powered actuators. In accepting this procedure, the Customs Service reserves the right to verify, at any time, the accuracy of these statements by examining your actual sales data.

The applicable subheading for the manually operated (wrench, handwheel or gearbox operated) valves, of steel, will be 8481.80.3020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for hand operated plug valves, of iron. Similar valves, if made of steel, will be classifiable under 8481.80.3065, HTS, which provides for hand operated plug valves, of steel. The rate of duty for both items will be 7.5 percent ad valorem. The applicable subheading for those valves, imported bare stem, that will ultimately be equipped with powered actuators (and invoiced as such) will be 8481.80.9050, HTS, which provides for valves, other than hand operated, other. The rate of duty will be 3.4 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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