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NY 815616

November 9, 1995

CLA-2-94:R:N4:230 815616


TARIFF NO.: 9406.00.8090; 9403.20.0020; 3926.90.9890; 9817.00.5000

Ms. Karen Quintana
New Wave Transport (U.S.A.), Inc.
2417 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA 90810

RE: The tariff classification of prefabricated buildings, used as "plant cultivators" or greenhouses, from China; agricultural equipment; hydroponics; racks; furniture; trays.

Dear Ms. Quintana:

In your letter dated August 24, 1995, together with a follow-up submission in response to our query of September 12, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The ruling was requested on behalf of your client, L.A. Enterprises (USA) Inc. (Alhambra, CA).

The item in question, identified as an "EC-1800 Plant Cultivator," is a prefabricated building designed to provide a controlled, optimal environment for growing plants (either animal feed, such as forage grass, or vegetables for human consumption). Available in three standard sizes (6, 10, and 16 meters), the building consists of a steel frame covered by fiberglass panels. Judging by the illustrations accompanying your inquiry, it appears that the panels are opaque, thus forming a kind of windowless greenhouse. Access is provided by doors at both the front and rear of the unit.

The building is fully equipped for hydroponic-style cultivation, in which plants are grown, without soil, in a solution of water and organic nutrients. To this end, the inside of the unit features tiered arrays of "breeding plates" serviced by an automatic spraying system. There are also rows of fluorescent lamps, ventilating fans and an air conditioning system which provides stable temperatures regardless of weather conditions outside. The main electronic control box, located near the front door, is said to regulate "a series of automatic processes including light, temperature and spraying time within the cultivator."

You further describe the item as a "portable greenhouse for farm-based users." It is said to be easily disassembled for relocation. (It will be imported in an unassembled condition.)

The applicable subheading for the "EC-1800 Plant Cultivator," excluding the "tiers" and "breeding plates," will be 9406.00.8090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) prefabricated buildings. The rate of duty will be 5.1%.

The "tiers" and "breeding plates," although imported together with the unit, will not be considered part of the building and will thus be classified separately. Ms. Cerina Ye of your client's office advised over the telephone that the "tiers" are aluminum, open-framework style racks with multiple levels designed to hold the "breeding plates," which are simply plastic trays in which the plants will grow. The racks are not built-in equipment, but can be set up in various ways according to the needs of the individual user. From the information provided by Ms. Ye, it is assumed that they stand on the floor, either freestanding or against the inside walls of the building for additional support.

The applicable subheading for the "tiers" (aluminum racks) will be 9403.20.0020, HTS, which provides for other metal furniture: counters, lockers, racks, display cases, shelves, partitions and similar fixtures. The rate of duty will be 3.2%.

The applicable subheading for the "breeding plates" (plastic trays) will be 3926.90.9890, HTS, which provides for other (non-enumerated) articles of plastics. The rate of duty will be 5.3%. Machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes are provided for under the special classification provision of subheading 9817.00.5000, HTS. Upon compliance with the actual use requirements of Section 10.131-139 of the Customs Regulations, the "EC-1800 Plant Cultivator" (including the "tiers" and "breeding plates") would be classifiable in subheading 9817.00.5000, HTS, and would be free of duty.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Paul Garretto, at (212) 466-5779.


Roger J. Silvestri

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