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NY 815864

November 9, 1995

CLA-2-73:R:N1:117 815864


TARIFF NO.: 7307.23.00

Ms. Kathleen M. Murphy
Katten, Muchin & Zavis
525 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, Illinois 60661-3693

RE: The tariff classification of stainless steel tube fittings from Japan.

Dear Ms. Murphy:

In your letter dated October 5, 1995 on behalf of Fujikin of America, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Two kinds of Type 316L stainless steel "Fujikin" fittings, sleeves and fine fits, will be imported. Illustrations of both kinds of fittings were submitted with your request. The sleeve is flanged on one end so that it can be union connected with a female hexagon nut and then connected to a male threaded fitting. The other end of the sleeve is faced square and the connection is made by welding using an automatic orbital welding process. The fine fits are faced square on both ends and welded connections are made using an automatic orbital welding process.

You state that the automatic orbital welding process, although "butt in configuration" (in that it is placed end-to-end without overlapping), does not employ the pipe butt-type welding methodology. In the orbital method, the ends of the tubes and the tube fittings are faced square (e.g., the ends are completely square to the axis of the tube extension of the fitting or to the axis of the tube). The two ends are aligned and fused together using pulsed arcs (electrodes). This welding process uses the melted material from the two ends to fuse the two pieces together. In pipe butt welding, the fittings and pipe ends are beveled or chamfered; when the fitting is placed against the end of a pipe, a shallow channel is created to accommodate the bead of the weld which joins the fittings to the pipe.

You express the opinion that the "Fujikin" fittings are classifiable in subheading 7307.29.00, which provides for other tube or pipe fittings of stainless steel rather than in subheading 7307.23.00, which provides for butt welding fittings of stainless steel. You state that these fittings are not designed to be "butt-welded" as this term is understood in the domestic pipe fitting industry. You also state that these fittings are similar to the stainless steel fittings that were the held to be classifiable in subheading 7307.29.00 in NY rulings 808922 dated 4/24/95 and 889873 dated 9/27/93.

The fittings which were classified in the NY rulings you cite are totally different than the "Fujikin" fittings. The fitting which was classified in subheading 7307.29 in ruling 808922 was a threaded forged stainless steel union and the fittings which were the subject of NY ruling 889873 were ductwork fittings. The Explanatory Notes to heading 7307 state that "In the case of butt-welding, the ends of the fittings and of the tubes are square cut or chamfered."

The applicable subheading for the "Fujikin" sleeves and fine fits will be 7307.23.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for tube or pipe fittings (for example, couplings, elbows, sleeves), of iron or steel, other, of stainless steel, butt welding fittings. The rate of duty will be 6 percent ad valorem.

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

It is noted that you have received, from the Department of Commerce, a scope ruling finding that the "Fujikin" sleeves and fine fits are outside the scope of the antidumping order on stainless steel butt-weld pipe fittings from Japan, case A-588-702.

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 Paula Ilardi at 212-466-5476.


Roger J. Silvestri

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