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HQ 959571

DECEMBER 3, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959571 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7318.29.00

Port Director of Customs
P.O. Box 619050
Fort Worth Airport
Dallas, TX 75261

RE: PRD 5501-95-100536; C50L HUCKBOLT Fastener; Pin-and-Collar F astener; Cylindrical Shaped Fastener of Carbon Steel With Round Head and Annular Grooves, Non-Threaded Collar of Zinc Plated Steel; Rivets, Subheading 7318.23.00; Other Non-Threaded Articles, Subheading 7318.29.00; Tubular or Bifurcated Rivets, Subheading 8308.20.60; Remington Rand, Inc. v. U.S., Avdel Corp. v. U.S.

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 5501-95-100536, filed against your classification of a pin-and-collar fastener called the HUCKBOLT. The entries under protest were liquidated on September 22, 1995, and this protest timely filed on December 20, 1995. Samples and a brief from counsel for the protestant, dated December 19, 1995, were forwarded to us with the protest file.


The merchandise under protest is the C50L HUCKBOLT and consists of a steel pin and collar. The pin is of carbon steel, 3 1/2 inches long, with a rounded head on one end and flat on the other end. The shank has a series of annular grooves along its entire length and is indented or recessed around the circumference at the midpoint. The collar is 3/4 inch in diameter, unthreaded, of zinc plated, low carbon steel. The shank of the steel pin is inserted through holes in the pieces to be fastened and the collar slipped on. A hydraulic fastening tool completes the joining by swaging or upsetting the collar into the end of the pin, presumably snapping off the bottom portion of the pin below the recess. - 2 -

The HUCKBOLT was entered under subheading 7318.23.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), a provision for rivets, of iron or steel. Counsel for the protestant maintains this fastener conforms to a description for rivets found in the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes for heading 83.18, i.e., they are non-threaded, usually cylindrical articles with round heads used for the permanent assembly of metal parts. Counsel cites two decisions from the United States Customs Court decided under tariff nomenclatures that predated the HTSUS, purporting to establish as relevant characteristics of a rivet that an article serve to hold other articles or materials together through the presence of a head formed on each end. Your office determined that the pin functioned in the manner of a fastener. However, because the pattern was rolled into the shank in the form of annular grooves, rather than in the axial plane, as with real threads, you classified the pin as a non-threaded fastener in subheading 7318.29.00, HTSUS, and the collar as an article of iron or steel in subheading 7326.90.85, HTSUS.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7318 Screws, bolts, nuts, coach screws, screw hooks, rivets, cotters, cotter pins, washers (including spring washers) and similar articles, of iron or steel:

Non-threaded articles

7318.23.00 Rivets...0.2 cents/kg

7318.29.00 Other...4.5 percent ad valorem

7326 Other articles of iron or steel:

7326.90 Other:


7326.90.85 Other...4.6 percent ad valorem


Whether the HUCKBOLT is a rivet 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 description in the ENS which counsel cites, i.e., that rivets are non-threaded, usually cylindrical articles with round heads used for the permanent assembly of metal parts, is inconclusive in establishing the tariff status of the HUCKBOLT. Moreover, in the first case counsel cites, Remington Rand, Inc. v. United States, 20 Cust. Ct. 1, C.D. 1075 (1947), the issue was whether articles that were headless on both ends could nevertheless be rivets under the Tariff Act of 1930. This decision is not dispositive here as the HUCKBOLT is dramatically different in terms of design and function. The second case, Avdel Corp. v. United States, 73 Cust. Ct. 200, C.D. 4575 (1974), turned on whether the presence of a mandrel or pin could preclude a threaded fastener from being a rivet under the HTSUS predecessor tariff code, the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). In that case, the withdrawal of the mandrel caused the shell or body of the fastener to collapse, thus forming a second head on the other side of the materials or articles being joined. This case, too, is factually distinguishable. Both cases, however, based their decisions on the common or commercial meanings of the term rivet as gleaned from dictionaries and authoritative technical sources. Common among the cited definitions is the fact that the joining function is completed by hammering or otherwise deforming one end into a head. Cited as an authoritative technical source in Avdel was the Glossary of Terms for Mechanical Fasteners, published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. That publication - 4 -
defines rivet as "A headed metal fastener used to join parts by inserting the shank through aligned holes in each piece and forming a head on the headless end by upsetting." The HUCKBOLT does not function in this manner. Rivets tend to be self-contained articles which do not require additional components such as collars to perform their intended service application. For these reasons, the HUCKBOLT is not a rivet for tariff purposes. However, it is a 2-piece, non-threaded fastener. Because of its function and design, it is similar to the articles named in the text of heading 7318.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the C50L HUCKBOLT is provided for in heading 7318. It is classifiable in subheading 7318.29.00, HTSUS.

The protest should be DENIED. 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 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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