United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1997 HQ Rulings > HQ 959575 - HQ 959703 > HQ 959649

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 959649

APRIL 1, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959649 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8419.39.00

Port Director of Customs
700 Doug Davis Drive
Atlanta, GA 30354

RE: PRD 1704-95- 100633; Painting Booth, Prefabricated Enclosure for Drying Newly Painted Cars; Air Intake Unit, Heat Exchanger, Gas Burner, Extracting Fan, Electric Control Panel; Heading 8419, Machinery for Treatment of Materials by Heating, Drying; Structures of Iron or Steel, Heading 7308; Prefabricated Building, Heading 9406; Specificity, GRI 3(a); NY 870999, NY 879773

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 1704-95-100633, filed against your classification of painting booths from Italy. The protested entry was liquidated on November 13, 1995, and this protest timely filed on December 5, 1995.


The merchandise under protest is the Welbilt painting/drying booth. It is apparatus for painting and drying vehicles or their components. The painting is done manually by a technician standing in the booth, which is a steel enclosure consisting of prepainted interlocked panels with windows and a three-fold entry door measuring 8ft. 2in. x 9ft. 2in. In operation, fresh air is drawn in from the outside by a motor-driven fan, filtered and cleaned of dust, then heated in a plate-type heat exchanger to the temperature indicated on a thermostat. A gas burner heats the plates in the heat exchanger with the heat transferring to the ambient air as it passes over the plates. The heated air is then ducted into a plenum in the ceiling of the booth and down drafted over the newly-painted article. Paint overspray is trapped by dry filters and contaminated air is extracted by motor-driven fans. The entire operation is program-controlled.

The painting booth was entered under a provision in heading 8424, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), for mechanical spraying appliances. The entry was liquidated under a provision in heading 7308 for structures of iron or steel. Provisions in heading 9406 for prefabricated buildings, and in heading 8419, machinery for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature, have been recommended for consideration. Because the actual spray painting of cars and their parts or components is performed manually in the painting/drying booth by a technician, and because protestant has provided no evidence to substantiate the entered classification, we will omit any discussion of that provision.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7308 Structures...and parts of structures...of iron or steel:

7308.90 Other:


7308.90.95 Other

8419 Machinery...for the treatment of materials...by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating...drying,... other than a kind used for domestic purposes:


8419.39.00 Other

9406.00 Prefabricated buildings:

9406.00.80 Other


Whether heading 8419 or heading 9406 provides the most specific description for the painting/drying booth. - 3 -


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).

Heading 7308, the liquidated provision, is in Section XV. Pursuant to Section XV, Note 1(f), if the painting/drying booth is an article of heading 8419, or any other heading of Chapter 84 or Chapter 85, it cannot be classified in heading 7308.

It is clear from the available evidence that this apparatus is principally used to cure/dry paint utilizing heat, and is described in the text of heading 8419. However, relevant ENs, at p. 1582, describe prefabricated or industrialized buildings of heading 9406. These are of any material and can be designed for a variety of uses, to include work site accommodation, shops, sheds and garages. These buildings may or may not be equipped. Only built-in equipment normally supplied is to be classified with the building. Among this is heating and air conditioning equipment. Whether or not the painting/drying booth is "equipped" with heating equipment because it is attached to the booth by ducts is problematic. It is sufficient to say that the booth is prima facie described by heading 9406.

GRI 3(a), HTSUS, states, in relevant part, that where goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. One judicial guideline commonly used in resolving issues of specificity between or among competing tariff provisions is that - 4 -
use provisions generally, but not always, prevail over eo nomine provisions or provisions providing a general description, except where either of the latter provide an obviously more specific description. Heading 8419 is a use provision while heading 9406 is more descriptive in nature. Another guideline favors the provision which has the requirements that are the more narrow and specific or which are the most difficult to satisfy. In this case, heading 8419 describes machinery which does a specific thing - it treats materials - by named processes involving a change of temperature - heating and drying, for example. Goods of heading 9406, on the other hand, perform no active function. Also, they can be of any material, are designed for a variety of uses, and may or may not be equipped. In our opinion, heading 8419 provides the most specific description for the painting/ drying booth. Relevant heading 8419 ENs, at p. 1176, describe tunnel dryers, consisting of large chambers through which products travel by conveyor against a current of hot air. The painting/drying booth functions in substantially the same manner. In addition, NY 870999, dated February 25, 1992, and NY 879773, dated November 24, 1992, classified similar painting/drying booths in subheading 8419.39.00, HTSUS. This eliminates heading 7308 from consideration.


Under the authority of GRI 3(a), HTSUS, the Welbilt painting/drying booth is provided for in heading 8419. It is classifiable in subheading 8419.39.00, HTSUS. Since the rate of duty under this provision is less that the rate under the claimed classification, the merchandise should be reclassified under subheading 8419.39.00 and the protest ALLOWED under that provision.

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 - 5 -
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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: