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HQ 960076

JUNE 19, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 960076 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7326.90.85

Port Director of Customs
300 S. Ferry St.
Terminal Island, CA 90731

RE: PRD 2704-96-103184; Tire Locking Chock, Apparatus for Locking Tandem Wheels in Place to Keep Them From Turning; Wedge Jack, Heading 8425; Threaded Rod Between Base Metal Plates With Reverse Threads and Nuts; Parts of Jacks, Heading 8431; Articles of Iron or Steel

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 2704-96-103184, filed against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a tire locking chock, a product of Taiwan. The entry under protest was liquidated on October 11, 1996, and this protest timely filed on October 18, 1996.


A tire locking chock is a device that locks tandem wheels on a trailer or other wheeled platform in place by applying opposing force to the tires, thus preventing them from turning. The device consists of a steel rod with a threaded middle portion positioned between two V-shaped iron or steel plates or wedges. One half of the middle portion of the rod has a left-handed thread and wing nut and the other half has a right-hand thread and a hex nut. Turning the nuts either by a wrench or by hand forces the steel wedges outward until they become wedged against the tires, thus stabilizing the vehicle.

The chock was entered under a provision of HTS heading 8425, for jacks. You liquidated the entry under a provision in HTS heading 7326, as other articles of iron or steel. Protestant maintains that the wedging action which the locking chock performs prevents tandem tires from rotating. The claim is that this is a jacking function appropriate to goods of heading 8425. - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7326 Other articles of iron or steel:

7326.90 Other:

7326.90.85 Other

8425 Pulley tackle and hoists other than skip hoists; winches and capstans; jacks:


8425.49.00 Other

8431 Parts Suitable for Use Solely or Principally With the Machinery of Headings 8425 to 8430:

8431.10.00 Of machinery of heading 8425


Whether the tire locking chock is a jack for tariff purposes; whether it is part of a jack.


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 - 3 -
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).

Relevant ENs at p. 1291 state that jacks of heading 8425 are designed to raise heavy loads through short distances. The heading includes rack and pawl jacks, screw jacks in which the screw is raised by rotation or by rotating a nut fixed in the jack base, and telescopic screw jacks operated by the action of two or more concentric screws, the outer screw turning in the nut in the jack base. Among the special types of jacks listed in the ENs are those for lifting automobiles or railway rolling stock, those for anchoring cranes or other heavy articles by lifting them, and horizontal action jacks for moving girders or building sections. The characteristic these articles share is their ability to move heavy objects vertically or horizontally. In our opinion, the tire locking chock does not function to "move" or wedge the tires of a trailer apart, but simply to fit snugly against the tires to prevent the trailer from rolling. This is not a function appropriate to jacks of heading 8425.

The provision in heading 8425 describes jacks eo nomine, by name. There is no evidence that tire locking chocks are commonly bought and sold or commercially known as jacks. In addition, tire locking chocks are not part of some larger apparatus that does perform a jacking function. For this reason, they are not parts of heading 8431.

Relevant ENs at p. 1126 state, in relevant part, that heading 7326 covers all iron or steel articles obtained by a variety of processes, other than articles included in the preceding headings of Chapter 73, or included in Chapters 82 or 83, or more specifically covered elsewhere in the Nomenclature. We conclude that the tire locking chock is a good of heading 7326.


Under the authority of GRI 1, tire locking chocks are provided for in heading 7326. They are classifiable in subheading 7326.90.85, 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 - 4 -
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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