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NY 883971

April 12, 1993

CLA-2-84:S:N:N3:102 883971


TARIFF NO.: 8481.80.9050

Mr. Ed Baker
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
30 West Service Road
Champlain, N.Y. 12919-9703

RE: The tariff classification of an Interlocking Preaction Modular Fire System from Canada

Dear Mr. Baker:

In your letter dated March 15, 1993, on behalf of your client, Fireflex Systems Inc., Quebec, Canada, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The item involved in this request is the "TotalPac" interlocking preaction modular system. This is a self contained unit consisting of a metal cabinet housing assorted flow control valves, control panel, air compressor, and pressure gauges. The primary function of this system is to prevent accidental discharge of water into the piping network serving a fire protection sprinkler system. It does this by pressurizing the piping network with compressed air supplied by the compressor, and by blocking water flow with a deluge valve. To activate water flow to the sprinkler heads, two events must take place: a pressure drop below 15 psi must take place (caused by a seal on a sprinkler head melting from exposure to heat), and one or more electronic fire detectors must be actuated. If both factors occur, then various valves will open, activating the deluge valve, which will allow water to rush to the sprinkler heads while simultaneously energizing alarms.

The system contains 15 separate valves, three pressure gauges, an air compressor, an electronic control panel, and assorted interconnecting piping. We note Section Note 3 to Section XVI of the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States, which asserts that "composite machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a whole, and other machines adapted for the purpose of performing two or more complimentary functions or alternative functions are to be classified as if consisting only of that component or as being that machine which performs the principal function." It is our opinion that the essential function of the TotalPac is to control water flow and that the valve assembly constitutes the principal component.

The applicable subheading for the TotalPac Interlocking Preaction Modular Fire System will be 8481.80.9050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for taps, cocks, valves snd similar appliances, other than hand-operated, check, pressure reducing, or safety, other. The duty rate will be 3.7 percent ad valorem.

Goods classifiable under subheading 8481.80.9050, HTS, which have originated in the territory of Canada, will be entitled to a free rate of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

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

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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