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NY A89762

December 12, 1996

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:102 A89762


TARIFF NO.: 8481.30.1090, 8481.30.2010, 8481.30.2090

Mr. William H. Sherman
Great Lakes Customs Brokerage, Inc.
85 River Rock Drive (#202)
Buffalo, New York 14207

RE: The tariff classification of valves manufactured in various countries, imported from Canada.

Dear Mr. Sherman:

In your letter dated November 20,1996 you requested, on behalf of your client S.F. Equipment, Inc., a tariff classification ruling and advice on requirements for marking country of origin.

The items in question are wafer type check valves, globe type check valves and "foot" valves. The valves are manufactured from a variety of materials, including iron, steel, copper and their alloys. The descriptive literature received reveals that all of the valves are hand operated and have pressure ratings of 125 pounds per square inch (psi) or over.

A check valve is a one-directional valve which is opened by fluid flow in one direction and which closes automatically to prevent flow in the opposite direction. The check valves are characterized, i.e., globe type or wafer type, by the of design of the closure element within the valve. All the valves identified in the product literature you submitted, including the "foot" valve, are check valves.

The "foot" valve is a check valve that has been modified to accept a screen basket. The addition of the screen basket simply prevents debris from entering the intake of the valve. You specifically question whether or not the foot valve would be considered a filter, presumably for tariff purposes.

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

In part, heading 8421, HTS, provides for filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus for liquids. In understanding the language of the HTS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTS.

The relevant Explanatory Note for heading 8421 states much of the filtration or purification plant of this heading is purely static equipment with no moving parts. While the heading covers filters and purifiers of all types, it does not, however, include filter funnels, milk strainers, vessels, tanks, etc., simply equipped with metallic gauze or other straining material. A check valve equipped with a strainer basket would not be considered a filter for tariff purposes.

Taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances, including check valves, are provided for under heading 8481, HTS. Here, the relevant Explanatory Note states in pertinent part that taps, valves, etc., remain classified within the heading even if incorporating other accessory features (e.g., short lengths of tubing; short lengths of tube ending in a shower rose; small drinking fountain bowls). The strainer basket is an accessory feature, with its function of preventing debris from entering the valve intake subordinate to the main function of controlling the flow of liquid. The foot valve remains classified within the tariff provision for valves.

The applicable subheading for the wafer type check valves, globe type check valves and foot valves made of iron will be 8481.30.2010, HTS, which provides for check valves of iron. The rate of duty will be 6.8 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for check valves made of steel will be 8481.30.2090, HTS, which provides for check valves of steel. The rate of duty will be 6.8 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for check valves made of copper will be 8481.30.1090, HTS, which provides for check valves of copper, having a pressure rating of 850 kPa (123.5 psi) or over. The rate of duty will be 4.6 percent ad valorem.

The marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article.

Since the check valves are sourced from various countries, each valve is to be marked to indicate its particular country of manufacture as the country of origin. For the foot valves, which are check valves sourced from various countries and modified in Canada, the country of origin will be the country of manufacture of the unmodified check valve, which is the single component that imparts the essential character of the foot valve.

As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it without strain.

With regard to the permanency of a marking, section 134.41(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.41(a)), provides that as a general rule marking requirements are best met by marking worked into the article at the time of manufacture. For example, it is suggested that the country of origin on metal articles, such as the valves, be die sunk, molded in, or etched. However, section 134.44, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134.44), generally provides that any marking that is sufficiently permanent so that it will remain on the article until it reaches the ultimate purchaser unless deliberately removed is acceptable.

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

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 Kenneth T. Brock at 212-466-5493.


Roger J. Silvestri

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