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NY B88016

August 19, 1997

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:102 B88016


TARIFF NO.:8481.20.0050

Mr. Rufus E. Jarman, Jr.
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016

RE: The tariff classification of a caliper proportioning valve from Germany.

Dear Mr. Jarman:

In your letter dated July 24, 1997 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client ITT Automotive, Inc., a division of ITT Industries.

The item in question is identified as part number 03.6583-0018.3 and is described as a caliper proportioning valve. You indicate that the proportioning valve is specifically designed for use in motor vehicles as a component of the vehicle's brake system. A sample, descriptive information and a technical drawing were submitted.

Brake systems for modern vehicles rely on the principles of hydraulics to transmit power to the vehicle's brakes. The caliper proportioning valve is one of several types of hydraulic valves commonly found in brake systems. This particular sample appears to be a height sensing proportioning valve which controls the pressure of brake fluid reaching the rear brakes in response to changes in the vehicle's weight distribution.

Pressure through the proportioning valve is modulated by its internal closure mechanism which is actuated through an external lever. Contrary to your belief that the proportioning valve cannot function as a hydraulic valve and has no capability to regulate brake fluid until it is attached with the brake lines and other components, it is in and of itself a complete and functional valve.

You indicate that your client has been entering the valves under heading 8708, Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for "parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705". However, during a recent compliance assessment, your client was advised by a Customs Compliance Assessment Team (CAT) that the correct classification for the proportioning valve is under HTSUS heading 8481.

Merchandise is classifiable under the 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.

Heading 8481 is an eo nomine provision in that it provides for valves by name. While you argue that there is no eo nomine provision for "caliper proportioning valves" as such anywhere in the HTSUS, absent limiting language, or a shown contrary legislative intent, judicial decision, or administrative practice, and without proof of commercial designation, an eo nomine designation will include all forms of the named article. The proportioning valve is a valve in common meaning and is provided for as an article of heading 8481.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory notes may be utilized. In part, Explanatory Note 84.81 explains that valves remain in HTSUS heading 8481 even if specialized for use on a vehicle. Accordingly, the proportioning valve remains an article of HTSUS heading 8481, even though dedicated for use as a brake component in a motor vehicle.

Heading 8708, HTSUS, which provides for parts and accessories of motor vehicles, is in section XVII of the HTSUS. Note 2(e) to section XVII provides that the expression "parts and accessories" does not apply to the articles of HTSUS heading 8481, whether or not they are identifiable as for goods (e.g. motor vehicles) of this section. Consequently, because we find that the proportioning valve is an article of HTSUS heading 8481, it cannot be classified in HTSUS heading 8708.

The applicable subheading for the caliper proportioning valve will be 8481.20.0050, HTSUS, which provides for other hydraulic valves. The rate of duty will be 2.7 percent ad valorem.

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.


Robert Swierupski
Chief, Metals and Machinery Branch

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