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HQ 952404

October 19, 1992

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 952404 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8458.19.00, HTSUS

Mr. Richard W. Leonhard
Southwestern Industries, Inc.
2605 Homestead Place
Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220

RE: Horizontal Lathe, Numerically Controlled; Heading 8458; Machine Tool Minus Apron, Lead Screw, Gear Box, Hand Wheels and Tool Compound; Unfinished Machine Tool for Working Metal; Parts and Accessories of Machine Tools; Heading 8466

Dear Mr. Leonhard:

Your letters of July 2 and 13, 1992, to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, inquiring as to the tariff status of the LUX-Matter 1540 horizontal lathe, imported from Taiwan minus various components, have been forwarded to this office for reply. Our ruling follows.


The merchandise in issue is a manually operated horizontal lathe. It is imported without certain components but is said to be fully functional. The machine tool in issue will be completed in the United States by adding the following components with their cost or value in parenthesis: computer numerical control ($1200), double wall apron fabricated from sheet metal and handwheel assembly ($2000), two motors with servo drive ($800), ballscrews ($1200). You estimate the cost of assembling these components with the imported components at $2100.

You state that the lathe is not numerically controlled and has not been prepared to accept numerical. control. Its surfaces have not been faced, i.e., machined to allow for the future mounting of drive motors and feedback devices required for numerical control. It is indicated that multiple holes must be drilled or tapped in order to install the numerical control. A separate channel will also be carved out near the carriage for oil lines.

Engine lathes or toolroom lathes are principally used in the United States in small shops for turning operations, i.e., removing metal from the outside diameter of small parts.


Whether the imported merchandise comprises an unfinished lathe of heading 8458 for tariff purposes.


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.

GRI 2(a) states in part that any reference in a heading to an article includes a reference to the article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article.

The function of an engine or toolroom lathe is to remove metal from the outside diameter of a workpiece. Such lathes must have at least certain basic components such as the bed, head-stock, tailstock, carriage and cross slide, all referred to collectively as the machine's "iron." In operation, the workpiece is held between a center on the tailstock and an appropriate work holding device on the headstock spindle. The tool is secured to a cross slide which is mounted on a carriage that moves longitudinally along the bed of the machine.

The imported lathe includes all of the components necessary to perform a turning function; it has the aggregate of distinctive component parts that establish the article's identity as an engine lathe. The imported article, therefore, has the essential character of a lathe for removing metal of the type classifiable in heading 8458. For this reason, it is not classifiable as a part or accessory for a lathe.

Subheading 8458.11.00 provides for numerically controlled horizontal lathes while subheading 8458.19.00 covers other horizontal lathes. Numerical control enables a machine tool to carry out machining operations according to a program of numerically-coded instructions. The input data is interpreted by the control system and transformed into mechanical movements of the machine. The omitted parts indicate an intent to add numerical control. However, as stated previously, there is no evidence that the lathe, as imported, has been prepared in anyway to accept numberical control. Thus, there is no
issue of whether the imported lathe may be unfinished for purposes of subheading 8458.11.00. This provision is eliminated from consideration.


Under GRI 1, the unfinished LUX-Matter 1540 horizontal lathe is provided for in heading 8458. Actual classification is in subheading 8458.19.00, HTSUS, as other horizontal lathes for removing metal. The rate of duty on products from Taiwan is 4.4 percent ad valorem.

We are informed that machine tools from Taiwan classifiable in subheading 8458.19.00 are not subject to quantitative restraints. You may confirm this by writing directly to the Director, Office of Agreements Compliance, Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20230. We are providing that office with a copy of this ruling.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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