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HQ 960143

AUGUST 29, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 960143 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8205.59.55

Port Director of Customs
35 West Service Road
Champlain, NY 12919

RE: PRD 0712-96-101015; Camset, Code Cutter, Punch Anvil, Machine for Cutting Keys; Part of Hand-Held Key Cutter, Handtools, N.E.S.I., Heading 8205, Parts and Accessories of Machine Tools, Heading 8466; Section XVI, Note 1(k)

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 0712-96-101015, filed against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a camset for key cutters, a product of Canada.


The device under protest, the Camset AMI, is described as part of a hand-held key machine. In fact, it is the top portion of a hand-held key cutting tool. It is positioned atop a rectangular base metal casting which, together with a spring loaded mechanism and a trigger grip, comprise a tool called the Curtis Clipper. In use, a metal key blank is placed in the Camset and a code designating the key's dimensions set by hand. Squeezing the hand trigger forces the Camset downward against the base metal casting, which punches out a finished key.

The Camset was entered under subheading 8466.93.90, HTSUS, as part of a machine tool for working metal. Your office determined that the key cutter was a hand tool, not a machine tool of HTS heading 8462. Consequently, the camset did not qualify as a part thereof. More importantly, Section XVI, Note 1(k), HTSUS, expressly excludes hand tools, their parts, and other articles classifiable in Chapter 82 from Section XVI (which includes heading 8466).

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8205 Handtools...not elsewhere specified or included...; base metal parts thereof:

8205.59 Other:

8205.59.55 Other

8466 Parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with the machines of headings 8456 to 8465:

8446.93 For machines of headings 8456 to 8461:

8466.93.90 Other


Whether the Camset AMI is part of a machine tool for tariff purposes, or part of a hand tool.


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, 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 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).

Protestant supports the subheading 8466.93.90 classification by maintaining that because the Curtis Clipper key cutter is a machine tool of heading 8462, the Camset which is integral to it qualifies as a part thereof. In addition, protestant cites ENs at p. 1383 which state, in relevant part, that in general machine tools of heading 84.62 are power-driven but similar machines, worked by hand or pedal, are also covered by the heading. They are distinguished from the hand tools of heading 82.05 by the fact that they are usually designed to be mounted on the floor, on a bench, on a wall or on another machine, and are usually provided with a base plate, mounting frame, stand, etc. Protestant reasons that the word "usually" implies that a machine tool need not always be designed to be mounted on the floor or be provided with a mounting frame or stand.

Notwithstanding protestant's claims, if the Curtis Clipper key cutter is a hand tool of chapter 82, Section XVI, Note 1(k) excludes it, and its parts, which include the Camset, from heading 8466. In this respect, the GENERAL ENs at p. 1195 state that tools which, apart from certain specified exceptions, are used in the hand (headings 82.01 to 82.05). In general, the Chapter covers tools which can be used independently in the hand, whether or not they incorporate simple mechanisms such as gearing, crank-handles, plungers, screw mechanisms or levers. Appliances are, however, generally classified in Chapter 84 if they are designed for fixing to a bench, a wall, etc., or if, by reason of their weight or size or the degree of force required for their use, they are fitted with base plates, stands, supporting frames, etc., for standing on the floor, bench, etc. The Curtis Clipper comports with the description for handtools in the GENERAL ENs.

Further, ENs at pp. 1201 and 1202 list handtools such as cold chisels and punches, pin punches, bookbinders' punches and spring operated "pistols" for stapling packages. By function and design, the Curtis Clipper key cutter is compellingly analogous to these examples. It is a handtool of heading 8208, and the Camset, which is integral to and necessary to its completion and proper functioning, is a part thereof.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Camset AMI is provided for in heading 8205. It is classifiable in subheading 8205.59.55,

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 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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