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HQ 960291

July 31, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 960291 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8482.10.50

Port Director of Customs
1801-K Cross Beam Drive
Charlotte, NC 28217

RE: PRD 1512-96-100158; Thrust Rollers, Roller Assemblies, Parts of Fork Lift Trucks, Machine Elements Incorporating Ball or Roller Elements, Load Rollers, Heading 8431; Section XVI, Note 2; HQ 088888, T.D. 94-22, Mast Guide Rollers; Detrimental Reliance, Section 177.9(e)(2)

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 1512-96-100158, filed against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of roller assemblies and thrust rollers, products of Taiwan. The entry under protest was liquidated on June 21, 1996, and this protest timely filed on July 20, 1996.


The merchandise under protest is described on the Customs Form 6445 as #662145 roller assembly, #683819 thrust roller, #660051 sheave, and #661550 sheave. As the sheaves have been classified in the same provision advocated by the protestant, we presume these articles are not in issue.

The rollers are mounted on the fork carriage of a fork lift truck mast, a mechanism which raises and lowers the forks. Protestant also refers to the merchandise as carriage tightening cams and states they are mounted and tightened against the mast uprights by rotating the rollers about the eccentric bolt hole in their center.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8431 Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the machinery of headings 8425 to 8430:

8431.20.00 Of machinery of heading 8427

8482 Ball or roller bearings,...:

8482.10 Ball bearings:

8482.10.50 Other


Whether the roller assemblies and/or thrust rollers are goods of heading 8482; whether protestant can assert a claim for detrimental reliance based on a ruling that was revoked prior to commencement of the transactions under consideration.



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 on the contracting parties, 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).

Relevant ENs at p.1433 state that heading 84.82 covers all ball, roller or needle roller type bearings. We note the merchandise under protest is described as roller assemblies and thrust rollers, yet they were classified in liquidation as ball bearings. The ENs state the function of bearings of heading 84.82 is to reduce friction. They are generally fitted between the bearing housing and a shaft or axle and are designed to give radial support, thrust support, or both. Ball bearings include those with a steel outer ring locked with a brass inner ring in which are enclosed balls in single or double rows; restricted travel type, of steel, comprising a grooved cylinder, a ball cage, and housing; and, the free-traveling type, of steel, comprising a segment, a casing enclosing the bearing balls, and a guide rail with a groove of triangular section. We note that for bearings to perform their function of reducing friction, they must have flanges or other design features that permit them to attach to the machine with which they will be used.

Ball or roller bearings meeting this EN description which are identifiable parts of machines or other apparatus of Chapters 84 or 85 are provided for in heading 8482, under the authority of Section XVI, Note 2(a), HTSUS. Other parts suitable for use solely or principally with a machine or apparatus of those chapters are classifiable with that machine or apparatus, under the authority of Section XVI, Note 2(b), HTSUS. It is apparent from the Customs Form 6445 that local Customs officials determined that the roller assemblies and thrust rollers under protest conform to the description in the ENs and are goods of heading 8482.


Under section 177.9(e)(2), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(e)(2), protestant applies for a delay in the effective date of any decision classifying merchandise substantially identical to that under protest in subheading 8482.10.50, HTSUS. The claim is that in making entry of the roller assemblies and thrust rollers in issue here he relied to his detriment on HQ 088888, in which steel tires into which assemblies containing rolling elements are incorporated, so-called load rollers, were held to be classifiable in subheading 8431.20.00, HTSUS, as parts of fork-lift trucks. Protestant maintains HQ 088888 is the latest available ruling on fork-lift truck rollers, and that he was unaware that the ruling might have been revoked prior to the date of the entry under protest. HQ 088888 was issued on March 24, 1992. The entry under protest, identified on the Customs Form 19 and the Customs Form 6445 as 110-08093302, is dated March 1, - 4 -

1996. However, T.D. 94-22, published in the Federal Register on March 22, 1994 (59 FR 13450) and in the Customs Bulletin on March 30, 1994 (Vol. 28, No. 13), specifically revoked HQ 087775, dated January 17, 1991, and HQ 088888, and classified certain fork-lift load rollers in subheading 8482.10.50, HTSUS. Neither of these rulings was issued to the protestant in this action. The decision in T.D. 94-22 was stated to be effective as to merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption after April 29, 1994. Publication of T.D. 94-22 provided official notice to all interested parties that HQ 087775 and HQ 088888 were revoked and stated Customs position with respect to the classification of the goods.

Protestant maintains T.D. 94-22 is invalid because of nonconformity with section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993). This requires that notice of a proposal to modify or revoke a Customs ruling be published in the Customs Bulletin and interested parties afforded an opportunity to comment. Protestant claims that no such notice was published. In fact, T.D. 94-22 resulted from a domestic interested party petition filed under 19 U.S.C. 1516. Under this procedure, Customs published the petition itself in the Federal Register and solicited written comments from interested parties, in accordance with section 175.21(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 175.21(a). One commenter responded. The result was T.D. 94-22, which represented a final interpretive rule classifying the merchandise in subheading 8482.10.50, HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the roller assemblies #662145 and the thrust rollers #683819 are provided for in heading 8482. They are classifiable in subheading 8482.10.50, HTSUS. The protest should be DENIED as to classification.

In addition, the evidence of record is insufficient to support the claim that protestant reasonably relied on HQ 088888, a ruling that was effectively revoked prior to the date of the entry under protest. The claim under section 177.9(e)(2), Customs Regulations, is 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 - 5 -
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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