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HQ 960308

October 7, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 960308 HMC


TARIFF NO.: 8708.29.50

Mr. Raul Campos
TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Inc.
3801 Ursula St.
McAllen, TX 78503

RE: Buckle Assembly; Subheadings 8708.29.50 and 8708.99.8080; Parts and Accessories of Motor Vehicles of Headings 8701 to 8705; Other parts and accessories of bodies; NY 807765, revoked.

Dear Mr. Campos:

This is in response to your request for reconsideration of New York Ruling (NY) 807765, dated March 22, 1995. In NY 807765, Customs classified a buckle assembly of an automotive seat belt system under subheading 8709.99.8080 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other parts and accessories of motor vehicles.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by 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), notice of the proposed revocation of NY 807765 was published on September 3, 1997, in the Customs Bulletin,Volume 31, Number 36.


NY 807765 described the merchandise as a buckle assembly that was part of an automobile seat belt system. Its primary purpose was described as "to join with the auto safety belt set lap front to support restraint." Based on this description, the merchandise was classified under subheading 8708.99.8080, HTSUS, as other parts and accessories of motor vehicles. An examination of the sample submitted now shows that the merchandise is a strip of webbing sewn through the hole of a metal buckle encased in hard plastic housing on one end and sewn through the hole of a metal "anchor" on the other end.


Whether the buckle assembly is classifiable as other parts and accessories of motor vehicles under 8708.99.80, HTSUS, or as other parts and accessories of bodies under 8708.29.50, HTSUS.


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, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. GRI 6 states that the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of this rule, the relative section, chapter and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires.

Heading 8708 provides for parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705. Safety seat belts are described in subheading 8708.21.00 which also includes other parts and accessories of bodies (including cabs). There is no specific provision for parts of safety seat belts. Customs believes that parts of safety seat belt's are provided by subheading 8708.29.50, the basket provision for other parts and accessories of bodies (including cabs).

Based on new evidence presented and the examination of the sample submitted, Customs now finds that the buckle assembly's primary purpose, when anchored to the interior of a vehicle body, is to form half of an automotive seat belt safety system. When the buckle of this item is clasped to an automotive seat belt insert, the whole provides a safety restraint for seated passengers. We therefore conclude that the applicable subheading for the buckle assembly is 8708.29.50, HTSUS, the subheading applicable to parts of seat belts, and not subheading 8708,99.80, HTSUS.


The buckle assembly is provided for in heading 8708, HTSUS. They are classifiable under subheading 8708.29.50, HTSUS, as "Other parts and accessories of bodies: Other: Other:."


NY 807765, dated March 22, 1995, is revoked.

In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director

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