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HQ 960408

NOVEMBER 18, 1997

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 960408 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8516.60.40

Lindsay B. Meyer, Esq.
Venable, Baetjer, Howard & Civiletti
1201 New York Avenue, N.W. Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20005-3917

RE: HQ 087064 Affirmed; Powerhead Assembly for Electric Oven; Combination Electric Heat Source, Light, Fan and Controls for Cooking Oven; Incomplete, Unfinished Oven, GRI 2(a); Subheading 8516.90.65, Top Surface Panels With or Without Heating Elements or Controls That are Parts for Cooking Stoves, Ranges and Ovens; Subheading 8516.90.80, Other Parts

Dear Ms. Meyer:

In letters, dated April 9 and November 3, 1997, on behalf of American Harvest, Inc., you request reconsideration of a decision concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a powerhead assembly for the Jet-Stream oven.


The merchandise in HQ 087064, a Protest Review Decision issued to the District (now Port) Director of Customs, Minneapolis, on August 5, 1991, was described as a powerhead, or an assembly consisting of an electric heat source, an on/off light, fan and controls. These imported components are assembled after importation with a clear plastic cover and base into a Jet-Stream oven which uses forced hot air to perform a variety of cooking functions. HQ 087064 rejected a "parts" claim under subheading 8516.90.20, HTSUS, and held that, as imported, the assembly was an unfinished oven or electrothermic appliance of a kind used for domestic purposes, classifiable in subheading 8516.60.40, HTSUS.

You maintain that in 1994 the "parts" provisions in heading 8516 were expanded to include, among others, subheading

8516.90.65, HTSUS, covering top surface panels with or without heating elements or controls, which are parts for ovens of subheading 8516.60.40, and subheading 8516.90.80, HTSUS, covering other parts for ovens of subheading 8516.60.40, HTSUS.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8516 [o]ther electrothermic appliances of a kind used for domestic purposes; parts thereof:

8516.60 Other ovens; cooking stoves, ranges, cooking plates, boiling rings, grillers and roasters:

8516.60.40 Cooking stoves, ranges and ovens

8516.90 Parts:

Parts for the cooking stoves, ranges and ovens of subheading 8516.60.40:

8516.90.65 Top surface panels with or without heating elements or controls

8516.90.80 Other


Whether the powerhead assembly for a Jet-Stream oven is an incomplete or unfinished good 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. Under GRI 2(a), incomplete or unfinished articles are to be classified as if complete or finished provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. - 3 -

You maintain that because the imported powerhead assembly constitutes a top surface panel with heating element and controls for a Jet Stream oven, under GRI 3(a) subheading 8516.90.65, HTSUS, provides a more complete description for the good than does subheading 8516.60.40, HTSUS. You conclude that continued adherence to the subheading 8516.60.40, HTSUS, classification, would render the parts provision in subheading 8516.90.65, HTSUS, meaningless. Alternatively, you assert a claim as other parts, under subheading 8516.90.80, HTSUS.

Neither of the claimed parts provisions will prevail if the powerhead assembly qualifies as an unfinished oven for tariff purposes. Under GRI 2(a), HTSUS, an incomplete or unfinished good will be classified as the complete or finished good if, as imported, it imparts the essential character to to the complete or finished good. The factor which determines essential character will vary with the goods. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (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. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989). The GRI 3(b) relevant ENs state, at p. 4, that the nature of a material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or the role a constituent material or component plays in relation to the use of the good are among factors Customs may consider in making essential character determinations. Other factors may be relevant, as appropriate.

A complete Jet-Stream oven consists of an electric heat source that generates forced air convection heat, an on/off light, a fan, controls, plus a clear plastic cover and a base. It is a chamber or enclosure that utilizes heat for cooking food and for heating, drying or hardening. Such apparatus is within the common meaning of the term "oven" for purposes of heading 8516. The heat source, light, fan and controls - the powerhead - comprise a unitary subassembly with a spine that attaches to the base to form a single module. The plastic cover is actually the container in which the food is cooked. It has two handles and is positioned on the base, immediately under the powerhead. In addition to being the chamber where the food is cooked, the plastic cover is also the receptacle or vessel which holds the cooked food and is the means by which the food is moved to a kitchen counter or table for serving. It is a significant component of the complete oven. However, despite your statement that the powerhead represents less than 40 percent of the regional value content of the complete oven, as defined in

General Note 12(c)(ii), HTSUS, it contains all the working parts of a complete oven. The fan circulates the heat throughout the food and the control assembly determines the proper heating temperatures and time cycles for different types of food. Moreover, it is the electric heat source within the powerhead that generates the medium which does the actual cooking and, in our opinion, is the single most critical feature of a cooking oven. For these reasons, we conclude that the powerhead, consisting of the electric heat source, on/off light, fan and control assembly, is the single, most indispensable component. The powerhead contains the aggregate of distinctive component parts that establishes the identity of a Jet-Stream oven. Accordingly, it qualifies as an unfinished oven for tariff purposes. This conclusion does not, as you suggest, render the parts provision in subheading 8516.90.65, HTSUS, meaningless. This provision continues to encompass articles that qualify as parts for tariff purposes, that do not qualify as incomplete or unfinished articles classifiable elsewhere.


Under the authority of GRI 2(a), HTSUS, powerheads for the Jet Stream oven are provided for in heading 8516. They are classifiable in subheading 8516.60.40, HTSUS.

HQ 087064, dated August 5, 1991, is affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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