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HQ 960939

FEBRUARY 10, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 960939 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8426.41.00

Thomas J. O'Donnell, Esq.
O'Donnell, Byrne, Basham & Williams
20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1416
Chicago, ILL 60606

RE: HQ 959626 Affirmed; Container Handling Machines; Reachstacker, Works Truck Fitted With a Crane; Heading 8427, Other Works Trucks Fitted With Lifting or Handling Equipment; Crane, Eo Nomine, Common and Commercial Meaning; NY 881418

Dear Mr. O'Donnell:

In a letter, dated September 12, 1997, on behalf of Mi-Jack Products, you ask that we reconsider a previous ruling to you on the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of the Fantuzzi Reachstackers.

In HQ 959626, dated July 16, 1997, we held that the constacker, railstacker and transtacker, all models of the Reachstacker, were classifiable in subheading 8426.41.00, HTSUS, as works trucks fitted with a crane. In so ruling, we rejected your claim under subheading 8427.20.80, HTSUS, a duty-free provision for other self-propelled works trucks, fitted with lifting or handling equipment.

You now advance two additional arguments in support of the subheading 8427.20.80, HTSUS, classification: an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Standard you maintain does not describe the lifting mechanism of the Reachstacker as a crane, and a Court of International Trade ruling that subheading 8427.20 includes works trucks fitted with any type of lifting or handling equipment without limitation, which brings the Reachstacker within the terms of this provision. This decision will be limited to these new arguments and will incorporate by reference the factual descriptions and legal arguments of HQ 959626.


HQ 959626 contained a comprehensive description of the Reachstacker, which is a mobile, self-propelled machine used to stack, load and unload shipping containers in railroad depots, dockyards and similar transportation terminals. Each consists of a diesel-powered wheeled chassis with enclosed operator's cab in the middle which the parties agree is a works truck. A hydraulically operated telescoping boom with a 0-60 degree angle is mounted at the rear of the machine to which either a spreader or a winch and hook may be attached. The spreader rotates, typically in a range of -95 degrees/+185 degrees, and consists of jaws on each end that compress hydraulically to grip containers by their ends. Reachstackers have a maximum unladen speed of 24-25 kilometers per hour (km/hr) and 23-24.5 km/hr laden. Their turning radius is less than their length.


Whether the Reachstacker's hydraulically operated telescoping boom, with attachments, is a crane 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.

The term crane is not defined in the text of the HTSUS, nor is it described in the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) which Customs routinely consults for guidance in interpreting the scope of the HTSUS. In such cases, tariff terms are to be construed in accordance with their common and commercial meanings which are presumed to be the same. The decision in HQ 959626 relied, in part, on the definition of crane appearing in Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 1986, which you cited in your ruling
request of July 3, 1996. That definition provides, in relevant part:

3a: a machine for raising and lowering heavy weights and transporting them through a limited horizontal distance while holding them suspended and usu. having a jib of timber or steel sometimes affixed to a rotating post held by guys or having a hoisting apparatus supported by a trolley running on an overhead track. 3h a boom of considerable size used in the motion picture and television industry for holding a camera and sometimes a cameraman.

The first additional argument raised in your September 12, 1997, letter, to support the subheading 8427.20.80, HTSUS, classification is that ASME Standard B30.5 (1994), Mobile and Locomotive Cranes - among the lexicons that merit consideration in determining a term's common meaning - requires that wheel-mounted cranes and variations thereof have rotating superstructures, a vertical axis around which the superstructure rotates, and function to lift, lower, and swing loads at various radii. You conclude the Reachstacker does not have a superstructure which rotates about a vertical axis and, thus, cannot be a wheel-mounted crane. We do not agree. Submitted literature indicates the Reachstacker's spreader mechanism rotates at a range of -95 degrees/+185 degrees, presumably through the hydraulic mechanism by which it and the winch and hook attach to the boom. This permits a slewing or horizontally rotating motion. This, combined with the boom's "luffing" or derricking motion, i.e., it can be raised or lowered by varying the angle of inclination, enables the spreader or hook to be brought into position at any desired point within a certain radius.

The second additional argument is the statement in Thomas Equipment Ltd. v. United States, 19 CIT 316 (1995), that heading 8427 covers works trucks fitted with lifting or handling equipment without limitation as to type. You state this comports with the heading 84.27 ENs concerning the rather broad scope of the heading and supports classification of the Reachstacker in subheading 8427.20.80. We should point out that the 84.27 ENs list two specific exceptions, one of which is for works trucks fitted with a crane, the issue previously addressed. For this reason, Thomas Equipment does not apply here.

Your initial position was based on the fact that despite the fact the Reachstacker was a machine for raising and lowering heavy weights while holding them suspended and transporting them through a limited horizontal distance, it lacks the drawworks, pulleys and cables associated with most cranes. We responded by pointing out the lexicons state cranes are "usually" equipped with such features. This clearly implies that some cranes may not be so equipped. The heading 84.26 ENs support this distinction, at p. 1293, where it is stated the heading covers lifting or handling machines usually based on pulley, winch or jacking systems. The distinction is further exemplified by the ASME Standard B30.5 you cite because nowhere under the Section 5-0.2 Definitions in that Standard is there any mention of drawworks, pulleys or cables as necessary components of cranes.

It is clear that there exists machinery which bears the commercial designation crane which does not incorporate guys, hoisting tackle or a rotating boom: the camera crane, referenced on p. 6 of HQ 960939; the JET hydraulic crane, a hand-operated material handling device on a frame with casters. In 3/4 and 2-ton models, it features a boom and adjustable legs, hydraulic ram jack, with hook and chain; and, the Timberjack tree harvester on which is mounted a telescopic, tiltable crane with 236 degree slewing angle that operates entirely by means of hydraulic cylinders.

For heading 8426 purposes, the term crane designates a commodity eo nomine, by specific name, usually one well known to commerce. Such a designation, without limitation or a shown contrary legislative intent, judicial decision or administrative practice, and without proof of commercial designation, will include all forms of the named article.

For the reasons stated above, we remain of the opinion that the term crane is not necessarily limited to those lifting machines with guys, hoisting tackle, pulleys, or by a rotating superstructure, or any combination thereof. Rather, the term includes all forms of the named article. The lifting machine mounted atop the wheeled chassis, the subject of this request for reconsideration, is within the common and commercial meaning of the term crane, which makes the Reachstacker a good of heading 8426. NY 881418, dated January 11, 1993, classified a nearly identical article, identified as the Superstacker Crane, in subheading 8426.41.00, HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Reachstacker models constacker, railstacker and transtacker are provided for in heading 8426. They are classifiable in subheading 8426.41.00, HTSUS. HQ 959626, dated July 16, 1997, is affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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