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HQ 961005

APRIL 7, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961005 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8514.10.40, 8514.10.80

Mr. Darrell Sekin Jr.
DJS International Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 612785
DFW Airport, Texas 75261

RE: NY 818472 and NY A81746 Revoked; Industrial Furnace for Diffusion, Oxidation or Annealing of Semiconductor Wafers, Subheading 8514.30.20; Other Resistance Heated Furnace; GRI 6

Dear Mr. Sekin:

In NY 818472, dated February 20, 1996, the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, responded to your ruling request on behalf of Tokyo Electron Oregon and confirmed that the ALPHA-8D vertical furnace for the oxidation of semiconductor wafers was classifiable in subheading 8514.30.20, HTSUS, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other industrial or laboratory electric furnaces and ovens, and that the ALPHA-8C LP-CVD, a furnace incorporating a low pressure chemical vapor deposition unit, was classifiable in subheading 8479.89.85, HTSUS, as a machine or mechanical appliance having individual functions.

NY A81746, dated April 17, 1996, amended NY 818472 by clarifying that in addition to the model 8D vertical furnace only the furnace component of the ALPHA-8C LP-CVD was being imported.

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 818472 and NY A81746 was published on February 25, 1998, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 32, Number 8.


The ALPHA-8D vertical diffusion furnace was described in the ruling request as a furnace operating at atmospheric pressure with a normal temperature range of 850 to 1200 degrees Centigrade, that is capable of oxide diffusion or oxidation, oxide deposition, or annealing, all operations used in preparing the surface of semiconductor wafers for later manufacturing operations. The ALPHA-8C furnace, operating at temperatures of between 500 and 850 degrees Centigrade, was described as a component of a low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) system for the processing of semiconductor wafers using low pressure chemical vapor deposition. Vapor deposition technology involves the successive layering of thin films onto wafer substrates to form inductive coils, poles and connectors on the wafers which result in specific, measurable micro levels of semiconductivity. It now appears that both furnace models are, in fact, resistance heated, that is, the heating element is a metal resistance wire that is wrapped around the outside of the furnace tube to provide even heat throughout the zone. Alternating current from an element transformer heats the wire. The source of heat was not clear at the time NY 818472 and NY A81746 were issued.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8514 Industrial or laboratory electric...furnaces and ovens...; parts thereof:

8514.10 Resistance heated furnaces and ovens:

8514.10.40 For the manufacture of semiconductor devices on semiconductor wafers

8514.10.80 Other

8514.30 Other furnaces and ovens:

8514.30.20 For diffusion, oxidation or annealing of semiconductor wafers


Whether the ALPHA-8D vertical furnace and the 8C furnace component of the ALPHA-8 LPCVD are resistance heated.


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. GRI 6 states in part that the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes, and to Rules 1 through 5 applied by appropriate substitution of terms. Only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

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. 1463, state that electric furnaces and ovens of heading 85.14 are of many types used for many purposes. They are described as consisting essentially of a more or less closed space or vessel in which a relatively high temperature is obtained. Among the furnaces and ovens covered by heading 85.14 are (A) Resistance heated furnaces and ovens in which the heat is produced by the passage of a current through heating resistors (Emphasis original). The ALPHA-8D vertical diffusion furnace and the furnace component of the ALPHA-8C LP-CVD system both meet this description.

For purposes of GRI 6, the furnace units will be classified in the subheading of heading 8514 that most narrowly and specifically describes them, that is, the subheading having the requirements that are the more difficult to satisfy. In this case, subheading 8514.10 describes a particular group of furnaces by their singular source of heat but without regard to any specific function they may perform. Subheading 8514.30 on the other hand, describes a residual group of furnaces but not those that are resistance heated. It is apparent that no resistance heated furnaces can be classified in subheading 8514.30 but that furnaces for diffusion, oxidation or annealing can be classified
in subheading 8514.10 if they are resistance heated. Therefore, we conclude that subheading 8514.10, HTSUS, is a more specific provision for the furnace units in issue than is subheading 8514.30, HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, made applicable at the subheading level through GRI 6, the ALPHA-8D vertical diffusion furnace and the model 8C furnace unit for the ALPHA-8 LPCVD system are provided for in heading 8514. They are classifiable in subheadings 8514.10.40 or 8514.10.80, HTSUS, as appropriate.

NY 818472, dated February 20, 1996, and NY A81746, dated April 17, 1996, are 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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