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HQ 961255

NOVEMBER 9, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961255 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8701.10.00

Mr. John E. Meunier
Nippon Express U.S.A., Inc.
151 Harborside Drive
Logan International Airport
East Boston, MA 02128-2933

RE: Iron Horse; Pedestrian Controlled Tracked Vehicle for the Conveyance of Goods in Forestry, Farming, Hunting; General- Purpose Transport Vehicle; Vehicle Constructed Essentially for Hauling, Tractor, Chapter 87, Note 2

Dear Mr. Meunier:

In your letter of April 20, 1998, on behalf of Tilton Machinery Company, you inquire as to the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of the Jonsered Iron Horse, a product of Sweden. In a subsequent letter, dated October 28, 1998, you provided us with a brochure containing more detailed information, together with a video.


The merchandise in issue is the Jonsered Iron Horse. It comes in models designated the Standard, Pro, and Pro with power winch. The Iron Horse Standard is a pedestrian-controlled tracked vehicle consisting essentially of a steel frame extending the long axis of the vehicle on which is either a 5.4 hp or a 5.4/8.9 hp front-mounted engine. At the midpoint of the frame is a fifth wheel, similar to those found on truck tractors, onto which cargo platforms may be mounted. The Iron Horse Pro is a slightly advanced version of the Standard model with a folding, shelf-type bunk, a work roller to facilitate the loading of heavy objects, and storage boxes for power saws and other tools. This model comes equipped with either a hand winch or a power winch. The Iron Horse models in issue are 108 cm wide and 280 cm long,
weigh 330 kg, 385 kg and 420 kg, respectively, and have a folding steering lever that enables the operator to walk beside or ride on them.

After importation, certain accessories, which are not in issue here, may be added according to the customers' specifications. They may attach to the Iron Horse by means of the fifth wheel or a drawbar hitch, and transform the Iron Horse into a transport vehicle. These include a self-unloading, wheeled timber cart, a motor-operated loader for the Pro model for heavier loading operations, and a wheeled lattice cart with enclosed load platform. A winch-operated tipper platform with removable sideboards and a combi-platform with fold-down panel for rear loading are also available.

The literature describes the Iron Horse as a machine suitable for a variety of off-road transport tasks in rough terrain, to include transporting felled trees in a forest, moving equipment and supplies in agricultural operations, even carrying deer, elk and other game in hunting expeditions.

You indicate that Customs officers at Boston tentatively advised you that the Iron Horse was a tractor provided for in HTS heading 8701.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8701 Tractors (other than tractors of heading 8709):

8701.10.00 Pedestrian controlled tractors

8701.90 Other:

8701.90.50 Other


Whether the Iron Horse is a tractor of heading 8701.


Under General Rule of Interpretation(GRI) 1, HTSUS, goods are to be classified 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. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Chapter 87, Note 2, HTSUS, states that for the purposes of [Chapter 87] "tractors" means vehicles constructed essentially for hauling or pushing another vehicle, appliance or load, whether or not they contain subsidiary provision for the transport, in connection with the main use of the tractor, of tools, fertilizers or other goods.

The ENs for heading 87.01 state, in part on p. 1544, that the heading covers tractors of various types to include tractors for agricultural or forestry work. They may be equipped with a tool box, with a coupling device for trailers or semi-trailers (e.g., on mechanical horses and similar tractive units), or with a power take-off for driving machines. The heading also covers pedestrian controlled tractors (Emphasis original). These are either agricultural or industrial tractors equipped with a single driving axle carried on one or two wheels. They are designed for use with interchangeable instruments which may operate by means of general-purpose power take-off. They are not usually fitted with a seat and the steering is effected by means of two handles. The heading includes tractors fitted with winches (Emphasis original).

In its condition as imported, the Iron Horse is described by the referenced ENs and appears constructed essentially for hauling another vehicle, appliance or load. It is provided for in heading 8701.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Jonsered Iron Horse Standard, the Iron Horse Pro and the Iron Horse Pro with powered winch are provided for in heading 8701. They are classifiable in subheading 8701.10.00, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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