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HQ 961330

APRIL 7, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961330 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8514.10.40, 8514.10.80

Mr. Michael Morgan
Kokusai Electric Co., Ltd. America
1961 Concourse Drive, Suite C
San Jose, California 95131-1729

RE: NY 862517 Modified; Oxidation/Diffusion Furnace, Resistance Heated Furnace; Subheading 8514.30.20, Other Furnaces for Diffusion, Oxidation or Annealing of Semiconductor Wafers; GRI 6

Dear Mr. Morgan:

NY 862517, which the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, issued to you on May 8, 1991, in part classified a vertical diffusion furnace in subheading 8514.30.00, Harmonized tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other furnaces for diffusion, oxidation or annealing of semiconductor wafers.

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 modification NY 862517 was published on February 25, 1998, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 32, Number 8.


The merchandise in issue is the VERTRON model DD-803V vertical diffusion furnace designed to oxidize/diffuse the surface of silicon semiconductor wafers to prepare them for further processing. It has a working temperature range of between 400 to 1,150 degrees Centigrade and weighs approximately 1,500 kg. NY 862517 also addressed the VERTRON model DJ-803V which combines a furnace unit with a vacuum pump into a low pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) system. The classification of the model DJ-803V is not in issue here.

The subheading 8514.30.00, HTSUS, classification expressed in NY 862517 with respect to the VERTRON model DD-803V furnace was based on insufficient information as to its source of heat. It now appears that this furnace is, 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 VERTRON models DD-803V and DJ-803V are successor models to the VERTRON models DD-802V and DJ-802V, the classification of which was addressed in NY 855845, dated September 14, 1990. The principal difference is that the older models process wafers up to six inches in diameter whereas the newer models can process 8-inch diameter wafers.

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 VERTRON model DD-803V vertical diffusion furnace is 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 VERTRON model DD-803V furnace meets this description.

For purposes of GRI 6, this furnace will be classified in the subheading of heading 8514 that most narrowly and specifically describes it, 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 designed to oxidize and/or diffuse silicon wafers 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 instant furnace than is subheading 8514.30, HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, made applicable at the subheading level through GRI 6, the VERTRON model DD-803V vertical diffusion furnace is provided for in heading 8514. It is classifiable in subheadings 8514.10.40 or 8514.10.80, HTSUS, as appropriate.

NY 862517, dated May 8, 1991, is modified with respect to the VERTRON model DD-803V vertical diffusion furnace. 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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