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HQ 961455

AUGUST 31, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961455 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8421.21.00

Port Director of Customs
9901 Pacific Highway
Blaine, WA 98230

RE: PRD 30 04-96-100796; Potable Water Fill/Flush Cart; Wheeled Apparatus Used to Flush and Disinfect Aircraft Water Systems; Filtering or Purifying Instruments and Apparatus, Heading 8421; Principal Purpose, Section XVI, Note 5; Chapter 84, Note 7; Articles of Iron or Steel, Heading 7326; Civil Aircraft Agreement

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 3004-96-100796, filed against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of water filtration apparatus for passenger aircraft. The entry under protest was liquidated on November 15, 1996, and this protest timely filed on December 4, 1996.


The merchandise under protest is a potable (drinkable) water fill/flush cart. It is non self-propelled wheeled apparatus designed to both flush/disinfect the water system aboard passenger aircraft and provide filtered water for drinking and cooking purposes. It consists of a chlorine mixing chamber, inlet water supply and discharge hoses, valves and pressure gauges, and backflow preventer, all in a sheet metal enclosure, mounted on a 2-axle towable trailer. In the flush/disinfect mode, water from a faucet enters the cart's mixing chamber through the inlet hose, where it mixes with the chlorine, then flushes away residues from the water storage tank. In a subsequent operation, water again enters the cart, at 10 gallons per minute, and passes through two permanently installed filters as it fills the water storage tank with potable water.

The fill/flush cart was entered under subheading 8421.29.00, HTSUS, as other filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus. Articles so classified are eligible for duty-free entry under the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft (i.e., Civil Aircraft Agreement), upon conformity with the law and applicable Customs Regulations. On the belief that the fill/flush cart performed a cleaning function, rather than a filtering function, and noting that "cleaning" apparatus does not appear in the 8421 heading text, you liquidated the entry as an article of iron or steel, in HTS heading 7326. Protestant's representative now maintains that the primary function of this apparatus is to provide filtered water to the aircraft. Flushing and disinfecting the plane's water system is claimed to be a secondary function.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7326 Other articles of iron or steel:

7326.90 Other:

7326.90.85 Other

8421 [f]iltering or purifying machinery and apparatus, for liquids or gases;...:

8421.21.00 For filtering or purifying water


Whether the potable water fill/flush cart is a good of heading 8421.


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.

Pursuant to Section XVI, Note 5, HTSUS, the expression "machine" means any machine, machinery, plant, equipment, apparatus or appliance cited in the headings of chapter 84 or

85. Chapter 84, Note 7, HTSUS, states, in part, that a machine which is used for more than one purpose is, for purposes of classification, to be treated as if its principal purpose were its sole purpose.

Because the fill/flush cart performs a filtering function for purposes of heading 8421, it qualifies as machinery and apparatus of that heading. Section XVI, Note 5, authorizes us to substitute for the term "machine" machinery and apparatus, among the other terms appearing in that Note. As its name denotes, the cart operates to flush/disinfect an airplane's water system and to fill the water storage tank with filtered water. These are complementary functions. While cleansing the system necessarily precedes refilling the water storage tank, the latter is the raison detre for the apparatus. We conclude, therefore, that filling the water storage tank with filtered water is the fill/flush cart's principal purpose which, under Chapter 84, Note 7, is to be considered its sole purpose.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the potable water fill/flush cart is provided for in heading 8421. It is classifiable in subheading 8421.21.00, HTSUS.

The protest should be ALLOWED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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