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NY 884662



TARIFF NO.: 8703.23.00

Mr. Andrew S. Jankowski
Travan International Inc.
3221 Valmarie Avenue
Mississauga, Ontario
Canada L5C 2A4

RE: The tariff classification of a specialized mini van from the Czech Republic

Dear Mr. Jankowski:

In your letter dated March 30, 1993 you requested a tariff classification ruling. You have submitted descriptive literature.

The imported product is a modified version of a Chrysler mini van (Dodge Grand Caravan or Plymouth Voyager SE) that will be used to accommodate the driver, as well as passengers who are confined to wheelchairs. Chrysler mini vans are powered by four or six cylinder gasoline engines. You state that the transaction consists of sending long wheelbase Chrysler mini vans (equipped with air conditioning, heavy duty suspension, and heavy duty cooling) to the Czech Republic for modification, and subsequently returning them to the United States for distribution.

The long wheelbase mini van is modified in the Czech Republic as follows:

The car is stretched 10 inches and the door is dropped 10 inches, requiring the addition of a structural steel frame, along with a new steel floor having raised sides.

The original roof over the front-section and mid-section is removed and replaced with a new one-piece formed steel structure, accommodating the 10 inch stretch, plus providing an additional four inch elevation.

The original single side-entry door is replaced by two enlarged side-entry doors, one on each side of the vehicle.

The fuel tank is relocated behind the rear axle and protected by rear and side crash barriers.

The driver's seat is relocated in its vertical axis to maintain
O.E.M. stock height.

The front passenger seat is removed, relocated as above, or replaced with a quick release removable seat.

A manually operated sliding aluminum ramp is assembled and installed beneath the floor of the van, between the two side-entry doors.

All new metal components and sub-assemblies are cleaned, primed and painted.

Following the painting process, the interior of the vehicle is returned to O.E.M. standards.

All steel construction is used throughout (no plastics).

The modified vans feature a ramp that may be extended from either side of the vehicle, a push button control with a fail safe feature, extra wide (35 inch) loading doors, inside headroom of 62 inches, 5 exit doors, and an inside storage area plus a roofrack. These vehicles can accommodate up to 3 wheelchairs and have a rear passenger seat for 2 persons.

The modified vans will be used for transporting disabled persons, specifically those confined to wheelchairs. They will be suitable for use by individuals, as well as such commercial markets as taxis, rental car operations, nursing and retirement homes, municipal transportation, etc.

The applicable subheading for the specialized mini vans will be 8703.23.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, with spark-ignition internal combustion reciprocating piston engine, of a cylinder capacity exceeding 1,500 cc but not exceeding 3,000 cc. The rate of duty will be 2.5 percent ad valorem.

Motor vehicles imported into the United States must comply with the safety regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). If you have any questions concerning these regulations as they apply to the modifications performed on the vehicles, it is suggested you contact the DOT, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590.

Subheading 9802.00.80, HTS, provides a partial duty exemption for articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape, or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process such as cleaning, lubricating, and painting.

All three requirements of subheading 9802.00.80, HTS, must be satisfied before a component may receive a duty allowance. An article entered under subheading 9802.00.80, HTS, is subject to duty upon the full value of the imported assembled article less the cost or value of such U.S. components, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of Section 10.24 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24). If you have any questions regarding subheading 9802.00.80, HTS, please address your request to U.S. Customs Service Headquarters, Office of Regulations and Rulings, 1301 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20229-0001.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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