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NY 886868

June 8, 1993

CLA-2-87:S:N:N1:101 886868


TARIFF NO.: 8705.90.0000

Ms. Valerie L. Matthews
Tower Group International, Inc.
128 Dearborn Street
Buffalo, NY 14207-3198

RE: The tariff classification of a sewer inspection vehicle from Canada.

Dear Ms. Matthews:

In your letter dated May 27, 1993, on behalf of Ratech Electronics Ltd., Concord, Ontario, Canada, you requested a tariff classification ruling. This letter is a supplement to your ruling request dated May 4, 1993, and contains additional information. You have submitted descriptive brochures.

The imported product is a sewer inspection motor vehicle. The base vehicle is a United States manufactured 1993 Ford E350 that is shipped to Canada. In Canada various sewer inspection and video equipment is installed in the vehicle.

Equipment manufactured in Canada that is installed in the vehicle include:

One model 3000 camera control unit
Two 19 inch by 24 inch equipment modules
One camera plug in lighthead assembly, 70 watts One camera plug-in lighthead assembly, 300 watts One electronic/mechanical cable counter assembly One cable reel speed control
One camera transportation and skid assembly One remote camera transporter one 12 VDC battery and charger
One color sewer inspection camera (camera module is manufactured in Japan)

Equipment manufactured and/or assembled in Canada using components from other countries include:

One 13 inch Panasonic color monitor (manufactured in Japan) One 9 inch Panasonic black 7 white monitor (manufactured in Japan)
One Data Tech video titler (manufactured in Canada from Japanese parts)

One television cable reel assembly (manufactured in the U.S.) One 1000 foot video transmission cable (manufactured in the U.S.)
Two JVC VCR (manufactured in Japan)

The color camera control unit controls the functions of the color camera in the sewer line and feeds the video signal to the Data Tech video titler. The video titler is used to insert information onto the video picture such as the type of pipe that is being inspected. The video signal is displayed on the color monitor as the camera is going through the line so the operator may see and report on cracks or other pipe damage. This information is fed to the video recorders so the operator and the customer have a tape recording of the inspection and of any problems that may have been found. All of these components are racked-mounted into a fixed bulkhead in the vehicle (but are removable for servicing).

The Ford vehicle equipped with the listed components is used to inspect sewer pipes for all types of purchasers, such as cities, towns or other municipalities.

The classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) is governed by 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..." The pertinent heading is 8705, HTS, which provides for special purpose motor vehicles, other than those designed for the transport of persons or goods.

In understanding the language of the HTS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes (EN), although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). In part, EN 87.05 states that "this heading covers a range of motor vehicles, specially constructed or adapted, equipped with various devices that enable them to perform certain non-transport functions, i.e., the primary purpose of a vehicle of this heading is not the transport of persons or goods."

Based upon the above definition of heading 87.05, HTS, the sewer inspection vehicle meets the qualifications of a special purpose motor vehicle.

The applicable subheading for the sewer inspection vehicle will be 8705.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for special purpose motor vehicles, other than those principally designed for the transport of persons or goods, other. The rate of duty will be 3.7 percent ad valorem.

Pursuant to the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement of 1988 (FTA), automotive goods which originated in the territory of Canada, as defined in subdivision (c)(vii)(B) of General Note 3(c), HTS, that are imported into the customs territory of the United States and that are entered under a provision for which a rate of duty appears in the "Special" subcolumn followed by the symbol "CA" in parentheses, are eligible for the tariff treatment set forth in the "Special" subcolumn.

For the purposes of subdivision (c)(vii) of this note, goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for treatment as "goods originating in the territory of Canada" only if --

(1) they are goods wholly obtained or produced in the territory of Canada and/or the United States, or

(2) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada and/or the United States, so as to be subject --

(I) to a change in tariff classification as described in the rules of subdivision (c)(vii)(R) of this note, or

(II) to such other requirements subdivision (c)(vii)(R) of this note may provide when no change in tariff classification occurs, and they meet the other conditions set out in subdivisions (c)(vii)(F), (G), (H), (I), (J) and (R) of this note.

Goods classifiable under subheading 8705.90, HTS, which originated in the territory of Canada, may be entitled to a 2.5 percent rate of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) upon compliance with all applicable regulations. If you believe the subject sewer inspection vehicle qualifies for a special rate of duty under the FTA, please submit your request and all pertinent data to:

U.S. Customs Service Headquarters
Office of Regulations and Rulings
1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20224-0001

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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