United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1998 NY Rulings > NY B84062 - NY B84159 > NY B84157

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY B84157

May 1, 1997

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:103 B84157


TARIFF NO.: 8479.89.9598

Mr. D. Taylor Pillsbury
Glad & Ferguson
One Sutter Street, Tenth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

RE: The tariff classification of a sputter coating machine from the United Kingdom

Dear Mr. Pillsbury:

In your letter dated April 3, 1997 on behalf of Southwall Technologies you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Your client intends to import a roll coating machine which is designed to place a transparent, conductive, anti-reflective coating onto a clear plastic film base by means of sputtering. Sputtering is a coating process in which the material to be coated is ejected from a target bombarded by ions. The machine will basically consist of a stainless steel cylindrical chamber 10 feet in diameter and 8 feet long, a support structure, DC magnetron sputterers, an electrical control, vacuum pumps and mechanical drives. Initially, the chamber will be evacuated of all air. Rolls of polyethylene teraphthalate film approximately 4 feet wide and 5000 feet long will be unwound by the machine and wrapped around a stainless steel drum 5 feet in diameter. The coating will be applied by means of seven DC magnetron sputtering units while the film is wrapped around the steel drum. After being coated, the film is rewound onto a take-up core. The end product produced by this process will be bonded to the face of a computer monitor screen to form an anti-reflective surface which enhances the CRT's display. The imported coating machine will produce about 2.8 million square feet of coated film per year.

You contend the proper classification for this machine is in subheading 8420.10.9040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for calendering or other rolling machines: other: calendering or other rolling machines for rubber and plastics. In support of your position you cite the language of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Note (EN) to heading 8420, which describes calendering machines as follows:

These machines consist essentially of two or more parallel cylinders or rollers revolving with their surfaces in more or less close contact so as to perform the following operations, whether by pressure alone or by pressure combined with friction, heat or moisture:

(2) The production of certain effects on the surface of sheet materials (other than metal or glass) passed between the rollers, e.g., smoothing (including ironing), lustering, glazing, embossing or graining.

(3) The application of dressings or surface coatings.

You also cite Ruling Letter HQ 955929 dated May 25, 1994 in which Customs held that a machine which utilized pressure and heat generated by two parallel rollers to apply a film coating to the surface of a paper sheet was properly classified in subheading 8420.10.90, HTS.

Based on your written description of the imported machine, as well as the schematic drawings submitted with your letter, the imported machine is not a calendering machine as described by the EN and by Ruling Letter HQ 955929. The surface coating applied in the imported machine will not be produced by the pressure generated by parallel cylinders or rollers as the sheet passes between them. Instead, it is the result of bombarding a target with ions, which dislodges atoms which then adhere to the surface of the film. Accordingly, the imported machine is not a calendering machine and is not classifiable in subheading 8420.10.90, HTS.

As an alternative, you suggest classifying the coating machine in subheading 8515.80.00, HTS, which provides for, among other things, other magnetic pulse welding machines and apparatus, whether or not capable of cutting. However, you concede the machine is not commercially known as a plastic welder, and that the finished product is the result of a coating process rather than a welding process. As this machine does not perform welding, classification in subheading 8515.80.00, HTS, is precluded.

The applicable subheading for the plastic film sputter coating machine will be 8479.89.9598, HTS, which provides for machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere (in chapter 84): other machines and mechanical appliances: other: other: other: other. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Alan Horowitz at 212-466-5494.


Robert B. Swierupski
Chief, Metals & Machinery Branch

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: