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NY C84875

March 11, 1998

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:103 C84875


TARIFF NO.: 8428.90.8085

Mr. James E. Pace
Gliderol International USA
2317 Ridgewood
Plano, TX 75074-4140

RE: The tariff classification of a manual fire shutter operator from Australia

Dear Mr. Pace:

In your letter dated February 18, 1998 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The Grifco manual fire shutter operator allows the safe emergency closing of rolling steel fire shutters or doors. It is intended to be mounted to the door frame and basically consists of a chain pocket wheel and continuous hand chain used to manually raise and lower the door, internal gearing which provides a 4 to 1 reduction for easier door raising, output and drive sprockets, a spring loaded release arm, a fusible link disconnect, and a governor mechanism.

Under normal conditions the operator allows a rolling fire shutter or door to be manually raised and lowered. However, if a fire occurs and the door is open, the fusible link incorporated in the unit will melt. This releases the spring tension on the spring arm, enabling the door to descend of its own weight. By moving flyweights on the governor mechanism, the rate at which the door descends can be adjusted to a safe speed. The manual fire shutter operator can be tested by means of a disengage handle which releases the internal holding mechanism, starting the door on its descent.

You have expressed the opinion that the manual fire shutter operator may be classifiable in the provision for automatic door closers of base metal in subheading 8302.60.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). However, a door closer of heading 8302 is a device designed to close a door quietly with no additional effort. It contains a device, such as a spring or hydraulic motor, which stores the energy of the opening of the door and releases it to close the door. The manual fire shutter operator does not actively close the door; instead, it disengages and passively allows the door's own weight to close it. Thus it cannot be classified in subheading 8302.60.30.

You have also referred to this operator as a chain hoist, which is classifiable in subheading 8425.19.00, HTS. However, the Customs Service has previously ruled that door openers or operators are not within the common meaning of the term "hoist." The applicable subheading for the Grifco manual fire shutter operator will be 8428.90.8085, HTS, which provides for other lifting, handling, loading or unloading machinery: other machinery: other: other: other. The rate of duty will be 0.4 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

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