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June 8, 1999

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:102 E81150


TARIFF NO.: 8481.80.9050

Mr. Michael J. Walsh
Ford Motor Company
17101 Rotunda Drive
P.O. Box 6089 MD-654
Dearborn, Michigan 48121

RE: The tariff classification of an air intake charge throttle for an automotive engine.

Dear Mr. Walsh:

In your letter dated April 1, 1999 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Ford Motor Company.

The item in question is described as an air intake charge throttle identified by Ford Engineering part number YS6U-9E926-AB. Descriptive information and representative illustrations were submitted.

Based on the information you submitted the purpose of the throttle is to control the amount of air entering the intake manifold of a vehicle’s engine. The throttle consists of an aluminum casting with a bore at the top and a single plate which pivots on a shaft at the base of the casting. The throttle is designed to be actuated by a linkage on the throttle shaft which allows the pivoting of the plate to be controlled by the vehicle’s accelerator. A throttle position sensor mounted to the shaft of the throttle indicates the position of the throttle plate for the vehicle’s electronic control unit.

You indicate that the throttle assembly is similar to the carburetor found on vehicles without fuel injection. While the throttle lacks the fuel metering function of the carburetor, you explain that both devices rely on a throttle plate to control the air intake of an engine.

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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the HTS.

The issue raised in your request is whether the throttle is classified in HTSUS heading 8409, as parts suitable for use solely or principally with the engines of heading 8407 or 8408, or in heading 8481, as taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances. It is your opinion that the ENs require classification of the throttle under heading 8409, HTSUS, because the throttle is similar to a carburetor and the explanatory note to HTSUS heading 8409 specifically references carburetors as parts of engines. To the contrary, we find that that terms of the headings and relative section notes, as well as the ENs, preclude classificaton of the throttle in HTSUS heading 8409.

Although the EN to HTSUS 8409 lists carburetors as an example of engine parts, the note explains that parts covered by the heading are subject to the general provisions regarding the classification of parts found in the General Explanatory Note to section XVI. The General Explanatory Note explains that the classification of parts is subject to the provisions of Note 2 to section XVI of the HTSUS. Note 2(a) to section XVI provides that parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85 of the HTSUS, other than heading 8409, are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings.

Heading 8481 is in chapter 84, HTSUS. The EN to heading 8481 explains that the heading covers taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances, used to regulate the flow, for supply, discharge, etc., of liquids, gases, or, in certain cases, solids. The appliances regulate the flow by opening or closing an aperture and remain in this heading even if specialized for use on a particular machine or apparatus, or on a vehicle or aircraft. The throttle is an appliance with an aperture, opened and closed by the throttle plate, which controls the flow of intake air to the engine. The throttle is an article of HTSUS heading 8481 which is specialized for use on a combustion engine.

In accordance with Note 2(a) to section XVI, HTSUS, because the throttle is an article of HTSUS heading 8481, whether or not the throttle is similar to a carburetor or a part of an engine provided for in HTSUS heading 8409, it falls to be classified in heading 8481, HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the air intake charge throttle will be 8481.80.9050, HTSUS, which provides for other taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances. The rate of duty will be 2 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 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 Kenneth T. Brock at 212-637-7026.


Robert B. Swierupski

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