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June 10, 1999

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:102 E81972


TARIFF NO.: 8483.50.9080

Mr. Gene Y. Taguchi
Hitachi Transport System (America), Ltd.
2396 E. Pacifica Place, Suite 240
Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220

RE: The tariff classification of belt tensioner ball/idler bearings from Japan

Dear Mr. Taguchi:

In your letter dated May 10,1999 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Pacific Automotive Products.

The items in question are described as tensioner ball/idler bearings and identified as part numbers TBK60-27, TBK58-32+JF249 and TBK60-72. Descriptive information and samples were submitted.

Examination of the samples and review of the descriptive literature indicates that the tensioner ball/idler bearings are designed to guide and regulate the tension of the power transmission belts used with automotive engines. The bearings are pulleys which contain steel balls as rolling elements. The rolling elements serve to mediate against friction and allow the pulleys to rotate freely upon their mountings. While the samples can be distinguished by their physical dimensions and the specific design of their mountings, they are identical with respect to function.

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 HTSUS.

The EN to HTSUS heading 8483 explains that this heading provides for pulleys which transmit rotary movement from one to another by means of an endless belt, or simply act as a guide or turning post for a transmission belt. As an example of the latter, the EN references idlers used to regulate the tension of driving belts. The EN to HTSUS heading 8482 explains that this heading covers all ball or roller bearings which enable friction to be reduced. Customs decisions have established that articles which rely on rolling elements to reduce friction and fix, guide or hold the moving components of machines are classifiable as ball or roller bearings. The belt tensioner ball/idler bearings are, prima facie, classifiable under HTSUS heading 8482 and heading 8483.

GRI 3(a) provides that when goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. Because the subject articles are specifically designed to guide and regulate the tension of power transmission belts, we find that the provision for pulleys under HTSUS heading 8483 provides the most specific description.

The applicable subheading for the belt tensioner ball/idler bearings will be 8483.50.9080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other pulleys. The rate of duty will be 2.8 percent ad valorem.

It is the opinion of this office that the belt tensioner ball/idler bearings in question are not subject to antidumping duties under current orders of the Department of Commerce relating to antifriction bearings. Tension and timing belt pulleys have been excluded from the scope of the dumping orders. Should you desire a binding ruling on the applicability of dumping orders to your merchandise, please write directly to the Department of Commerce, Office of Compliance, Washington, D.C.

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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