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HQ 962924

DECEMBER 16, 1999

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962924 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8483.50.90

Port Director of Customs
P.O. Box 3130
Laredo, TX 78044

RE: Internal Advice 12/99; Pulley Vibration Damper for Internal Combustion Engine

Dear Port Director:

Your undated memorandum (CLA-2-LD:DM) initiated this request for internal advice in accordance with a letter from Cummins Engine Company, Columbus, Indiana, dated April 9, 1999. At issue is the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of pulley vibration dampers for diesel engines. A sample was submitted.


The submitted sample is a cast iron, grooved pulley wheel, eight inches in diameter, joined concentrically between a flexible ring of rubber with a smooth, nine-inch diameter cast iron outer hub. The article has a recessed middle with five bolt holes for attachment to the crankshaft of a motor vehicle. The pulley transmits torque from the rotating crankshaft over a belt to power automotive accessory systems such as the alternator, air conditioner and power steering. The outer hub functions to dampen unwanted torsional vibrations from the crankshaft by means of the rubber ring. Articles called harmonic balancers function in similar fashion but do not incorporate pulleys.

The importer concedes the vibration damper performs both a vibration damping function and a pulley function but claims the latter is subsidiary to the former. Consequently, he maintains the vibration damper is provided for in heading 8409, HTSUS, as a
part suitable for use solely or principally with internal combustion engines for vehicles of headings 8701, 8702, 8703 or 8704. Your office cites Section XVI, Note 2(a), HTSUS, and concludes the vibration damper is described in heading 8483, HTSUS, as a pulley.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8409 Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the engines of heading 8407 or 8408:

8409.99 Other:

8409.99.10 Cast-iron parts, not advanced beyond cleaning, and machined only for the removal of fins, gates, sprues and risers or to permit location in finishing machinery

8483 Transmission shafts...and cranks;...flywheels and pulleys, including pulley blocks: parts thereof:

8483.50 Flywheels and pulleys, including pulley blocks:

8483.50.90 Other

8708 Parts and accessories for the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705:

8708.99 Other:

8708.99.80 Other


Whether the pulley vibration damper is a good of heading 8483 or a good of heading 8708.


Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

Subject to certain exceptions, goods that are identifiable as parts of machines or apparatus of Chapter 84 or Chapter 85 are classifiable in accordance with Section XVI, Note 2, HTSUS. But, not every article used with another article is necessarily a part for tariff purposes. United States v. Cody Manufacturing Co., Inc., 44 CCPA 67, C.A.D. 639 (1957), and cases cited. For tariff purposes, a part is an integral, constituent component of another article necessary to the completion of the article with which it is used, and which enables that article to function in the manner for which it was designed. Internal combustion engines convert energy into mechanical motion. Pulleys mounted to the crankshaft of an internal combustion engine are essential to transmit the power generated by the engine through the rotating motion of the crankshaft to the drive belt, and thence to the accessories the belt powers. For this reason, we have consistently regarded crankshaft-mounted pulleys as integral parts or components of internal combustion engines. See HQ 087166, dated November 1, 1990, HQ 961097, dated May 11, 1998, and related cases.

By contrast, in HQ 962669, dated September 22, 1999, we affirmed NY D86123, dated January 21, 1999, which classified a belt tensioner element, consisting of a metal spring and a vibration damper or dampener, in subheading 8708.99.80, HTSUS, as parts and accessories of motor vehicles. Though similar to the article at issue here in that it performed a vibration dampening function, the belt tensioner element in HQ 962669 contained no pulley, grooved or otherwise, but functioned to keep the drive belt taut as it rotated over a tension roller, which functioned as a pulley, to transmit power from the crankshaft. The vibration damper or dampener component of the belt tensioner absorbed vibrations from the crankshaft which could cause premature belt wear, slippage, and insured proper contact with the accessories driven by the belt.

Pulleys are provided for in heading 8483 eo nomine, by name. An unlimited eo nomine designation, without a contrary legislative intent or judicial decision, will normally include all forms of the named article. The pulley vibration damper at issue functions primarily as a pulley to transmit rotary motion from the crankshaft to power automotive accessories driven by the belt.

However, Section XVI, Note 1(l), HTSUS, excludes from that Section articles of Section XVII. Section XVII, Note 2(e), HTSUS, on the other hand, states the expressions Aparts@ and Aparts and accessories@ do not apply to articles of heading 8483 provided they constitute integral parts of engines or motors. In view of our finding that crankshaft-mounted pulleys are integral parts of internal combustion engines, the Note 2(e) exclusion likewise does not apply.

The internal advice applicant=s proposed classification in heading 8409 is based on Section XVI, Note 2(b), HTSUS. But, because the article at issue is a pulley, it is a good included in heading 8483, by virtue of Section XVI, Note 2(a), HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the pulley vibration damper or dampener is provided for in heading 8483. It is classifiable in subheading 8483.50.90, HTSUS.

You are to mail this decision to the internal advice applicant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. On that date the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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