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HQ 963157

FEBRUARY 3, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963157 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8465.10.00

Peter Fritsch
Michael Weinig, Inc.
1931 Weinig Street
P.O. Box 5009
Statesville, NC 28687

RE: PC 864010 Modified; Planing and Molding Machines; Woodworking Machinery

Dear Mr. Fritsch:

In a letter to Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated August 5, 1999, you ask for reconsideration of a pre-entry classification (PC) ruling on the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of various models of a machine tool for working wood. Your letter has been forwarded to this office for reply. We have reconsidered the classification of these machine tools and determined that it is incorrect.


In PC 864010, which the Port Director of Customs, Wilmington, NC, issued to Michael Weinig, Inc. on July 19, 1994, moulding (molding) machines for woodworking, among other machines, were held to be classifiable in subheading 8465.92.00, HTSUS, as planing, milling or molding machines. The models at issue were the Quattromat 22, the Profimat 22N series, the Unimat 17A, 22E, 22A and 23, and the Hydromat 17B, 22B and 30N.

You contend that these machine tools are classifiable in subheading 8465.10.00, HTSUS. This is because, as machines which can carry out different types of machining operations without tool change between such operations, they perform in a manner consistent with that subheading description.

The machine tools at issue are designed to produce up to several hundred feet of profile wood shapes per minute. The machines’ feed system transports the workpiece to cutterheads placed on rotating spindles. There are between 4 and 6 cutterheads per machine, each cutterhead fitted with either planing or profiling or molding knives that perform the operations in sequence in a single pass. Tooling is changed only when a different shape is to be cut, but not during the machining operation. The first cutterhead is generally fitted with a planing knife that imparts a uniform flat bottom to the workpiece. The following cutterheads are fitted with profiling or molding knives that impart the desired shape to the top and/or sides. The last cutterhead may shape the bottom of the workpiece if required.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8465 Machine toolsfor working wood, cork, bone, hard rubber, hard plastics or similar hard materials:

8465.10.00 Machines which can carry out different types of machining operations without tool change between such operations


8465.92.00 Planing, milling or molding (by cutting) machines


Whether the woodworking machine tools at issue are described by the terms of subheading 8465.10.00.


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. GRI 3(a) states in part that where goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings the heading providing the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. GRI 6 authorizes the classification of goods in subheadings of the same heading by reference to relevant section and chapter notes and, with appropriate substitution of terms, to GRIs 2 through 5.

The subheading 8465.92.00 classification expressed in PC 864010 was based, in part at least, by the characterization of the machines as moulders. In fact, because they perform two different types of woodworking operations, functions which are complementary or alternative, Section XVI, Note 3, HTSUS, requires that classification be according to the component which performs the principal function. In this case, it is legally irrelevant whether the planing function or the function of imparting the profile shape by molding is these machines’ principal function, because both functions are described by subheading 8465.92.00, HTSUS.

Nevertheless, these is no issue of specificity under GRIs 3(a) and 6 because subheading 8465.92.00 covers machine tools other than those provided for in the preceding subheadings of heading 8465, i.e., subheading 8465.10.00. Planing and molding are both woodworking operations but they are of different types. Because the machine tools at issue lack an automatic tool changer, they are specifically described by the terms of subheading 8465.10.00. This eliminates subheading 8465.92.00 from contention.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Quattromat 22, Profimat 22N series, Unimat 17A, 22E, 22A and 23, and the Hydromat 17B, 22B and 30 N are provided for in heading 8465. They are classifiable in subheading 8465.10.00, HTSUS.


PC 864010, dated July 19, 1994, is modified as to these machine tools.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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