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HQ 963322

MARCH 3, 2000

CLA—2 RR:CR:GC 963322 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8708.93.75

Mr. Don Dixon
L & D Holdings
1480 Richmond Street
Kelowna B.C. V1Y3T4

RE: NY 818430 Revoked; Parts of Clutches for Automatic Transmissions

Dear Mr. Dixon:

In response to your letter of January 22, 1996, the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued NY 818430 on February 21, 1996. This ruling concerned the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of parts of clutches for automatic transmissions in motor vehicles.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY 818430 was published on January 19, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 2/3. One comment was received in response to that notice.


Articles the subject of NY 818430 were described as a rear or forward clutch retainer drum, #22766, a front or high clutch drum, #22767, a low reverse servo piston, #22057 and a low reverse drum, #22157. They were said to be parts used in automatic transmissions for motor vehicles. The parts were not otherwise described.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8708 Parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705: Other parts and accessories:
8708.93 Clutches and parts thereof:
For other vehicles:
8708.93.60 Clutches
8708.93.75 Other
8708.99 Other:
8708.99.67 Other parts for power trains


Whether parts for automatic transmissions in motor vehicles are parts of power trains or parts of clutches.


General Rule of Interpretation, HTSUS, (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, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. GRI 3(a) states in part 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. GRI 6 states, in part, that goods are classifiable in the subheadings of a heading according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, by appropriate substitution of terms, to GRIs 1 through 5, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

A clutch is a mechanism that engages and disengages the engine’s flywheel from the drive shaft as gears shift through the transmission. When used with a manual transmission, a clutch assembly is a separate unit located between the rear of the engine block and the transmission. Automatic transmissions, however, utilize a type of fluid coupling called a torque converter to couple the engine and the gearbox incorporated in the transmission. The gearbox contains a set of planetary gears, with clutches and brake pads for engaging the desired gears. Clutch assemblies for manual transmissions are separate units located between the rear of the engine block and the transmission. However, because automatic transmissions have internal clutches that disengage the engine automatically as the gears change, NY 818430 regarded such clutch assemblies, the transmission, together with other associated parts for transmitting power from the engine through the drive shaft to the wheels as parts of the vehicle’s power train.

However, tariff terms are generally construed in accordance with their common and commercial meanings which are presumed to be the same. Articles that disengage the engine automatically as the gears change perform the function of a clutch and are within the common and commercial meaning of that term. In addition, for purposes of subheading 8708.93 the provision for clutches describes a commodity eo nomine, by name. Normally, an eo nomine designation, without limitation, or a shown contrary legislative intent or judicial decision will include all forms of the named article. Therefore, when comparing subheadings within heading 8708, GRI 3(a), HTSUS, applied at the subheading level through GRI 6, authorizes classification in the subheading providing the most specific description. Thus, in classifying the articles designated #22766, #22767, #22057, and #22157, all parts of clutch assemblies for automatic transmissions, the subheading description for clutches and parts thereof, other, is more specific than other parts for power trains.


Under the authority of GRI 3(a), applied at the subheading level through GRI 6, the rear or forward clutch retainer drum #22766, the front or high clutch drum #22767, the low reverse servo piston #22057, and the low reverse drum #22157 are provided for in heading 8708. They are classifiable in subheading 8708.93.75, HTSUS.


NY 818430, dated February 21, 1996, is revoked. revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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