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HQ 963662

OCTOBER 25, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963662 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7318.19.00

Mr. Kelley Thompson
John Wagner Associates, Inc.
205 Mason Circle
Concord, CA 94520

RE: Acoustical Eye Lag Screw and Acoustical Toggle Bolt

Dear Mr. Thompson:

In letters to the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated December 20, 1999, and January 12, 2000, you inquire as to the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of acoustical eye lag screws and acoustical toggle bolts, products of China. Samples were submitted. We regret the delay in responding.


The articles under consideration, eye lag screws and toggle bolts, are of iron or steel construction and used in the construction industry to suspend panels in acoustical drop ceilings. The submitted lag eye screw measures between 3 and 3 ¼ inches long and ¼ inch in diameter. This fastener has a tapered point and a steep cutting thread one half of its length, and an unthreaded shank portion in the middle which culminates in a flat, paddle-shaped end with a circular eye cut in the middle. The submitted toggle bolt measures 4 ¼ inches long and ¼ inch in diameter. It has what appears to be a header point and a moderate-to-steep cutting thread along 3 ¼ inches of its length which culminates in the same type end as the lag screw. Attached to the toggle bolt, however, is a nut, a washer and a toggle wing. In use, these fasteners will be screwed or inserted into the ceiling and a T-bar framework for suspended acoustical ceiling panels secured by wires inserted through the eye.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

7318 Screws, bolts, nuts, coach screwsand similar articles of iron or steel:

Threaded articles

7318.12.00 Other wood screws

7318.13.00 Screw hooks and screw rings

Other screws and bolts, whether or not with their nuts or washers:

7318.15.50 Studs

7318.19.00 Other


Whether acoustical eye lag screws and toggle bolts of iron or steel are provided for in heading 7318 as screw hooks and screw rings or as other threaded fasteners.


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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, 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 System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

In general, screws are externally threaded fasteners capable of being inserted into holes in assembled parts, of mating with a preformed internal thread or forming its own thread, and of being tightened or released by torquing the head. The ENs, on p. 1117 state that screws for wood differ from bolts and screws for metal in that they are tapered and pointed, and they have a steeper cutting thread since they have to bite their own way into the material. Further, wood screws almost always have slotted or recessed heads and they are never used with nuts.

The lag eye screw has a tapered point and steep cutting threads common to wood screws, while the toggle bolt has a header-like point but lacks steep cutting threads. In addition, both lack slotted or recessed heads, a significant design feature of wood screws. Also, heads are the means by which screws are normally tightened or released. In this case however, while the paddle-shaped end on these fasteners functions as the means by which they are tightened or released, these ends also have an eye, which is the means by which the T-bar framework is suspended. Therefore, these fasteners have a significant, additional function not associated with other screws of subheading 7318.15, HTSUS. See HQ 959570, dated December 20, 1996.

You inquired whether these fasteners might be screw hooks or screw rings of subheading 7318.13.00, HTSUS. The 7318 ENs on p. 1117 state that screw hooks and screw rings are used to suspend or fix other objects and differ from the hook nails of the preceding heading only in that they are threaded. The 7317 ENs on p. 1115 describe certain special types of nails called hook-nails and ring nails. These are described as being stamped from sheet metal or forged. One end is pointed and the other bent at right angles or into a ring used to suspend various objects. The eye lag screws and toggle bolts at issue do not conform to this description.

Because these fasteners are designed so that one end is secured in a surface leaving a protuberance to which something else is attached, we considered whether they might be studs under subheading 7318.15.50, HTSUS. However, the Courts have held that while the term stud is broadly defined and encompasses a number of articles, normally, the shank of a stud is embedded in a surface, leaving a threaded protuberance exposed to which an attachment might be made with a nut or otherwise. See Fastening Devices. Inc. et al v. United States, 40 Cust. Ct. 345, C.D. 2004 (1958). The eye lag screws and toggle bolts do not function in this manner.

Finally, the Courts have held that reference to a “basket” provision such as subheading 7318.19.00, HTSUS, is proper only when no other provision describes the merchandise more specifically. See Hafele America Co.. Ltd., Slip Op. 94-1 88 (Ct. Int’l Trade, decided December 12, 1994). Such is the case here. Customs consistently classifies acoustical eye lag screws in subheading 7318.19.00, HTSUS. See HQ 964412, HQ 964413, and HQ 964414, all dated October 16, 2000.


There being no more specific provision that describes this merchandise, we find that under the authority of GRI 1, merchandise represented by the acoustical eye lag screw and the acoustical toggle bolt are provided for in heading 7318. They are classifiable in subheading 7318.19.00, HTSUS, as other threaded articles.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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