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HQ 962569

October 23, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962569 AML


TARIFF NO.: 8803.30.00.30

Ms. Stephanie Moody
Imports Compliance
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
P.O. Box 2206
Savannah, GA 31402

RE: PC 871850 superseded; T-shaped connector.

Dear Ms. Moody:

This is in regard to your letter, dated February 4, 1999, requesting reconsideration of pre-entry classification PC 871850, issued to you by the Customs Area Service Port, El Paso, Texas, on April 13, 1992. In PC 871850, T-shaped connectors, identified as “Falconia Ducting” for use in aircraft (part #s XD4854-5 and XD 4854-8) were classified under subheading 3917.32.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for tubes, pipes and hoses...of plastics... other, other. A sample of a T-shaped connector and schematics of the article were forwarded for our examination. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification demonstrating that the articles are approved for use in civil aircraft (“manufactured/ inspected in accordance with the applicable design data and with the airworthiness regulations”) was also provided. We have reviewed the classification of the item and determined that it is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification. We regret the delay in responding.


The sample is a T-shaped, hollow, tubular object comprised of two (2) tubes of different sized diameters. The tubing of larger diameter measures 13 centimeters (cm) in length and 4 cm in diameter. The tubing of smaller diameter measures 5.5 cm in length and 2 cm in diameter.

Customs Laboratory Report #2-2000-10261, dated April 13, 2000, concludes that the T-shaped duct is composed of a woven nylon fabric that is covered, coated or laminated on both surfaces with a polyurethane type, plastics material and rolled into a hollow tube shape. A supplemental report (#2-2000-10788, dated September 12, 2000) confirms those findings. A plastic monofilament having a maximum cross-sectional dimension of 2.2 millimeters (mm) is wrapped around the exterior of the tubing in a helix configuration for reinforcement.

Your submission accompanying the sample states that the T-shaped duct (part #s XD4854-5 and XD 4854-8) is used to transport low-pressure air to personnel and cooling/aspiration of avionics “although any form of transportation can benefit.” Your letter dated February 4, 1999, states that “some of the ducts are required to be cut to length subsequent to importation.”


Whether the article is classifiable under the subheading which describes it by constituent material or under subheading 8803.30.00, HTSUS, as other parts of airplanes or helicopters for use in civil aircraft, other?


Classification of imported merchandise is accomplished pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Classification under the HTSUS is guided by the General Rules of Interpretation of the Harmonized System (GRIs). GRI 1, HTSUS, 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 HTSUS heading and subheadings under consideration are as follows:

3917 Tubes, pipes and hoses and fittings therefor (for example, joints, elbows, flanges), of plastics: Other tubes, pipes and hoses:

3917.32.60 Other:

3917.40.00 Fittings.

5909.00 Textile hosepiping and similar textile tubing, with or without lining, armor or accessories of other materials:
5909.00.20 Other.

8803 Parts of goods of heading 8801 (Balloons and dirigibles; gliders, hang gliders and other non-powered aircraft) or 8802 (other aircraft (for example, helicopters, air- planes):
8803.30.00 Other parts of airplanes or helicopters: For use in civil aircraft:
8803.30.00.30 Other.

Legal Note 2(b) to Section XVII, provides, in pertinent part, that:

2. The expressions "parts" and "parts and accessories" do not apply to the following articles, whether or not they are identifiable as for the goods of this section: (b) Parts of general use, as defined in note 2 to section XV, of base metal (section XV) or similar goods of plastics (chapter 39).

In PC 871850, you were advised that tubing was classifiable in subheading 3917.32.00, HTSUS, based on the reasoning that the articles were made of plastic, were imported in material lengths, and because of the fact that the articles could not be confirmed to be designed and intended for use solely in civil aircraft. The Customs Laboratory confirmed that the article is composed of nylon textile fabric and a FAA certificate was provided that indicates the articles are intended for use in civil aircraft.

When interpreting and implementing the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, while neither legally binding nor dispositive, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The T-shaped connectors are articles made of textile woven fabric coated on both sides with plastics with the coating not visible to the naked eye. The fabric from which the connectors are made would be classified as textile material. Therefore, the article is not classifiable in heading 3917, HTSUS.

The ENs to heading 5909, HSTUS, provide, in pertinent part, that:

This heading covers hosepiping, e.g., fire hose and similar tubing of textile material of a kind used for the passage of fluids. It is usually made of heavy, closely woven fabric of cotton, linen, hemp or man-made fibres, woven or sewn in tubular form, and may or may not be coated or impregnated with oil, tar or chemical preparations.

Textile tubing is also classified here if coated on the inside with rubber or plastics, armoured with metal (e.g., with a spiral of metal wire) or fitted with non-textile accessories such as fittings for joining one section to another, nozzles, etc.

If the T-shaped connectors are imported in the condition in which they will be incorporated into civil aircraft (without having to be further worked), as appears to be the case in this instance, the text of heading 5909 does not adequately describe them. The T-shaped connector is comprised of two different sized tubes permanently joined with adhesive. The connector comprises a “made up article” of textile as described by Note 7(e) to Section XI. The evidence presented persuades us that the T-shaped connectors will be used to connect hosepiping that conveys air in aircraft ventilation (cooling and aspiration) systems. In their condition as imported, the T-shaped connectors are not classifiable under heading 5909, HTSUS.

The connectors may be classifiable as parts in heading 8803, HTSUS, if they are not excluded as parts of general use by Note 2(b) to section XVII, HTSUS, set forth above. By reference to Note 2 to Section XV, pipe and pipe fittings of base metals or plastics are parts of general use. Given that the instant goods are fittings of textile, they are not parts of general use and are therefore not precluded from classification in heading 8803.

Further, the ENs to heading 8803 provide for a wide array of parts intended solely or principally for use in aircraft. The common criteria to these parts (which run the gamut from fuselages and hulls to internal and external parts) is that they are identifiable as being intended for use in civil aircraft. The evidence presented demonstrates that the articles are suitable principally for use as connectors in cooling and ventilation systems of civil aircraft. The FAA certificate affirms this suitability and the schematic drawings submitted indicate that the articles as imported were designed and constructed for this specific application and use. For these reasons, we find that the articles are classifiable under heading 8803, HTSUS.

The Pre-Entry Classification Program, which Customs initiated in January 1989, was designed primarily to benefit importers whose product inventories lend themselves to an item-by-item review. Among the importers’ responsibilities for participation in the program include a complete product listing with proposed tariff classification where possible. Preclassification rulings constitute a contract between the Customs Service and the ruling recipient only with respect to the classification of the specific articles covered in the decision. Preclassification rulings are not full-text rulings issued under the authority of Part 177, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. Part 177), and are not published or otherwise made available for public inspection. Accordingly, such rulings are not citable as authority in classifying merchandise of the same class or kind.


The T-shaped flexible connectors (part #s XD4854-5 and XD 4854-8) are classifiable under subheading 8803.30.00.30, HTSUS, as other parts of goods of heading 8801 (Balloons and dirigibles; gliders, hang gliders and other non-powered aircraft) or 8802 (other aircraft (for example, helicopters, air-planes), other parts of airplanes or helicopters, for use in civil aircraft).

This ruling applies only to the T-shaped ducts (part #s XD4854-5 and XD 4854-8) as described in this ruling. This reconsideration does not apply to tubing or ducting imported in material lengths. However, for informational purposes, if the tubing or ducting is imported in material lengths that must be further worked prior to installation in the aircraft, the material lengths, if they are comprised of the materials and in the manner described in the laboratory report relied upon herein, will be classifiable under heading 5909, HTSUS, as textile hosepiping and similar textile tubing, with or without lining, armor or accessories of other materials, other.


PC 871850 is superseded as set forth in this ruling.


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