United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2001 HQ Rulings > HQ 962742 - HQ 963219 > HQ 963215

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 963215

May 31, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963215 AML


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.73

Mr. Ted Aston
3218 Sheffield Place
Concord, CA 94518

RE: Reconsideration of NY D88750; automotive steering rack

Dear Mr. Aston:

This is in regard to New York Ruling Letter (NY) D88750, issued to you by the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, on March 23, 1999. In that ruling, a steering rack, among other articles not relevant herein, was classified under subheading 8708.94.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) as a steering box. We have reviewed the classification of the item and determined that it is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625 (c)), notice of the proposed modification of NY D88750 was published on April 19, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Vol. 34, No. 16.


The steering rack is part of a “Kitcar” body and frame imported from England. The steering rack is a part of a motor vehicle, which, as part of a rack and pinion steering system, moves the wheels of the vehicle left and right and moves the wheels when turning.


Whether the steering rack is classifiable under subheading 8708.99.73, HTSUS, as 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 (GRI’s). 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[.]”

Heading 8708, HTSUS, provides for parts and accessories of automobiles. Therefore, the determination must be made as to which subheading within heading 8708 describes the steering rack. We consider the comparable six-digit subheadings first, by application of GRI 6.

Grolier’s Encyclopedia (Grolier Electronic Publishing, 1994) describes a “steering rack” as follows:

The rack-and-pinion is the simplest, and the one most commonly used in modern cars. In rack-and-pinion linkage, the steering shaft, connected at one end to the steering wheel, has a pinion gear at its opposite end. The gear meshes with threads in a steering rack, which is mounted across the car and is connected by tie rods to the front wheels. The steering wheel turns the steering shaft; the pinion gear on the shaft's end moves the steering rack to the right or left and thus moves the wheels.

The HTSUS heading and subheadings under consideration are as follows:

8708 Parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705:
Other parts and accessories:
8708.94 Steering wheels, steering columns and steering boxes:
8708.94.50 For other vehicles.
8708.99 Other:
8708.99.73 Parts for steering systems.

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 guiding 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 ENs to heading 8708 provide, in pertinent part, that:

This heading covers parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 87.01 to 87.05, provided the parts and accessories fulfil both the following conditions:

(i)They must be identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with the above-mentioned vehicles;
and (ii)They must not be excluded by the provisions of the Notes to Section XVII (see the corresponding General Explanatory Note).

Parts and accessories of this heading include:

(B) Parts of bodies and associated accessories, for example . . . steering column brackets. (G) Steering gear parts (for example, steering column tubes, steering track rods and levers, steering knuckle tie rods; casings; racks and pinions; servo-steering mechanisms).

(M) Control equipment, for example, steering wheels, steering columns and steering boxes, steering wheel axles[.]

We find that the automotive steering racks are classifiable under subheading 8708.99.73, HTSUS.


The steering rack is classifiable under subheading 8708.99.73, HTSUS, which provides for parts and accessories of motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705: other parts and accessories: other: other: other: parts for steering systems . . . other.


NY D88750, dated March 23, 1999, is hereby modified. . In accordance with 19 U.S.C. §1625 (c), this ruling will become effective sixty (60) days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: