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HQ 963297

May 4, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963297 AML


TARIFF NOS.: 7318.15.2060

William J. Marston
Davies, Turner & Co.
755 North Route 83, Unit 221
Bensenville, IL 60106

RE: An unthreaded hex head steel bolt.

Dear Mr. Marston:

This is in reference to Port Decision DD880191, issued to you on behalf of Globe Con International, by Customs, Ogdensburg, NY, on November 18, 1992, which classified an unthreaded hex head steel bolt under subheading 7318.29.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for screws, bolts . . . and similar articles, of iron or steel . . . non-threaded articles: other. We have reconsidered DD880191 and now believe that the classification of the unthreaded hex head steel bolt set forth is incorrect. This letter sets forth the correct classification.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), 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), a notice was published on March 21, 2001, in Vol. 35, No. 12 of the Customs Bulletin, proposing to revoke Port Decision DD880191 and to revoke the treatment pertaining to the unthreaded hex head steel bolt. No comments were received in response to this notice.


The articles were described in DD880191 as follows:

The item under review is an unthreaded hex head steel bolt blank made in Taiwan. It is intended to be threaded in the United States after importation.


Whether the unthreaded hex head steel bolts are classifiable under subheading 7318.29.00, HTSUS, as screws, bolts . . . and similar articles, of iron or steel . . . non-threaded articles: other; or subheading 7318.15.20, HTSUS, as a hex head bolt?


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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.

The HTSUS subheadings under consideration are as follows:

7318 Screws, bolts, nuts, coach screws, screw hooks, rivets, cotters, cotter pins, washers (including spring washers) and similar articles, of iron or steel: Threaded articles:
7318.15 Other screws and bolts, whether or not with their nuts or washers: 7318.15.20 Bolts and bolts and their nuts or washers entered or exported in the same shipment: Having shanks or threads with a diameter of 6 mm or more:
7318.15.20.60 With hexagonal heads.
Non-threaded articles:
7318.29.00 Other.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, 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. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 8980. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

EN 73.18 provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

Bolts and nuts (including bolt ends), screw studs and other screws for metal, whether or not threaded or tapped, screws for wood and coach-screws are threaded (in the finished state) and are used to assemble or fasten goods so that they can readily be disassembled without damage.

Blanks for bolts and untapped nuts are also included in the heading.

“It is well established that an imported article is to be classified according to its condition as imported . . ..” XTC Products, Inc. v. United States, 771 F.Supp. 401, 405 (1991). See also, United States v. Citroen, 223 U.S. 407 (1911).

By application of GRIs 1 and 2(a), the articles are classifiable in heading 7318 as unfinished screws. In order to determine the proper classification at the subheading level, GRI 6 is applied. GRI 6 requires that the GRIs be applied in order to determine classification at the subheading level. At GRI 6, the two 5-digit choices are between threaded and non-threaded articles. Application of GRI 1 at the subheading level allows us to consider GRI 2(a) again.

GRIs 6 and 2(a) provide, in pertinent part, that:

2. (a) Any reference in a subheading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. The ENs to GRI 2(a) provide, in pertinent part:

(II) The provisions of this Rule also apply to blanks unless these are specified in a particular (sub)heading. The term “blank” means an article, not ready for direct use, having the approximate shape or outline of the finished article or part, and which can only be used, other than in exceptional cases, for completion into the finished article or part[.]

The unthreaded hex head steel bolts, upon importation, constitute the essence of hex head bolts. Once the articles are threaded following importation, they will be complete and immediately ready for use. The articles are readily recognizable as unthreaded hex head steel bolts, and are sufficiently complete, in their most basic form, to have the essential character of finished hex head steel bolts. The articles, although “not ready for direct use, [do] hav[e] the approximate shape or outline of the finished article or part, and . . . can only be used, other than in exceptional cases, for completion into the finished article or part.” See the EN to GRI 2(a), above. The unfinished bolts are provided for in subheading 7318.15.2060, HTSUS.


The articles are classified under subheading 7318.15.2060, HTSUS, as hex head bolts.


DD880191 is hereby revoked. 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

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