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HQ 963820

OCTOBER 27, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963820 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7306.30.10

Mr. Kevin J. Wolf
Bryan Cave LLP
700 Thirteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005-3960

RE: NY F80733 Affirmed; Welded Nonalloy Steel Tubes

Dear Mr. Wolf:

In letters, dated March 10 and May 4, 2000, on behalf of Chemsico, Division of United Industries, you request reconsideration of a ruling in which the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, classified certain nonalloy steel tubes for use in making outdoor illumination devices as other pipes, tubes and hollow profiles, of iron or steel, in subheading 7306.30.10, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). We regret the delay in responding.


In NY F80733, dated January 5, 2000, the merchandise was described as welded circular grade 1010 or 1020 nonalloy steel tubes measuring approximately 54 inches in length, ¾ inch in outside diameter, with a wall thickness of 0.045 inch. The ends of the tubes were described as being either straight cut or angle cut. Prior to importation, the tubes are coated with a powder to add color and a glossy finish. After importation, these tubes will be assembled with oil-filled canisters and other components into outdoor illumination devices called “tiki torches”.

You contend that these tubes are properly classifiable as other parts of lamps and lighting fittings, not elsewhere specified or included, in subheading 9405.99.40, HTSUS. You maintain these articles are steel poles that are specially manufactured as parts of outdoor illumination devices; unlike generic tubing, they are not suitable for other tubing applications such as the conveyance of liquids or gases, as electrical conduits or as parts of scaffolding or other structures; under

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(a), HTSUS, the provision in heading 9405 including parts is more specific than the provision in heading 7306 for other tubes and pipes, welded, of iron or nonalloy steel. The former provision, you argue, covers only articles that are parts of outdoor illumination devices while the latter provision covers all tubes and pipes; and finally, classification as parts in heading 9405 is consistent with prior Customs rulings on similar merchandise.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Other tubes, pipes and hollow profiles (for example, open seamed, welded, riveted or similarly closed), of iron or steel:

7306.30 Other, welded, of circular cross section, of iron or nonalloy steel:

7306.30.10 Having a wall thickness of less than 1.65 mm

9405 Lamps and lighting fittingsand parts thereof, not elsewhere specified or included;:


9405.99 Other

9405.99.40 Other


Whether steel tubes that are straight cut or angle cut at one or both ends and colored, as described, are recognizable parts of illumination devices.


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. Additional U.S. Rule of

Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS, states, in part, that in the absence of special language or context that otherwise requires a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such article but shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUS. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The General EN for Chapter 73 states, in part on p. 1099, that for the purposes of the Chapter the expression “tubes and pipes” shall mean concentric hollow products, of uniform cross-section with only one enclosed void along their whole length, having their inner and outer surfaces of the same form. Steel tubes are mainly of circular, oval, rectangular (including square) cross-sectionsand tubes with upset ends are also to be considered as tubes. They may be polished, coated, bentthreaded and coupled or not, drilled, waisted, expanded, cone shaped or fitted with flanges, collars or rings. The tubes at issue here are concentric hollow products having a uniform cross section that is circular. They have one enclosed void along their whole length and have inner and outer surfaces of the same circular form. They are coated, a process expressly mentioned in the EN. Tubes of Chapter 73 may also have their ends specially prepared as the EN indicates. The steel tubes at issue here are clearly within this EN description. It is worthy to note that subheading 7306.30.30, HTSUS, covers tapered steel pipes and tubes having a wall thickness of 1.65 mm or more principally used as parts of illuminating articles.

We respectfully disagree with your argument under GRI 3(a) that the “parts” provision in heading 9405 is more specific than the provision for tubes and pipes in heading 7306. As to specificity, the preferred provision is the one that most narrowly and definitely describes a good, or which has the requirements that are the most difficult to satisfy. Numerous court cases have held that an eo nomine designation will prevail over a provision of general description. It logically follows, therefore, that a provision which names a good, heading 7306 in this case, must prevail over a heading that includes parts, but which does not identify any particular article.

Finally, with regard to the rulings you cite, NY 881845, dated January 29, 1993, in part classified an aluminum light pole and its breakaway base in subheading 9405.99.40, HTSUS, and NY 882776, dated March 8, 1993, classified extruded aluminum pipes spun to a taper with base plates welded to their ends in the same
provision. These rulings dealt with articles that contained aluminum tubes or pipes as a component, and not articles that were aluminum tubes or pipes. These rulings are inapposite and do not govern the classification of welded nonalloy steel tubes.


Under the authority of Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS, the welded circular nonalloy steel tubes at issue are provided for in heading 7306. They are classifiable in subheading 7306.30.10, HTSUS.

NY F80733, dated January 5, 2000, is affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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