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HQ 963856

DECEMBER 6, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963856 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8475.29.00

Port Director of Customs
300 S. Ferry Street
Terminal Island, CA 90731

RE: Protest 2704-99-100932; Machines for Producing Synthetic Fused Silica

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 2704-99-100932, filed against your classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of machines and apparatus for producing synthetic fused silica from silane gas. The entry under protest was liquidated on January 8, 1999, and this protest timely filed on April 8, 1999.


Three machines or apparatus are the subject of this protest, designated the Direct Quartz (DQ) chamber, the DQ machine, and the DQ piping unit. They are imported together, twelve of each apparatus, and are used together in the manufacture of fused quartz or silica for use in the production of semiconductor devices.

The limited information available indicates that the “DQ chamber” is an octagon-shaped vessel with an internal diameter of 6.5 feet. It has no mechanical features. Oxygen and hydrogen are ignited in a burner outside the DQ chamber to create an oxyhydrogen flame which creates an operating temperature in the DQ chamber of approximately 450 degrees Centigrade. The “DQ piping unit” consists of pipes, metering apparatus, filters and valves. This unit connects to the DQ chamber and introduces measured amounts of silane gas into the chamber. The “DQ machine” incorporates a saw, an electrically driven chuck and drive apparatus that supports and rotates a 4-to-6 inch diameter natural quartz target rod. Temperature in the DQ chamber heats the silane gas, causing synthetic
fused silica or synthetic quartz to form on the end of the target rod. The target rod is withdrawn continuously from the furnace as more and more silica forms on the end. The saw in the DQ machine then cuts the silica to size.

The DQ chamber was entered under a provision of heading 8417, HTSUS, as an industrial or laboratory non-electric furnace, and the DQ piping unit and DQ machine in the equivalent parts provision of heading 8417. The DQ chamber and DQ machine were classified in liquidation under the entered provisions. However, the DQ piping unit was reclassified in a provision of heading 9026, HTSUS, as measuring or checking instruments and apparatus. On protest, the DQ chamber is claimed to be a machine for manufacturing or hot working glass of heading 8475, and the DQ machine and DQ piping unit claimed as parts under the appropriate parts provision in heading 8475.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Industrial or laboratory furnaces or ovensnonelectric, and parts thereof:

8417.80.00 Other, except parts

8417.90.00 Parts

Machine tools for working stone, ceramics, concrete, asbestos-cement or like mineral materials or for cold- working glass:

8464.10.00 Sawing machines

8475 [M]achines for manufacturing or hot working glass or glassware; parts thereof:

8475.29.00 Other


8475.90.00 Other


Whether the DQ chamber, the DQ machine and the DQ piping unit, or any combination of these machines or apparatus, constitute a functional unit; if not, what provisions describe the individual machines.


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. Section XVI, Note 4, HTSUS, states in part that a machine, including a combination of machines, whether separate or interconnected by piping, cables, etc., intended to contribute together to a clearly defined function covered by a heading in Chapter 84 or 85 are classifiable in the heading appropriate to that function. Throughout the HTSUS, the expression “glass” includes fused quartz and fused silica. See Chapter 70, Note 5, HTSUS.

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 protestant maintains that the DQ chamber, the DQ machine and the DQ piping unit function together as one machine, but that machine is not a furnace. The claim that the DQ chamber is a machine of heading 8475, and that the DQ machine and DQ piping unit are parts under the same heading is made in a letter, dated August 4, 1999, in which the protestant states the belief that these machines conform to the 84.75 ENs. These ENs state on p. 1417 “The glass-working machines of this heading are those which work glass (including fused quartz and other fused silica) which has been heated until it becomes soft or liquid. These machines operate mainly by casting, drawing rolling, spinning, blowing, modeling, moulding, etc.”

The ENs on p. 1227 state that a machine (including a combination of machines) consisting of separate components that qualifies as a functional unit under Section XVI, Note 4, is classifiable in the heading appropriate to that function, whether the various components (for convenience or other reasons) remain separate or are interconnected by piping (carrying air, compressed gas, oil, etc.), by devices used to transmit power, by electric cables or by other devices. The ENs continue by stating that for the purposes of

Note 4 the expression “intended to contribute together to a clearly defined function” covers only machines and combinations of machines essential to the performance of the function specific to the functional unit as a whole, and thus excludes machines or appliances fulfilling auxiliary functions and which do not contribute to the function of the whole.

Heading 8475 includes machines for “manufacturing” glass. In considering whether the saw within the DQ machine might be a machine or appliance fulfilling an auxiliary function which would exclude the DQ machine from the functional unit, the ENs on p. 1417 indicate that certain machines of heading 8475 for making sheet glass include cutting as part of the manufacturing process. Therefore, we conclude that the DQ chamber, DQ machine and DQ piping unit, as described, contribute together to the function of producing synthetic fused silica or synthetic quartz, a function described by heading 8475.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the DQ chamber, DQ machine and DQ piping unit are a functional unit provided for in heading 8475. They are classifiable together in subheading 8475.29.00, HTSUS.

The protest should be ALLOWED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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