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HQ 964145

DECEMBER 20, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964145 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8207.90.75

Mr. Dennis Heck
Yamaha Corporation of America
6600 Orangethorpe Avenue
P.O. Box 6600
Buena Park, CA 90622-6600

RE: Diamond Rotary Cutter

Dear Mr. Heck:

In a letter to the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated May 5, 2000, you inquired as to the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a diamond rotary cutter. You provided additional information to the New York office in a facsimile transmittal, dated May 22, 2000. Your inquiry was referred to this office for reply. We regret the delay in responding.


The article in question, a diamond rotary cutter, is an integral part of the Yamaha YS2 Dry Type Scriber which is a numerically controlled high-speed machine tool for scribing and cutting ceramic, ferrite, barium titanate and glass printed circuit boards. The rotary cutter is a tool consisting of a cutting wheel of industrial diamond composite material affixed by a spindle to a stainless steel holder. The composite material is a polycrystalline diamond compound in a cobalt alloy metal binder.

You note that the Scriber is a machine tool of heading 8464, HTSUS. You inquire whether the diamond rotary cutter might be classified in heading 7116, HTSUS, as articles of precious or semiprecious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed). You cite HQ 958704, dated April 23, 1996, which classified diamond drill blanks in subheading 7116.20.50, HTSUS. Considering that the rotary cutter is a part for tariff purposes, you cite

Section XVI, Note 1(f), which would exclude from the machine tool parts provisions articles wholly of precious or semiprecious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed).

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Articles of natural or cultured pearls, precious or semiprecious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed):

Of precious or semiprecious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed):


Interchangeable toolsfor machine-toolsbase metal parts thereof:

Other interchangeable tools, and parts thereof:


Parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with the machines of headings 8456 to 8465:

For machines of heading 8464:

8466.91.50 Other


Whether the rotary diamond cutter is an interchangeable tool of heading 8207.


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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. 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).

Section XVI, Notes 1(f) and (k), HTSUS, exclude from that Section articles of heading 7116 and articles of chapter 82, respectively. Chapter 71, Note 3(k), HTSUS, excludes from that chapter articles of chapter 82 with a working part of precious or semiprecious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed). HQ 958704, which you cite, classified diamond drill blanks or polycrystalline diamond compact blanks, in heading 7116, HTSUS. These were described as randomly oriented synthetic industrial diamond crystals bonded to a tungsten carbide substrate. The drill blanks were said to be used in the manufacture of drill bits for oil, gas and mineral exploration. It is important to note that the rotary diamond cutter at issue here is not a drill blank; rather, it is a tool consisting of a cutting wheel affixed to a stainless steel holder.

If the rotary diamond cutter is provided for in heading 8207, it cannot be classified either in heading 7116 or in heading 8466. In this regard, the 8207 ENs on p. 1204 state the heading covers an important group of tools which are unsuitable for use independently, but are designed to be fitted into, for example, machine tools of headings 8457 to 8465. The tools of heading 8207 may be either one-piece or composite articles. The ENs describe composite tools as those with working part of diamond or other precious or semi-precious stones, attached to a base metal support either permanently, by welding or insetting, or as detachable parts. The latter type consist of the working part locked to the body by devices comprising, for example, a bridge plate, a clamping screw or a spring cotter-pin with, where appropriate, a chip-breaking lip. The diamond rotary cutter at issue, consisting of a cutting wheel connected to a stainless steel holder by a spindle, meets this EN description. The diamond rotary cutter is an interchangeable tool of heading 8207.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the diamond rotary cutter is provided for in heading 8207. It is classifiable in subheading 8207.90.75, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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