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HQ 964337


CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964337 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8503.00.95, 8504.23.00

Port Director of Customs
555 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94126

RE: Protest 2809-00-100025; Gearless Mill Drive

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 2809-00-100025, filed against your classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of parts and components of a gearless mill drive. The entry under protest was liquidated on October 15, 1999, and this protest timely filed on January 12, 2000. Counsel for the protestant presented additional facts and legal arguments at a meeting in our office of July 20, 2001, which he confirmed in a submission of the same date, and supplemented on August 8, 2001.


The merchandise at issue is stator sections, poles and coils, and winding materials, all parts of a gearless mill drive which is apparatus specially designed to power industrial grinding machinery called ball mills. Ball mills are typically large horizontally-rotating cylinders used in the mining industry to grind pre-crushed ores into fine powder. Metal grinding balls are often added to the cylinder to aid in the crushing of the ore. Commercial invoices list the merchandise at issue as “wrap around motor drives (motor, partial delivery)” and “20 pcs stator coils (partial delivery).” A spreadsheet summarizes the contents of the packing list and other entry documents, and describes one “1/2 upper stator,” two “1/4 lower stator,” numerous “complete poles,” several “joint stator coils,” together with other miscellaneous parts and components. It also describes certain parts and components of transformers, i.e., the main body,
oils drums, cable box, radiators and oil tank parts, that appear to constitute three transformers, imported unassembled, each with a power handling capacity of 4, 400 kVA . These transformers are current regulating apparatus used with the gearless mill drive but not integral to the drive.

The merchandise was entered under a provision of heading 8474, HTSUS, as parts of crushing or grinding machines. When this claim was not substantiated, your office reclassified the merchandise under a provision in heading 8501, HTSUS, as other electric motors.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Machinery forcrushing, grinding, mixingores or other mineral substances; parts thereof:


8501 Electric motors and generators:

8501.53 Of an output exceeding 75 kW:


8503.00 Parts suitable for use solely or principally with goods of heading 8501:

Stators and rotors for the goods of heading 8501




Electric transformers, static converters (for example, rectifiers) and inductors

Counsel for the protestant asserts the parts classification under heading 8474, HTSUS, and negates the heading 8501, HTSUS, classification essentially on the same basis, i.e., that the components at issue lack a rotor and, therefore, constitute less than the necessary elements of an electric motor of heading 8501, either complete or finished or incomplete or unfinished. The body of the grinding mill in this case, which is not part of the importation, constitutes the rotating element necessary to a complete electric motor. Accordingly, counsel concludes, the imported articles are integral, constituent component parts that are used with the mill body to complete an operational ball mill. They are thus principally used with grinding machinery provided for in heading 8474. For this reason, the imported articles cannot be classified in heading 8503, HTSUS, as parts of electric motors. Alternatively, in the absence of evidence that these components are principally used with a particular type of machine, counsel argues that they are classifiable in a provision of heading 8548, HTSUS, as electrical parts of machinery or apparatus, not specified or included elsewhere in Chapter 85.


Whether the stator sections, poles, coils and other components are goods of heading 8501, parts of heading 8503, or parts of grinding machinery of heading 8474.


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.

Subject to certain exceptions that are not relevant here, goods that are identifiable as parts of machines or apparatus of Chapter 84 or Chapter 85 are classifiable in accordance with Section XVI, Note 2, HTSUS. See Nidec Corporation v. United States, 861 F. Supp. 136, aff'd. 68 F. 3d 1333 (1995). Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of Chapters 84 and 85 are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings. See Note 2(a). Other parts, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular machine, or with a number of machines of the same heading, are to be classified with the machines of that kind, or in heading 8503, among others. See Note 2(b).

Submitted literature uses various terms to describe gearless mill drives, i.e., wrap-around motors, gearless wrap-around drives, ultra low speed synchronous motors, even very simple motors. Generally, electric motors are machines whose essential function is to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy for the purpose of doing work. Normally, such motors consist of a static member, or stator, and a rotating member, or rotor. Mechanical power is delivered by means of a rotating shaft attached internally to the rotor. Bearings mounted on the shaft permit it to turn freely. The rotor and stator are normally separated by an air gap in which a magnetic field will be created and in which the electromechanical energy conversion takes place. Windings consisting of coils of insulated copper or aluminum wire are wound around poles placed in equal numbers on the stator and rotor and which protrude into the air gap. The stator components in this case have the windings already in them. Permanent magnets may also be attached to these poles. Electric current is introduced into the coils which creates a magnetic field in the air gap. The poles on both the rotor and stator alternate in polarity circularly around the air gap - like poles repel one another and unlike poles attract one another. This phenomenon causes the rotor to turn.

The literature indicates that in most gearless mill drives, the stator is the key to stability and is usually ordered first. In the larger drives the stator is typically shipped in four sections, each weighing many tons. In this case, however, the coil-wound poles are bolted directly to the outer flange of the mill body shell - which is not a part of this importation - effectively giving the shell the function of the rotor. We agree that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the merchandise at issue constitutes an incomplete or unfinished electric motor of heading 8501.

As parts of machines or apparatus of Chapter 84 or Chapter 85, the stators, poles and coils at issue here must be classified with the particular kind of machine with which they are solely or principally used, as required by Section XVI, Note 2(b). Companies such as Siemens and Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), the company that produced the merchandise at issue here, manufacture motors of all kinds, to include gearless mill drives. They do not, to our knowledge, manufacture grinding machinery. The particular and unique facts here indicate that while the coil-wound poles may be bolted to the mill body they, together with the stator sections, will be used to complete a machine whose function is to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, i.e., an electric motor. This mechanical energy subsequently operates the crushing or grinding machine. These stators, poles and coils are principally, if not solely, used with electric motors of heading 8501.

As previously stated, transformers are used for many purposes, among which is to step down or step up voltages or currents to the level of equipment to which they are connected. Transformers of all types are provided for in heading 8504. Though the unassembled transformers in the entry under protest may operate in tandem with the gearless mill drive at issue, they are separate and discrete articles of commerce. For this reason, they must be separately classified.


Under the authority of GRI 1 and Section XVI, Note 2(b), HTSUS, the parts and components at issue here, to include stator sections, poles and coils, are provided for in heading 8503. The stator sections are classifiable in subheading 8503.00.65, HTSUS. The poles, coils and other components are classifiable in subheading 8503.00.95, HTSUS. Since the rate of duty under these provisions is more than the liquidated rate, the protest DENIED as to this merchandise. Under the authority of GRI 2(a), HTSUS, the parts and components comprising the three transformers are provided for in heading 8504. They are classifiable in the subheading appropriate to their power handling capacity. Since the rates of duty under each of the applicable subheadings of heading 8504 is less than the liquidated rate, the transformers should be reclassified as indicated and the protest ALLOWED as to this merchandise.

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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