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HQ 964412

OCTOBER 16, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964412 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7318.19.00

Mr. Alex Romero, Jr.
F. Romero & Co., Inc.
477 Railroad Blvd.
P.O. Box 989
Calexico, CA 92231-0989

RE: NY 834307 Modified; Steel Eye Lag Screws

Dear Mr. Romero:

In NY 834307, which the then-Area Director of Customs (now the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division), New York, issued to you on January 12, 1989, on behalf of Fabril Corporation, steel eye lag screws, among other goods, were held to be classifiable in subheading 7318.12.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other wood screws.

Pursuant to section 625(c), 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, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of NY 834307 was published on September 13, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 37. No comments were received in response to that notice.


The lag eye screws are of iron or steel construction and measure between 3 and 3 ¼ inches long and ¼ inch in diameter. The fasteners have tapered points and a steep cutting thread on one half of the fastener, and an unthreaded shank portion in the middle which culminates in a flat, paddle-shaped end with a circular eye cut
in the middle. In use, these fasteners will be screwed into a beam or other wood portion of a ceiling and a T-bar framework for suspended acoustical ceilings secured by wires inserted through the eye.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

7318 Screws, bolts, nuts, coach screwsand similar articles of iron or steel:

7318.12.00 Other wood screws

Other screws and bolts, whether or not with their nuts or washers:

7318.15.50 Studs

7318.19.00 Other


Whether lag eye screws of iron or steel are provided for in heading 7318 as wood screws or as other threaded fasteners.


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. While not legally binding, 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 under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

In general, screws are externally threaded fasteners capable of being inserted into holes in assembled parts, of mating with a preformed internal thread or forming its own thread, and of being tightened or released by torquing the head. The ENs, on
p. 1117 state that screws for wood differ from bolts and screws for metal in that they are tapered and pointed, and they have a steeper cutting thread since they have to bite their own way into the material. Further, wood screws almost always have slotted or recessed heads and they are never used with nuts.

Lag eye screws have tapered points and steep cutting threads common to wood screws, but lack slotted or recessed heads. The eye lag screws at issue lack a significant design feature of wood screws. In addition, heads are the means by which screws are normally tightened or released. In this case however, while the paddle-shaped end functions as the means by which this fastener is tightened or released, this end also has an eye, which is also the means by which the T-bar framework is suspended. This fastener has a significant, additional function not associated with other screws of subheading 7318.15, HTSUS. See HQ 959570, dated December 20, 1996.

Because these fasteners are designed so that one end is secured in a surface leaving a protuberance to which something else is attached, we considered whether they might be studs under subheading 731 8.15.50, HTSUS. However, the Courts have held that while the term stud is broadly defined and encompasses a number of articles, normally, the shank of a stud is embedded in a surface, leaving a threaded protuberance exposed to which an attachment might be made with a nut or otherwise. See Fastening Devices. Inc. et al v. United States, 40 Cust. Ct. 345, C.D. 2004 (1958). The eye lag screws do not function in this manner.

Finally, the Courts have held that reference to a “basket” provision such as subheading 731 8.19.00, HTSUS, is proper only when no other provision describes the merchandise more specifically. See Hafele America Co.. Ltd., Slip Op. 94-1 88 (Ct. Int’l Trade, decided December 12, 1994). Such is the case here.


There being no more specific provision describing this merchandise, we find that under the authority of GRI 1, the steel eye lag screws are provided for in heading 7318. They are classifiable in subheading 7318.19.00, HTSUS.


NY 834307, dated January 12, 1989, is modified as to this merchandise. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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