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HQ 964496

November 6, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964496 GOB


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.70

Thomas P. Sprowl
Nippon Express U.S.A., Inc.
1413 Donaldson Pike
Nashville, TN 37210

RE: Motor vehicle suspension ball joints; NY 818205 revoked

Dear Mr. Sprowl:

This ruling letter is in regard to New York Ruling Letter (“NY”) 818205, issued to Nippon Express U.S.A., Inc. by the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, on February 8, 1996. In that ruling, a suspension ball joint for use in motor vehicles was classified under subheading 8708.99.73, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). We have reviewed that classification and have determined that it is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification.


The motor vehicle suspension ball joint part numbers are 40160-88M02 and 40160-50Y02.

The suspension ball joint is placed between the suspension arm and the steering knuckle. The socket is pressed into the suspension arm, and the ball stud is fitted to the steering knuckle using the bolt and nut. The ball stud is then fastened with a nut. This ball joint fastens the steering knuckle (tire) and the suspension arm, enabling rocking and sliding in such a manner that the twist force caused by tire motion (cornering and up-and-down movement) does not propagate to the suspension arm and other components.

When the vehicle is cornering, the ball stud slides with the cornering of the tire, and the proper cornering angle between the tire and the suspension arm can be obtained by smoothly moving the tire. The ball joint is on the rotational center of the tire.

In the case of a double wishbone type of suspension, the upper or lower ball joint also has the role of suspending the body.


What is the tariff classification of the subject motor vehicle suspension ball joints?


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRI’s”). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“EN’s”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the EN’s provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8708 Parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705: Other parts and accessories:
8708.99 Other
8708.99.70 Parts for suspension systems
8708.99.73 Parts for steering systems

The subject motor vehicle suspension ball joints are clearly parts of the suspension system of a motor vehicle.

Accordingly, they are classified in subheading 8708.99.70, HTSUS.


The subject motor vehicle suspension ball joints are classified in subheading 8708.99.70, HTSUS.


NY 818205 is revoked.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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