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HQ 964635

JANUARY 4, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964635 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8424.30.90

Mr. Danny Eckel
The Campbell Group
100 Production Drive
Harrison, Ohio 45030

RE: NY C88579 Revoked; Pressure Washer

Dear Mr. Eckel:

In NY C88579, which the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued to you on June 4, 1998, certain pressure washers from Italy were held to be classified in subheading 8424.89.70, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other mechanical appliances for projecting, dispersing or spraying liquids or powders. We have reconsidered this classification and now believe that it is incorrect.

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.103-107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY C88579 was published on November 29, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 48. No comments were received in response to that notice.


The merchandise in NY C88579 was described as a pressure washer used to clean house exteriors, cars, decks, boats, lawn equipment, sidewalks, gutters, patio furniture, among other things. It consisted basically of either electric or gasoline-powered, motor driven pumps which force water through a hose and nozzle to attain a high pressure spray to clean the surface of the target article. Power washers of this type take low-pressure tap water, pass it through a pump to increase
the water’s exit pressure, then through a high-pressure hose, handgun and spray lance to a high-pressure rotary nozzle. At lower pressures some models may have a suction hose that draws detergent or other cleaning solvent from a reservoir into the system to enhance the washer’s cleaning capability.

In the ruling request that became NY C88579, you maintained that the power washers were jet projecting machines similar to steam or sand blasting machines, of the type classifiable in subheading 8424.30.90, HTSUS. We rejected that claim on the basis of our belief that the power washers did not function in the manner of jet projecting machines similar to steam or sand blasting machines.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Mechanical appliancesfor projecting, dispersing or spraying liquids or powders; steam or sand blasting machines and similar jet projecting machines:

(now 90) Other steam or sand blasting machines and similar jet projecting machines


8424.89.70 Other


Whether power washers or pressure washers are jet projecting machines similar to steam or sand blasting 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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

In our opinion, whether power washers are jet projecting machines “similar” to steam or sand blasting machines, requires that we identify the characteristic or characteristics that steam or sand blasting machines have in common, and whether the power washer at issue shares that/those characteristics. To be classifiable in subheading 8424.30.90, HTSUS, the power washers the subject of NY C88579 must be substantially the same as steam or sand blasting machines in terms of design, construction, function, and use.

The ENs on p. 1287, under the heading (C) STEAM OR SAND BLASTING MACHINES AND SIMILAR JET PROJECTING MACHINES, include the following:

Sand blasting machines and the like are often of heavy construction and sometimes incorporate compressors. They are used for de-scaling or cleaning metal articles, for etching or putting a matt surface on glass, stone, etc, by subjecting the articles to the action of high pressure jets of sand, metal abrasives, etc. They are usually fitted with dust extractors to remove the residual sand and dust. The heading also covers steam blast appliances used, for example, for de-greasing machined metal, etc.

From the EN description, it is apparent that sand blasting machines, steam blast appliances, and power washers all have the same essential components, i.e., motor, pump and spraying wand; steam blast appliances and power washers commonly incorporate a heater coil which gives them the ability to create steam; whether using steam or sand, pressurized water or heated pressurized water, alone or in combination with a cleaning solvent, all are of a class or kind of machines and appliances used for cleaning purposes to remove foreign matter from a target surface; and (3) all project their cleaning media, that is, they discharge or emit a forceful stream of effluent from a nozzle or narrow opening. We conclude that in terms of design, construction, function and use, the power washers at issue are jet projecting machines similar to steam or sand blasting machines.

In an effort to achieve uniformity in the interpretation of the Harmonized System (HS) at the international level, Customs regards rulings from other countries that classify identical or substantially similar merchandise as instructive. However, such rulings do not constitute the official interpretation of
the HS. For this and other reasons, these rulings shall not be treated as dispositive and Customs is not bound by them. Nevertheless, however, a ruling from the Munich Branch of the German Customs Directory, and another from Revenue Canada have recently been brought to our attention. These rulings classify power washers believed to be substantially similar to the ones at issue here in subheading 8424.30.80 (now 90). These rulings are consistent with our classification under the HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the power washers, as described, are provided for in heading 8424. They are classifiable in subheading 8424.30.90, HTSUS.


NY C88579, dated June 4, 1998, is revoked. 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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