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HQ 964637

JANUARY 4, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964637 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8424.30.90

Mr. David A. Walser
Arthur J. Humphreys Div.
Border Brokerage Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 249
Sumas, WA 98295

RE: NY 838018 Modified; Wet Jet Pressure Washer

Dear Mr. Walser:

In NY 838018, dated March 17, 1989, which the Area Director of Customs (now the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division), New York, issued to you on behalf of Braber Equipment, Ltd., the Wet Jet Pressure Washer, a product of Canada, was held to be classified in subheading 8424.89.00 (now 70), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other mechanical appliances for projecting, dispersing or spraying liquids or powders.

NY 838018 also held that the Wet Jet Pressure Washer qualified for duty-free entry under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, as machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes, if actually used in agricultural pursuits, and upon compliance with sections 10.131-10.139 of the Customs regulations. We have reconsidered the subheading 8424.89.00 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. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of NY 838018 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 838018 was described as a pressure washer powered by a 5 hp gasoline engine with no self-contained holding tank. It utilizes tap water run through a hose which enables a farmer to spray-clean milking parlors or farm machinery. The ruling contained no further description of the device. Pressure washers of this type may be on a wheeled chassis or floor mounted, may be powered by electric or gasoline motors, and incorporate pumps or pistons, hose and nozzle. Generally, they take low-pressure tap water, pass it through a pump or piston to increase the water’s exit pressure, then through a high-pressure hose, handgun and spray lance to a high-pressure nozzle or other aperture.

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


8424.89.00 (now 70) Other


Whether the pressure washer is a jet projecting machine 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 the pressure washer at issue is a jet projecting machine “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 pressure washers the subject of NY 838018 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 or similar essential components, i.e., motor, pump and spraying wand or nozzle of some type; steam blast appliances and power washers sometimes 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 pressure washers at issue in NY 838018 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, 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 Wet Jet Pressure Washer in subheading 8424.30.80 (now 90). These rulings are consistent with our classification under the HTSUS.


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


NY 838018, dated March 17, 1989, is modified as to this classification. However, the pressure washers remain eligible for classification under subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, upon compliance with applicable law and Customs Regulations. 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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