United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2001 HQ Rulings > HQ 964604 - HQ 964709 > HQ 964663

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 964663

AUGUST 20, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964663 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8457.30.00

Port Director of Customs
One East Bay Street
Savannah, GA 31401

RE: Protest 1703-00-100112; Cylinder Head Finishing Machine

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 1703-00-100112, filed against your classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a multi-station machine for producing rough finished cylinder heads. The entry under protest was liquidated on July 28, 2000, and this protest timely filed on August 24, 2000. The commercial invoice also lists a cylinder head pallet loader, item BZE-0260. This article was classified at liquidation as a material handling device of heading 8428, HTSUS. This classification is not contested.


The machine at issue is an aluminum cylinder head linear transfer finishing line, invoiced as a cylinder head finishing machine, item number BZE-0259. The finishing machine consists of eight (8) stations or unit heads, in linear configuration to a length of some 60 feet, all mounted on a common structural steel base which is a part of the importation. The machine incorporates a mechanical handling device that moves the cylinder head castings among the stations. This machine performs various machining operations in sequence that remove gates, risers and excess flash to transform as-cast aluminum cylinder heads into rough finished or as-finished heads. Included are three trim press stations, two knock-out stations, one cutting station, and two milling stations. Rough finished cylinder heads produced by this machine are then finish-machined at an engine machining and assembly plant.

The cylinder head finishing machine was entered under a provision in heading 8457, HTSUS, as a multistation transfer machine for working metal. Your office liquidated the entry under a provision in heading 8461, HTSUS, as a sawing or cutting-off machine.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

[M]ultistation transfer machines, for working metal:

Multistation transfer machines

Machine tools forsawing, cutting-off:

8461.90.00 Numerically controlled


Whether the cylinder head finishing machine is a multistation transfer machine of heading 8457.


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 at the international level. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The provision in heading 8461, machine tools for sawing or cutting off, describes part only of the components in the cylinder head finishing machine. The tooling in the trim presses of this machine is a hardened steel tool similar to a die that matches the outline of the cylinder head. It is pushed over the part repeatedly and trims or cuts off anything that protrudes. The cutting station incorporates a circular saw that cuts off the gates and risers. Finally, the milling stations incorporate tools that remove excess metal
from the cylinder heads. The knock-out stations are machines incorporating steel chisels that hammer out sand cores from the cylinder heads. Cold hammering of this type, however, does not ordinarily remove metal from the cylinder head, nor does it change the head’s shape. For this reason, the knock-out machine does not perform a machine tool function.

Chapter 84, Note 4(c), HTSUS, states that heading 8457 applies only to machine tools for working metal, other than lathes, which can carry out different types of machining operations by the automatic transfer of the workpiece to different unit heads (multi-station transfer machines). Transfer machines are essentially a combination of work stations arranged in the required sequence, connected by work transfer devices, and integrated with interlocked controls, in which workpieces are automatically transferred between the stations. Relevant heading 8457 ENs, on p. 1374, describe multi-station transfer machines that must satisfy three conditions: (1) they must carry out several machining operations, (2) they must work by the automatic transfer of the workpiece to the tool and, (3) they must be equipped with various unit heads. Both rotary transfer machines and linear transfer machines are included in the heading, the unit heads in the latter being arranged in a line on a common base to work successively on the workpiece as it travels from one head to another, along the line. Nothing in the submitted pictures and other materials shows a conveyor carrying the workpieces among stations. The ENs indicate that the presence of a conveyor linking the machines or stations precludes classification in heading 8457.

In our opinion, the cylinder head finishing machine is described by the cited ENs. It carries out several machining operations, i.e., a milling function described in heading 8459, a sawing function described in heading 8461, and a trim press die function described in heading 8462; cylinder heads are automatically transferred among the stations; and, the machine is equipped with eight unit heads or stations.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the cylinder head finishing machine is provided for in heading 8457. It is classifiable in subheading 8457.30.00, HTSUS.

The protest should be ALLOWED. 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: