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 964667

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 964667

JANUARY 4, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964667 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 E83107 Modified; Pressure Washer

Dear Mr. Walser:

In NY E83107, dated June 17, 1999, which the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued to you on behalf of BE Pressure Supply Inc., the PE-4013 Pressure Washer from Canada was 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.

NY E83107 also held that the pressure washer, assembled in Canada with both originating and non-originating components was eligible for the tariff preference as an originating good under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). We have reconsidered the subheading 8424.89.70 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 E83107 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 E83107 was described as a 4000 PSI - 4 GPM pump powered by a 13 HP gasoline engine, all on a wheeled chassis with chrome frame. It has a thermal relief valve, a 50-foot pressure hose with couplers, a chemical injector kit, a 5000 PSI pressure gauge, a 4000 PSI gun with 36-inch insulated wand and 4 nozzles. The PE-4013 Pressure Washer is designed to force water through a hose and nozzle to attain a high power projection to clean a variety of surfaces, such as house exteriors, cars, decks, sidewalks, gutters, heavy equipment and the like.

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 the PE-4013 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).

The subheading 8424.30.90 classification, if it applies, will prevail over subheading 8424.89.70, which is a “basket” provision. In our opinion, whether the PE-4013 Pressure Washer 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 PE-4013 shares that/those characteristics. To be classifiable in subheading 8424.30.90, HTSUS, the pressure washer the subject of NY E83107 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 pressure or power washers all have the same essential components, i.e., motor, pump and spraying wand or nozzle; 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 PE-4013 Pressure Washer is a jet projecting machine 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 PE-4013 Pressure Washer is provided for in heading 8424. It is classifiable in subheading 8424.30.90, HTSUS.


NY E83107, dated June 17, 1999, is modified as to this classification. However, in accordance with NY E83107, the pressure washer remains eligible for any available duty preference under the NAFTA, 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: