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HQ 964674

NOVEMBER 21, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964674 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8462.10.00

Judy Cook
TG Missouri Corporation
2200 Plattin Road
Perryville, MO 63775

RE: Die Stamping Press

Dear Ms. Cook:

Your letter to the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated October 9, 2000, requesting the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a die stamping press has been referred to this office for reply. We regret the delay in responding.


Submitted literature describes the AIDA NC1 series die stamping press. They are available in 45, 60, 80, 110, 150 and 200-ton models, and are “gap” or “C-frame”-type presses to distinguish them from straight side presses. You indicate the presses are to be used to stamp out metal parts for air bag assemblies.

Die stamping presses are machine tools which utilize tools called dies to produce stamped parts for a variety of automotive and industrial applications. The presses in this case will be imported without the dies. The NC 1 series are single station presses in which all stamping operations are performed on sheet metal stock at the same station. The cutting, forming, trimming and sizing operations are performed sequentially by changing the dies.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Machine tools (including presses) for working metal bydie-stamping::

Forging or die-stamping machines (including presses) and hammers



8462.99.80 Other


Whether these presses are die-stamping machines for tariff purposes.


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).

Where not defined in the legal text of the HTSUS, either in a section or chapter note, or clearly described in the ENs, a tariff term is construed in accordance with its common and commercial meanings, which are presumed to be the same. In technical areas, Customs places great emphasis on industry-specific lexicons in determining the
common meaning of a term. These lexicons tend to define terms with greater specificity than do general purpose dictionaries. See Brown-Boveri Corp. v. United States, 55 CCPA 19, 23, C.A.D. 870 (1966), and cases cited. The Glossary of Mechanical Press Terms, published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) as American National Standard B5.49M (1984), defines stamping as:

The end product of a press operation, or a series of operations, wherein a piece part is generated by processing flat (or perforated) strip or sheet stock between the opposing members of a die. During the operation(s), the material is subjected to pressure sufficient to cut the part, or form the part, or both, into the required configuration. A general term used to describe the process, or the press operations, or both.

The ENs to heading 8462, on pp.1383 and 1384, indicate that stamping (or cutting out) is a process for forcing metal, by impact or pressure, to fill the hollows of metal moulds called dies. Generally, a press is used. Stamping machines can utilize special cutting dies to eliminate the flash produced during stamping or cutting out. The finishing operation carried out by a precision die-stamper is described as sizing, and produces the parts’ necessary precise dimensions. It is apparent that die-stamping presses are capable of numerous machining operations that produce finished parts. Individual stamping dies progressively form the part, usually starting with a drawing or forming operation, then trimming, piercing, flanging, etc. From the available information, we are led to conclude that the presses at issue are mechanical die stamping machines for tariff purposes. In HQ 965247, dated November 13, 2001, copy enclosed, Customs corrected its previous classification of mechanical transfer presses and confirmed that, like the presses at issue here, such presses are die stamping machines for tariff purposes.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the AIDA NC-1 series die stamping presses are provided for in heading 8462. They are classifiable in subheading 8462.10.00, HTSUS, a provision for die-stamping machines (including presses).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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