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HQ 963653

May 11, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963653 AML


TARIFF NO.: 8465.91.00

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
1 East Bay Street
Savannah, GA 31401

RE: Protest 1703-99-100259; “Transcut 2” portable crosscut saw

Dear Port Director:

The following is our decision regarding protest 1703-99-100259, concerning your classification of a portable crosscut saw under subheading 8465.91.0074, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for machine tools . . . for working wood . . . or similar hard materials: other: sawing machines: other.


The articles are described in marketing literature as follows:

The “Transcut 2” is a portable crosscut saw. Standard features include a 3/8” kerf (“a groove or notch made by cutting, as with an axe or saw,” Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary (1988)), stellite armored guidebar, 3/8” STIHL chipper chain (or equivalent chain), 10 horsepower Siemens electric motor with integrated starter, electrically driven automatic chain oiler, available with solid rubber or balloon tires. The approximate total weight of the article is 350 pounds (lbs.).

The articles were entered on February 23 and April 27, 1999, and the entries were liquidated on November 19, 1999. The protest was filed on November 19, 1999.


Whether the “Transcut 2” is classifiable under subheading 8465.91.00, HTSUS as machine tools . . . for working wood . . . or similar hard materials: other: sawing machines; or under subheading 8467.81.00, HTSUS, as tools for working in the hand, pneumatic, hydraulic, or with self-contained non-electric motor: other tools: chain saws?


Initially we note that the protest was timely filed (i.e., within 90 days after but not before the notice of liquidation (this aspect was confirmed with the port telephonically on May 11, 2001); see 19 U.S.C. 1514 (c)(3)(A)) and the matters protested are protestable (see 1514 U.S.C. 1514 (a)(2) and (5)).

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs are applied, taken in order.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8465 Machine tools (including machines for nailing, stapling, gluing or otherwise assembling) for working wood, cork, bone, hard rubber, hard plastics or similar hard materials: Other:
8465.91.00 Sawing machines:
8465.91.00.74 Cross-cut and optimizing saws.

8467 Tools for working in the hand, pneumatic, hydraulic or with self-contained nonelectric motor, and parts thereof:
8467.19 Other:
Other tools:
8467.81.00 Chain saws.

When interpreting and implementing the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, while neither legally binding nor dispositive, provide a guiding commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See, T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The General ENs to Chapter 84 provide, in pertinent part, as follows: In general, Chapter 84 covers machinery and mechanical apparatus and Chapter 85 electrical goods. It should also be noted that machinery and apparatus of a kind covered by Chapter 84 remain in this Chapter even if electric, for example:

1. Machinery powered by electric motor.

Thus the “Transcut 2,” as entered with an electric motor, is classifiable within Chapter 84.

The protestant argues that the model at issue is a portable and mobile chainsaw operated by hand, classifiable under subheading 8467.81.00, HTSUS, as tools for working in the hand . . . chain saws.

The ENs to heading 8467 provide, in pertinent part, that:

This heading covers tools which incorporate a compressed air motor (or compressed air operated piston), an internal combustion motor or any other non-electric motor (e.g., small hydraulic turbines[.] The heading covers such tools only if for working in the hand (emphasis added). The expression “tools for working in the hand” means tools designed to be held in the hand during use, and also heavier tools (such as earth rammers) which are portable, that is, which can be lifted and moved by hand by the user, in particular while work is in progress, and which are also designed to be controlled and directed by hand during operation (emphasis added). To obviate the fatigue of taking their full weight during operation they may be used with auxiliary supporting devices (e.g., tripods, jacklegs, overhead lifting tackle).

The heading excludes tools which, because their weight, size, etc., obviously cannot be used in the hand as described above (emphasis added). It also excludes tools (whether or not portable) fitted with a base plate or other device for fixing to the wall, bench, floor, etc., and those with provision for running on rails (e.g., machines for slotting or drilling railway sleepers).

The Transcut 2 weighs approximately 350 lbs. Although the article, equipped with wheels, can be described as “portable,” it cannot be described as a hand tool contemplated by heading 8467 (we believe that it is considered portable in the lumber industry as it is used instead of a stationary industrial saw). The article is mounted on a base that is in turn equipped with wheels. The ENs preclude classification of articles so equipped (with a base plate or other device for fixing to the wall, bench, floor, etc., and those with provision for running on rails) from classification within the heading. Although the user controls and directs the saw by hand during operation, no average person could hold (“to have and keep in one’s grasp; to keep up; support.” Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary (1988)) the Transcut 2 in the hand during use. Similarly, we conclude that the term “portable” (“capable of being carried; easily carried or moved.” Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary (1988)) as employed in the heading and ENs contemplates articles that are significantly less cumbersome than the Transcut 2. Consideration of the exemplars listed in the heading and ENs reveals that “portable handtools” classifiable therein are lightweight, readily manipulable and easily transportable (colloquially, articles that can fit into the trunk or passenger compartment of an ordinary automobile). Compared with a portable chainsaw that is a hand tool, the Transcut 2 is unwieldy. Accordingly, we conclude the Transcut 2 is not a hand tool classifiable under heading 8467, HTSUS.

The ENs to heading 8465 provide, in pertinent part, that:

This heading covers machine-tools for the shaping or surface-working (including cutting, forming and assembling) of wood (and materials derived from wood), cork, bone, hardened rubber, hard plastics and similar hard materials (horn, corozo, mother of pearl, ivory, etc.). In general, machine tools are power-driven but similar machines, worked by hand or pedal, are also covered by this heading. These latter types can be distinguished from the hand tools of heading 82.05 and from the tools for working in the hand of heading 84.67 or 85.08, by the fact that they are usually designed to be mounted on the floor, on a bench, on a wall or on another machine, and are thus usually provided with a base plate, mounting frame, stand, etc.


This group includes:

(1) Sawing machines of all types. They operate by means of blades or chains generally provided with teeth. They include:

(a) Sawing machines with reciprocating tools, e.g., log cross-cut sawing machines with right-toothed blades, fret saws and vertical or horizontal frame saws for cutting rough timber into planks.

(b) Sawing machines whose tool revolves. These include chain saws and band saws such as vertical and horizontal band saws, quartering and halving band saws, chariot or table band saws and various specialised machines such as multiple band saws for making parquet strips and band saws for the paper industry.

(c) Sawing machines whose tool has a rotating motion. This large group includes all machines which cut by means of one or more toothed blades moving in a circular movement. It includes, for example, pendulum saws, cut-off saws with a straight line tool stroke, radial saws, block stroke saws with longitudinal cut, circular log-cutting saws, edging circular saws, bench saws, joiner’s saws, circular panel-cutting saws.

The Transcut 2 cuts entire bundles of wood, rolls of paper and other hard objects or substances. It is classifiable under heading 8465, HTSUS.


The Transcut 2 is classifiable under subheading 8465.91.00, HTSUS, as machine tools . . . for working wood . . . or similar hard materials: other: sawing machines.

The protest should be DENIED. 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 (60) 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

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