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 > 2002 HQ Rulings > HQ 964944 - HQ 965024 > HQ 964994

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 964994

February 7, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964994 GOB


TARIFF NO.: 8302.20.00

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
9777 Via De La Amistad
San Diego, CA 92154-7209

RE: Castor Assembly Units; Reconsideration of NY B86619

Dear Port Director:

This is in reply to your memorandum of April 17, 2001 (CLA-1:OM:CO NHL) in which you request the reconsideration of NY B86619, issued by the National Commodity Specialist Division on July 9, 1997, to a customs broker acting on behalf of Carttronics LLC (“Carttronics”).


In NY B86619, Customs described the merchandise at issue, a castor assembly unit, as follows:

The merchandise is the CAPS steel shopping cart castor with mountings and a housing of steel. The castor incorporates an electronic circuit board, receiver and battery, and an actuator device which closes a steel shell around the wheel to prevent removal of the cart from the store site. The wheel of the castor is 100 mm in diameter, and 25 mm in width.

On June 12, 2001, the Carttronics Internet site, www.carttronics.com, provided in pertinent part as follows:

CAPS® is a patented electronic system that stops the removal of shopping carts from retail sites and dramatically reduces all cart-related expenses. The system is built around a custom electronic caster and a buried perimeter antenna. The system incorporates an RF transmitter that generates a low frequency, low power signal along the antenna line to define the limit of cart travel. When a CAPS®-protected cart rolls within a few feet of the antenna line, an integrated braking shell is electronically released to roll down under the wheel, where it locks in place to disable the cart.

The CAPS® caster replaces one standard swivel caster on each cart, and is installed the same as industry standard swivel casters. The caster is designed to nest with virtually all carts without modification or special handling. The caster incorporates a digital receiver and a durable, energy efficient, electro-mechanical unit that controls the braking action. The patented, protective shell design serves to stop the cart and simultaneously protect the cart wheel from damaging wear and flat spots.

“CAPS” stands for Cart Anti-Theft Protection System. We will refer to the subject good as a castor assembly unit. The antenna which is buried around the perimeter of the permissible area of cart travel is not involved in this ruling.

In NY B86619, Customs classified the good in subheading 8302.20.00, HTSUS, as: “. . . castors with mountings of base metal . . .: . . . Castors and parts thereof.”


What is the tariff classification of the subject castor assembly unit?


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRI’s”). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI’s may then be applied. GRI 2 is not applicable here.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“EN’s”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the EN’s provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8302 . . . castors with mountings of base metal . . .:

8302.20.00 Castors, and parts thereof

8527 Reception apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy or radiobroadcasting, whether or not combined, in the same housing, with sound recording or reproducing apparatus or a clock:

8527.90 Other apparatus:



8527.90.95 Other

Note 1(f) to Section XV, HTSUS, which includes Chapter 83, provides: “This section does not cover: . . . (f) Articles of Section XVI (machinery, mechanical appliances and electrical goods)[.]” Section XVI, HTSUS, includes heading 8527, HTSUS. Thus, if the castor assembly unit is an article of heading 8527, HTSUS, it is not classified in heading 8302, HTSUS.

Note 2 to Chapter 83, HTSUS, provides: “For the purposes of heading 8302, the word “castors” means those having a diameter (including, where appropriate, tires) not exceeding 75 mm, or those having a diameter (including, where appropriate, tires) exceeding 75 mm, provided that the width of the wheel or tire fitted thereto is less than 30 mm.” [Emphasis in original.] The subject castor assembly units fall within these standards, i.e., the width of the castors is 25 mm.

Note 1(g) to Section XVI, HTSUS, provides: “This section does not cover: . . . (g) Parts of general use, as defined in note 2 to section XV, of base metal (section XV) . . . “ Note 2 to Section XV, HTSUS, provides in pertinent part: Throughout the tariff schedule, the expression “parts of general use” means: . . . (c) Articles of heading . . . 8302 . . .” [Emphasis in original.] Thus, if the castor assembly units are articles of heading 8302, HTSUS, they are “parts of general use” and are not classified in subheading 8527, HTSUS.

Heading 8302

EN 83.02 provides in pertinent part; “This heading covers: . . .(B) Castors, as defined in Chapter Note 2. To fall in this heading, castors must have mountings of base metal, but the wheels may be of any material (except precious metal).” “Castor” is not defined in the HTSUS or EN’s.

“Castor” (or “caster”) is defined in pertinent part as follows in the stated references:

Merriam-Webster OnLine (www.m-w.com): “ . . . 3: any of a set of wheels or rotating balls mounted in a swivel frame and used for the support and movement of furniture, trucks, and portable equipment . . . “

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language (unabridged ed.; 1973): ‘ . . . 2. A small wheel on a swivel, set under a piece of furniture, a machine, etc., to facilitate moving it . . .”

We believe that the castor assembly unit meets the terms of heading 8302, HTSUS, in that it is essentially a castor. In FAG Bearings, Ltd. v. United States, 9 CIT 227 (1985), the court stated:

The basic requirement of classification under a given eo nomine item is that the new article possess an essential resemblance to the one named in the statute. Standard Surplus, 69 CCPA at 38, 667 F.2d at 1014. If the difference in the two articles is in the nature of an improvement, and the essential character of the article is preserved or only incidentally altered, an unlimited eo nomine designation will include both articles. Robert Borsch Corp v. United States, 63 Cust. Ct. 96, 104, C.D. 3881 (1969); see also A.J. Arango, Inc. v. United States, 1 CIT 271, 274-75, 517 F. Supp. 698, 702 (1981), aff’d, 69 CCPA 85, 671 F.2d 484 (1982).

Eo nomine tariff provisions are addressed in Customs Law & Administration by Ruth F. Sturm (3rd ed.; 1995):

An eo nomine designation is one which describes a commodity by a specific name, usually one well known in commerce. United States v. Paul M.W. Bruckmann, 65 CCPA 90, C.A.D. 1211, 582 F. 2d 622 (1978) . . . . . .
An eo nomine designation, without limitation or a shown contrary legislative intent, judicial decision, or administrative practice, and without proof of commercial designation, will include all forms of the article . . .

Articles so named are included within the eo nomine designation even though they have been subjected to a variety of processing steps, so long as their identity as the named article has not been destroyed and they have not been converted into something else . . .

The castor assembly unit here is an improvement to the “typical” castor in the sense that the good here has an additional function of receiving a signal that deploys the braking mechanism. The castor assembly unit retains the essential character of a castor within the meaning of heading 8302, HTSUS, and the definitions above.

Beyond the fact that we have concluded the castor assembly units are castors within the meaning of heading 8302, HTSUS, we note that heading 8302, HTSUS, includes automatic door closers of base metal. The electro-mechanical function of an automatic door closer might be considered to be similar to the electro-mechanical function of the castor assembly unit.

Heading 8527

Heading 8527, HTSUS, covers reception apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy or radiobroadcasting. We find that the castor assembly units are not reception apparatus for any of these functions. Therefore, they are not described in heading 8527.


We find that the castor assembly units are provided for at GRI 1 in heading 8302, HTSUS, and are classified in subheading 8302.20.00, HTSUS, as: “. . . castors with mountings of base metal . . .: . . . Castors, and parts thereof.”


The castor assembly units are provided for in heading 8302, HTSUS, and are classified in subheading 8302.20.00, HTSUS, as: “. . . castors with mountings of base metal . . .: . . . Castors, and parts thereof.”


NY B86619 is affirmed.

John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: