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HQ 965123

FEBRUARY 27, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965123 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7326.90.85, 8418.99.80

Nancy Pellowe
Tecumseh Products Company
100 East Patterson Street
Tecumseh, Michigan 49286

Dear Ms. Pellowe:

In your letter to the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, dated June 25, 2001, you inquire as to the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a condensing unit, and parts, for use in refrigeration applications. You provided additional information to the New York office in an undated facsimile transmittal, which included a drawing and copies of product literature. Your letter was referred to this office for reply. We regret the delay in responding.


The articles at issue are a condensing unit, identified as part 2B3142-1, a vertical receiver, identified as part 51080, and a capacitor mounting bracket, identified as part 57068-2. The condensing unit consists of a compressor, a finned coil-type condenser you describe as a heat exchanger, and a fan with motor, all mounted onto a common base. You indicate the unit is principally used in refrigeration applications. The vertical receiver is basically a shell with connections, whose purpose is to hold refrigerant. The capacitor mounting bracket is of base metal and functions to attach a capacitor (a device which helps in starting or running the compressor) directly onto the compressor or elsewhere on the condensing unit, as the customer designates.

As imported, the condensing unit lacks an evaporator which you indicate is necessary to allow the apparatus to function as refrigeration equipment. After importation, the evaporator will be connected to the condensing unit by brazing tubes with or without fittings. Company guidelines state the distance between condensing unit and evaporator should not normally exceed 100 ft.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Other articles of iron or steel:



Refrigerators, freezers and other refrigerating or freezing equipment, electric or other;parts thereof:

Other refrigerating or freezing equipment;:

Compression type units whose condensers are heat exchangers


8418.99.80 Other


Whether the condensing unit, as described, imported without an evaporator, constitutes refrigerating or freezing equipment of heading 8418, HTSUS, or parts of such equipment under the same heading.


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).

Relevant ENs on p. 1431 state that compression type refrigerators of heading 8418 consist of the following essential elements: (1) The compressor which receives expanded gas from the evaporator and delivers it under pressure to (2) the condenser or liquefier where the gas is cooled and liquefied, and (3) the evaporator. The active cooling element, consisting of a tubular system in which the condensed refrigerant, released through an expansion valve, evaporates rapidly with the absorption of heat from the surrounding air or, in the case of large cooling installations, from brine or a solution of calcium chloride kept in circulation around evaporator coils. The instant importation lacks the evaporator which you note is essential for the apparatus to function as refrigerating equipment. However, you note that the ENs continue by stating that apparatus of the foregoing kinds (i.e., compression type refrigerators) are classified in heading 8418 if in the form of units comprising a compressor (with or without motor) and condenser mounted on a common base, whether or not complete with evaporator. On the basis of this statement in the ENs, you contend that the condensing unit, imported without an evaporator, constitutes compression type refrigeration or freezing equipment of the kind described in subheading 8418.61.00, HTSUS.

The classification of the merchandise at issue in heading 8418 is governed by the legal notes to Section XVI, HTSUS. Section XVI, Note 4, HTSUS, states in part that where a machine, including a combination of machines, consists of individual components, whether separate or interconnected by piping, by transmission devices, by electric cables or other devices, intended to contribute together to a clearly defined function covered by one of the headings in chapter 84 or chapter 85, then the whole is to be classified in the heading appropriate to that function. The General ENs on p. 1388 state that Note 4 applies whether the various components (for convenience or other reasons) remain separate or are interconnected by piping (carrying air, compressed gas, oil, etc.), by devices used to transmit power, by electric cables or by other devices. The ENs continue by stating Note 4 covers only machines and combinations of machines essential to the function specific to the functional unit as a whole, and thus excludes machines or appliances fulfilling auxiliary functions and which do not contribute to the function of the whole. Among the examples of functional units listed on p. 1388 is refrigerating equipment consisting of components which are not fitted together to form a whole and are interconnected by means of piping through which the coolant circulates (heading 84.18). Finally, the ENs state on p. 1389 that component parts not complying with the terms of Note 4 fall in their own appropriate headings.

The functional unit concept in Section XVI, Note 4, is a classification at the GRI 1 level, and applies to finished or complete goods. We have ruled consistently that there is no legal authority to classify incomplete or unfinished goods as functional units. See HQ 960632, dated October 27, 1997, HQ 957150, dated January 30, 1995, and cases cited. Because the condensing unit, as described, lacks the evaporator necessary to allow the entire apparatus to function as refrigeration equipment, classification in subheading 8418.61.00, HTSUS, is not appropriate.

With respect to goods that qualify as parts of machines or apparatus of chapters 84 or 85, Section XVI, Note 2(b), HTSUS, requires that they be classified with the machines with which they are solely or principally used. You indicate that while the condensing unit has air conditioning applications it is principally used for refrigeration. Based on this assertion, classification of the condensing unit as parts of refrigeration equipment, in heading 8418, appears warranted. Under the same rationale the vertical receiver would be similarly classified.

If the capacitor mounting bracket is imported attached to the compressor or elsewhere on the condensing unit, the whole would be regarded as a part of refrigeration equipment under heading 8418. If imported separately, however, as appears likely, it would be considered an article of iron or steel of heading 7326. We note that heading 8302, HTSUS, in part covers base metal hat racks, hat-pegs, brackets and similar articles. But, brackets that attach capacitors to printed circuit boards do not appear to be akin, by function or design, to the class or kind of goods encompassed by heading 8302.


Under the authority of GRI 1 and Section XVI, Note 2(b), HTSUS, the condensing unit, part 2B3142-1, and the vertical receiver, part 51080, are provided for in heading 8418. They are classifiable as parts of refrigeration equipment, in subheading 8418.99.80, HTSUS. The capacitor mounting bracket, part 57068-2, is classifiable in subheading 7326.90.85 or in subheading 8418.99.80, HTSUS, as appropriate.

We are forwarding copies of this decision to the Customs ports of Tacoma, Los Angeles/Long Beach, Norfolk and Miami, for their guidance in classifying this merchandise.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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