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HQ 965252

NOVEMBER 20, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965252 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8543.90.88

Curtis B. Carson
HARCO Technologies Corporation
P.O. Box 721
Medina, OH 44258

RE: HQ 088175 Revoked; High Silicon Iron Castings for Use in Cathodic Protection

Dear Mr. Carson:

In HQ 088175, dated May 30, 1991, certain high silicon iron castings, to be completed after importation into impressed current anodes for cathodic protection, were held to be classifiable as other electrical machines and apparatus, in subheading 8543.80.90 (now 8543.89.96), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). This ruling modified an earlier ruling to you, dated March 16, 1990, in which certain of the described articles in tubular configuration were held to be classifiable as other pipes, tubes and hollow profiles of other alloy steel, in subheading 7304.59.80, HTSUS.

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 revocation of HQ 088175 was published on October 10, 2001, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 35, Number 41. Two comments were received in response to that notice, both favoring Customs proposal. The commenters made factual and legal arguments for the conclusion that the described castings for use in cathodic protection systems are electrical machines and apparatus of heading 8543. A relevant legal note precludes goods of Chapter 85 from classification in Chapter 81. All factual and legal issues relevant to the conclusion will be more fully discussed in this ruling.


The articles in HQ 088175 were described as high silicon iron castings, in both tubular and solid configuration. Both contained 14.5 percent silicon, 4.5 percent chromium, and less than 1 percent each of manganese and carbon, all by weight. This alloy was said to provide maximum electrical conductivity. The tubular articles were unmachined hollow castings with plain ends, while the solid articles were round iron rods of solid cross section with dimensions similar to the tubular castings, except that the diameter of one end is enlarged and hollowed out to form a 2-inch aperture to receive a cable or lead wire. After importation, the articles were said to be completed into impressed current anodes by inserting a copper core conductor cable, and the assembly completed by the attachment of metal spacers, or dielectric insulation packing or backfill, or polyethylene plugs and epoxy coating. In use, the anodes are connected to a transformer/rectifier or other direct power source to form an impressed current cathodic protection system that electrolytically restricts the development of rust and corrosion in underground storage tanks and piping systems, submerged structures, ships’ hulls, and in above-ground applications where high moisture levels are found.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8543 Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere [in chapter 84]; parts thereof:

8543.30.00 Machines and apparatus for electroplating, electrolysis or electrophoresis:

Other machines and apparatus:

8543.89.96 Other


8543.90.88 Other


Whether high silicon iron castings, completed after importation into impressed current anodes for cathodic protection, are machines and apparatus for electrolysis of heading 8543, or parts of such apparatus.


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. GRI 2(a) states in part that incomplete or unfinished articles shall be classified as if complete or finished provided that, as imported, the incomplete or unfinished articles have the essential character of the complete or finished article.

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).

Goods that are identifiable as parts of machines or apparatus of chapters 84 or 85 are classifiable in accordance with Section XVI, Note 2, HTSUS. Note 2(a) states that parts which are goods included either in chapter 84 or in chapter 85 are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings. Note 2(b) states that other parts are to be classified with the machines with which they are solely or principally used, including machines of heading 8543.

The ENs on p. 1518 state, among other things, that heading 8543, electrical machines and apparatus having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in [chapter 85], covers all electrical apparatus not falling in any other heading of chapter 85, nor excluded by an applicable legal note, or covered more specifically by a heading of any other chapter of the Nomenclature. Most of the appliances of heading 8543 consist of an assembly of electrical goods or parts (valves, transformers, capacitors, chokes, resistors, etc.) operating wholly electrically.

The articles in HQ 088175 required the insertion of a copper core conductor wire and addition of metal spacers, dielectric insulation packing or backfill, or polyethylene plugs and epoxy coating for completion into impressed current anodes. They were articles incomplete or unfinished at the time of importation. However, the precise alloying elements, said to provide maximum electrical conductivity, coupled with the fact, as stated in HQ 088175, that the composition of the [anodes] and their high silicon content are too brittle to withstand machining into another article, lead us to conclude that, as imported, they possess the essential character of impressed current anodes.

We are satisfied that the described castings, in both tubular and solid configuration, qualify as goods of heading 8543. It is important to note, however, that the type of cathodic protection system in which these articles are used involves the application of an external current to operate. By themselves, these anodes serve no galvanic protection function at all. Certainly, they are not electric goods that operate wholly electrically. Therefore, as imported, these articles do not qualify as electrical apparatus of heading 8543. When coupled to an external power source, however, they do qualify as parts solely or principally used with electrical apparatus of that heading.


Under the authority of GRI 1 and Section XVI, Note 2(b), HTSUS, the high silicon iron castings, in tubular and solid configuration, are provided for in heading 8543. They are classifiable in subheading 8543.90.88, HTSUS


HQ 088175, dated May 30, 1991, is revoked. 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

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