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HQ 965365

AUGUST 8, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965365 JAS


TARIFF NO.: Various

Port Director of Customs
4735 Oakland St.
Denver, CO 80239

RE: Protest 3307-02-100003; Parts and Components for Guttering System

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 3307-02-100003, filed by a customhouse broker representing CCVF LLC, doing business as Sunblest Farms, against your classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of parts and components for a guttering system used to grow tomatoes. The entry was liquidated on November 23, 2001, and this protest timely filed on January 30, 2002.


The merchandise under protest is invoiced and described on the Customs Form 6445 as metal gutters or guttering coated with plastic, plastic gutter end pieces, aluminum end pieces, metal hooks and silicon caulking. The gutters are in fact cold rolled, flat rolled nonalloy steel coil painted on one side and coated with plastic on the other. The coil is profiled, after importation, to form the actual growing system for tomato plants in a commercial greenhouse. The end pieces, hooks and caulking appear to be parts of the guttering system.

The merchandise was entered under a provision of heading 8432, HTSUS, as parts of agricultural or horticultural machinery. The goods were found not to constitute machines or machinery of that heading. The plastic and painted steel guttering was reclassified at liquidation under a provision of heading 7212, HTSUS, as flat-rolled products of iron or nonalloy steel, the metal hooks in heading 7326, HTSUS, as other articles of iron or steel, the
plastic end pieces in heading 3926, HTSUS, as other articles of plastics, the aluminum end pieces in heading 7616, HTSUS, as other articles of aluminum, and the silicon caulking in heading 3214, HTSUS, as caulking compounds and other mastics. On protest, the claim is under heading 9817.00.50, HTSUS, as machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

3214 [C]aulking compounds and other mastics

Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914

Flat-rolled products of iron or nonalloy steel, of a width of less than 600 mm, clad, plated or coated

7326 Other articles of iron or steel

7616 Other articles of aluminum

Machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes

Parts to be used in articles provided for in headings 8432, 8433, 8434 and 8436


Whether the parts and components, or any of them, qualify under heading 9817.


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.

Chapter 98, U.S. Note 1, HTSUS, states that the provisions of that Chapter are not subject to the rule of relative specificity. An article described in any provision is classifiable in that provision provided the conditions and requirements thereof and any applicable regulations are met. However, Section XXII, Chapter 98, Subchapter XVII, U.S. Notes 2(h), (ij) and (m), HTSUS, exclude from heading 9817 articles of chapter 72,
with certain exceptions articles of chapter 73, and articles of chapter 76, respectively. Thus, the flat-rolled steel coils, the metal hooks and aluminum end pieces are not eligible for classification in heading 9817. The plastic end pieces and silicon caulking are not excluded from heading 9817. They are parts of the guttering system but, as previously indicated, because the complete guttering system does not qualify as machinery of heading 8432, these articles are not eligible for entry under heading 9817.00.60.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the flat-rolled steel coils, metal hooks, plastic end pieces, aluminum end pieces and silicon caulking are provided for in headings 7212, 7326, 3926, 7616 and 3214, HTSUS, respectively. They are classifiable in the subheadings listed on the Customs Form 6445.

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 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.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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