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 NY Rulings > NY I84364 - NY I84418 > NY I84387

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY I84387

August 13, 2002

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:104 I84387


TARIFF NO.: 8418.69.0055

Mr. ArashTabeghanoon
KOA International Eng. Ltd.
8 Hillcrest Ave., Suite No. 2105
Toronto, Ontario M2N 6Y6

RE: The tariff classification of liquid absorption chillers from Japan

Dear Mr. Tabeghanoon:

In your letter dated July 18, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The Ebara hermetic liquid absorption chillers (Double Effect Model 16JSRAW and Single Effect Model 16JHRCH) are used to produce chilled water (43oF) for space cooling in commercial buildings. Each chiller consists of an evaporator, absorber, generator, condenser and heat exchanger. No fan is included. The chillers are steam-driven. The main refrigerant is water and lithium bromide (LiBr) is used as the absorbent.

In your letter you suggested classifying these liquid absorption chillers under heading 8415, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Air conditioning machines, comprising a motor-driven fan and elements for changing the temperature and humidity, including those machines in which the humidity cannot be separately regulated. To support this suggestion, you claim that (1) the main application of the absorption chiller is air-conditioning (manufacturer’s catalogue and Ashre [sic] handbook of refrigeration equipment cited), (2) the Explanatory Notes to Section XVI, heading 8415 and Note 2(a) to Section XVI must be applied and (3) the Explanatory Notes to heading 8418 specifies that the temperature range for refrigerating equipment of heading 8418 should be in the region of 0o or less. You have asked that this office comment on your suggestion.

Similar claims have been presented in the past and have been addressed in several Headquarters rulings. In particular, HQ ruling #961196 dated January 8, 1999 provides comments on all of these claims.

Main application –

HQ 961196 states in pertinent part ---
Where not defined in an HTSUS section or chapter note or in an appropriate EN, tariff terms are to be construed according to their common and commercial meanings, which are presumed to be the same. How a term is used within an industry has been regarded as a particularly authoritative source of its common meaning. The 1998 ASHRAE handbook REFRIGERATION, published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., states in the introductory language of Chapter 43 under LIQUID CHILLING SYSTEMS, that the most frequent application for liquid chilling systems is for air conditioning systems, although both brine cooling for low-temperature refrigeration and chilling of fluids in industrial processes are also common. This source also states that in the refrigeration cycle of modern water-lithium bromide chillers, chilled water enters the cooler at 54 degrees F, for example, and leaves at 44 degrees F. From this, we can reasonably conclude that apparatus which produces chilled water at 44 degrees F is regarded as refrigerating equipment for purposes of heading 8418.

Explanatory Notes to Section XVI, heading 8415 –

This office points out that the language of the notes to heading 8415 reads in part, “If presented as separate elements, the components of air conditioning machines are classified in accordance with the provisions of Note (2) (a) to Section XVI (headings 84.14, 84.18, 84.19, 84.21, 84.79, etc.) whether or not they are designed for building into a self-contained unit.” Thus, separately presented absorption chillers are classified under heading 8418 in accordance with note 2(a) to Section XVI and the language of these notes.

Explanatory Notes to Section XVI, heading 8418 –

This office points out that the language of the notes to this heading reads in part “ this heading are in the main machines or assemblies of apparatus for the production, in a continuous cycle of operations, of low temperatures (in the region of 0° C or less)”. (Emphasis added) This language implies that not all the merchandise falling to be classified under this heading is of temperatures in the region of 0° C or less.

In addition, HQ 961196 states in pertinent part--- ..several of the devices enumerated statistically under subheading 8418.69.00, HTSUS, do not operate in a continuous cycle of operations, of low temperatures (in the region of 0 degrees C or less), previously considered necessary for refrigerating and freezing applications, so that true refrigerating equipment need not necessarily operate in that temperature range.

Note 2(a) to Section XVI –

HQ 961196 states in pertinent part --- while an absorption chiller/heater, imported without fans, is not an incomplete or unfinished air conditioning machine of heading 8415, it is still a part under that heading. But, because the chiller/heater is also a good included in heading 8418, it must be classified in that heading under the authority of Section XVI, Note 2(a).

Temperature –

HQ 961196 states in pertinent part ---
In one of the rulings you cite, HQ 952808, dated February 16, 1993, heading HTS 8418, other refrigerating or freezing equipment, was essentially eliminated from consideration, based on certain ENs for that heading. Those notes stated that the equipment of heading 8418 in the main produces low temperatures (in the region of 0 degrees C or less) at the active cooling element. Information available to us at the time indicated that absorption liquid chillers using lithium bromide as the absorbent produce water temperatures as low as 43 degrees F (8 degrees C), a temperature which the industry does not recognize as required for refrigeration.

However, we note the term refrigeration is not defined by any legal note in the HTSUS and the temperature range stated in the heading 8418 ENs i.e., in the region of 0 degrees C or less, applies to the equipment “in the main.” We note as well that the 8418 ENs describe Absorption Type Refrigerators on p. 1268, and on p. 1269 list as apparatus of the foregoing kind refrigerated water or beverage fountains and beer coolers. Neither of these apparatus operates in a continuous cycle of operation in the region of 0 degrees C or less. Similarly, in HQ 952361, dated August 18, 1992, temperature-controlled wine storage units were classified in an appropriate subheading of heading 8418. Thus, the referenced ENs describe the absorption liquid chillers in issue, but do not necessarily preclude classification in heading 8418 of such apparatus, even if they do not operate in a continuous cycle of operation in the region of 0 degrees C or less.

In view of the above, the applicable subheading for the Ebara hermetic liquid absorption chillers (Double Effect Model 16JSRAW and Single Effect Model 16JHRCH) will be 8418.69.0055, HTS, which provides for Refrigerators, freezers and other refrigerating or freezing equipment, electric or other; heat pumps, other than the air conditioning machines of heading 8415; parts thereof: Other refrigerating or freezing equipment; heat pumps: Other...Absorption liquid chilling units. The rate of duty will be Free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Robert Losche at 646-733-3011.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: