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NY K80478

November 26, 2003
CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:103 K80478


TARIFF NO.: 8485.90.0080

Mr. Tony Collini
John S. Conner, Inc.
401 East Pratt Street, Suite 700
Baltimore, MD 21202

RE: The tariff classification of grease fittings from the United Kingdom

Dear Mr. Collini:

In your letter dated October 28, 2003 on behalf of American Lubrication Equipment Corp. you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A descriptive brochure and samples of various grease fittings were included with your inquiry. The grease fittings are available in numerous sizes and in both straight and angled configurations. They basically consist of a mild steel or stainless steel body attached to a threaded shank for easy installation. The body incorporates an orifice containing a heat-treated spring and a ball check which prevents dirt from entering the orifice. Grease or other lubricant can be pumped through the orifice to lubricate an article; when the pressure stops the spring loaded ball reseats and closes off the fitting, thus preventing the lubricant from escaping. Mild steel fittings utilize a carbon steel ball, are case hardened to prevent tip wear, and are zinc plated for corrosion resistance. Stainless steel fittings will be used for the lubrication of bearings in hostile environments.

In your letter you claimed these grease fittings are for use in automobiles, and suggested they are classifiable in subheading 8302.30.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for base metal mountings, fittings and similar articles suitable for furniture, doors, staircases, windows, blinds, coachwork, saddlery, trunks, chests, caskets or the like: other mountings, fittings and similar articles suitable for motor vehicles: of iron or steel, of aluminum or of zinc. However, a letter dated October 23, 2003 from American Lubrication Equipment included with your inquiry states that, besides automobiles, these fittings are used in many other products including mounted bearings, industrial equipment, lawnmowers, trailers, material handling machinery, casters and industrial wheels. These grease fittings are not principally used in the vehicles of chapter 87 of the HTS, nor are they the type of fittings described in heading 8302. Accordingly, they are not classifiable in subheading 8302.30.30, HTS.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTS, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. In classifying goods, U.S. Customs and Border Protection believes the ENs should always be consulted (see T.D. 89-80). The ENs for heading 84.85 state that this heading covers goods which can be recognized as being parts of machines, but not as parts of any particular machines, such as greasing nipples.

The applicable subheading for the grease fittings will be 8485.90.0080, HTS, which provides for machinery parts not containing electrical connectors, insulators, coils, contacts or other electrical features, and not specified or included elsewhere (in chapter 84): other: other. The rate of duty will be 3.9 percent ad valorem.

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 Alan Horowitz at 646-733-3010.


Robert B. Swierupski

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