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HQ 966772

July 28, 2004

CLA-2: RR:CR:TE 966772 KSH


TARIFF NO.: 8480.30.0000

Port Director

Port of Chicago

Customs and Border Protection

610 S. Canal Street
Room 306
Chicago, IL 60607

RE: Application for Further Review of Protest 3901-03-100977

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Application for Further Review of Protest (AFR) 3901-03-100977, filed by Nissin Customs Service Inc., on behalf of Celina Aluminum Precision Technology, Inc.

The protest is against Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) classification and liquidation of one entry of a “Cylinder Head Water Jacket Die” and a “Cylinder Head Port Die” under subheading 8480.30.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for molding patterns, with a rate of duty of 2.8% ad valorem. Liquidation of the entry occurred on May 9, 2003. Protestant entered the merchandise subject to this protest as a mold for mineral materials in subheading 8480.60.0010, HTSUSA, free of duty.

The protest was timely filed pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1514 (c)(3) and 19 C.F.R. 174.12 (e)(1).


The merchandise at issue is known as the “Cylinder Head Water Jacket Die” and the “Cylinder Head Port Die”. Protestant describes the merchandise as an injection die. The two halves of the die are opened and closed vertically. When closed the cavity formed by the void in the center of the die is injected with resin-coated sand. Electric heaters maintain a temperature hot enough to bond the resin-coated sand particles forming a single sand core. The two halves of the die are then separated and the sand core is ejected out of the die after the resin is heated and cured. The sand core is used to shape the interior of cast aluminum cylinder heads. The sand core is ultimately destroyed during the production of the cast aluminum cylinder heads.


Whether the “Cylinder Head Water Jacket Die” and “Cylinder Head Port Die” constitute a molding pattern of subheading 8480.30.0000, HTSUSA, or a mold for mineral materials of subheading 8480.60.0010, HTSUSA.


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN), constitute the official interpretation at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the EN provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the headings.

Subheading 8480.30.0000, HTSUS, provides for molding patterns. The E.N. to heading 8480, HTSUS, states that molding patterns “include foundry patterns, foundry cores, core boxes, moulding boards, pattern plates, etc., used in the preparation of sand moulds (generally of wood).”

Subheading 8480.60.0010, HTSUS provides for Molds for mineral materials, injection or compression types. The Explanatory Note to heading 8480, HTSUS, provides that moulds for mineral materials includes:

Moulds for ceramic pastes (e.g., brick moulds, moulds for pipes or for other articles of ceramics, including moulds for artificial teeth).

Moulds for moulding concrete, cement or asbestos-cement goods (tubes, vats, paving stones, flags, chimmney-pots, bannisters, architectural ornaments, wall, floor, or roof slabs, etc). Also moulds for making prefabricated construction elements of reinforced or prestressed concrete (window frames, parts of vaulting beams, railway sleepers, etc.).

Moulds for agglomerating abrasives into grinding wheels.

Moulds for plaster, staff or stucco articles (e.g., toys, statuettes and ceiling decorations).

Protestant indulges in an in-depth review of various lexicographic sources which define the processes involved in forming castings including patterns, cores, coremaking, removing the pattern from the mold, investments casting and permanent mold casting. Protestant then proceeds to dismiss each one in turn as inaccurately or incompletely describing the processes involved in the instant matter or describing a component which is not imported with the merchandise at issue. Protestant similarly dismisses CBP’s definition of core boxes as a “variant version of the sand molding process taking place in the instant case.”

Protestant next summarily rejects, in turn, each of the examples provided in the Explanatory Note to heading 8480, HTSUSA with the exception of molds for mineral materials. Protestant argues that while the examples given of molds for mineral materials does not specifically provide for the type of mineral material blank produced by its merchandise, it does not rule it out either. Protestant also asserts that the ENs to heading 8480, HTSUSA, do not rule out the blanks produced by its merchandise.

Ultimately, protestant rejects the Explanatory Note to 8480, HTSUSA, as it does not adequately describe the term “blanks” or the range of articles classifiable in subheading 8480.60.0010, HTSUS. Protestant urges that classification of the 2-piece die under protest must be made in accordance with GRI 3(a). Protestant reasons that pursuant to the language of the Explanatory Note to 84.80, HTSUSA, subheading 8480.60, HTSUSA, includes all molds used for molding the named materials into blanks or finished articles. Accordingly, under GRI 3(a), applied at the subheading level through GRI 6, subheading 8480.60, HTSUSA, provides a more specific description for the 2-piece die at issue than does subheading 8480.30, HTSUSA. We disagree.

The merchandise at issue is a mold for a sand and resin mixture that is formed into a sand core that is heated and cured. The sand core is then used to shape the interior of cast aluminum cylinder heads. This process is precisely the function of a core box which the 84.80, HTSUSA, ENs list as a type of molding pattern used in the preparation of sand molds. Molding patterns are provided for in subheading 8480.30, HTSUSA.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Cylinder Head Water Jacket Die and Cylinder Head Port Die are provided for in heading 8480, HTSUSA. They are classified in subheading 8480.30.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for molding patterns. The rate of duty is 2.8% ad valorem..

The protest and application for further review should be denied in full.

In accordance with the Protest/Petition Processing Handbook, (CIS HB, January 2002, pp 18 and 21), 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 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 CBP personnel, and to the public on the CBP Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.cbp.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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