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HQ 966950

MAY 18, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966950 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8419.81.90

Thomas J. O’Donnell
O’Donnell, Byrne & Williams
20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1416
Chicago, IL 60606

RE: Shroter Smokehouse, Smoker/Cooker for Industrial Preparation of Meat Products; HQ 959485 Revoked

Dear Sir:

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 959485 was published on April 7, 2004, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 38, Number 15. No comments were received in response to that notice. As previously stated, HQ 959485 represents the denial of Protest 4104-96-100224. Any liquidation or reliquidation of the entry or entries in this protest will not be affected by this ruling, which sets forth the correct classification.


In HQ 959485, the Shroter Smokehouse was described as a steam-operated commercial oven used in large scale production of meat products such as sausage, pepperoni, prosciutto, etc. It is designed to operate at temperatures ranging from 70 degrees to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and is used in heating, cooking, roasting, evaporating, steaming, drying and cooling applications.

The claim you advanced in this protest under heading 8419, HTSUS, as other machinery for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature, was based on the assertion that notwithstanding the principal function of the smokehouse is to heat/cook foods because it is designed to
maintain a temperature of between 50 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 93 degrees Celsius), the unit also has the capability of completing the processing of food in the chamber by cooling at temperatures at or near freezing (32 degrees F). You argued this is not a function appropriate to industrial ovens of heading 8417.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

Industrial or laboratory furnaces and ovens, including incinerators, nonelectric, and parts thereof:

8417.80.00 Other

8419 Machinery...whether or not electrically heated, for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating, cooking, roasting...other than of a kind used for domestic purposes...:

8419.81 Other machinery, plant or equipment:

8419.81.50 Other cooking stoves, ranges and ovens

8419.81.90 Other


Whether the Shroter Smokehouse is a furnace or oven of heading 8417.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined 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.

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 HTSUS and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

HQ 959485 stated that the 8417 ENs were not helpful in clarifying the scope of that heading. It was further stated that the Shroter appeared substantially similar to a kiln which was encompassed within the common and commercial meanings of the terms “furnace” and “oven” for tariff purposes. Thus, the conclusion followed that the Shroter was also described by heading 8417. However, we note that the 8417 ENs do not distinguish between wet and dry heat, nor do they list operating temperatures for ovens of that heading. In addition, new and more precise sources of information now available to us indicates that as a class or kind smokehouses generally heat/cook using dry heat and wet heat produced by an external source of steam. The latter produces humidity which is necessary for fermentation, a curing process that liberates a culture which induces a chemical reaction in the meat. This appears to be part of the cooking process. Additionally, these sources also indicate that the term “oven” is restricted to apparatus that heat/cook using only dry heat. Upon careful consideration of all the available evidence, it now appears that the Shroter Smokehouse is not an oven, either under heading 8417 or heading 8419, but is other machinery of 8419.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Shroter Smokehouse is provided for in heading 8419. It is classifiable in subheading 8419.81.9080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The current rate of duty under this provision is free. Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov. HQ 959485, dated November 13, 1996, 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.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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