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HQ 967358

September 24, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 967358 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8704.22.50

Ms. Darlene DiBernardo
Deringer Logistics Consulting Group
1 Lincoln Blvd., Suite 225
Rouses Point, New York 12979

RE: Refueling Truck; NY R00594 Revoked

Dear Ms. DiBernardo:

In NY R00594, which the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued to you on July 27, 2004, on behalf of Almac International Inc., Quebec, an airport refueling truck was found to be classifiable as a special purpose motor vehicle, other than those principally designed for the transport of persons or goods (for examplefire fighting vehicles), in subheading 8705.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have had occasion to review this classification and determined that it is incorrect.


The vehicle at issue incorporates a 1,000-gallon tank mounted on a truck chassis, including ladder, piping, bottom loading system, etc., with a fueling module positioned between the tank and cab, equipped with pump, hoses, hose reel, nozzle, filter, meter, remote display and dump tank. The vehicle is equipped with PTO, and it’s brake and speed systems have been modified and an interlock system installed to prevent the truck from moving when fueling is in progress, all for safety purposes.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Motor vehicles for the transport of goods

Special purpose motor vehicles, other than those principally designed for the transport of persons or goods


Whether the airport refueling truck is a special purpose motor vehicle of heading 8705.


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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Relevant ENs indicate that vehicles of heading 8705 are those specially constructed or adapted, equipped with various devices that enable them to perform certain non-transport functions, i.e., the primary purpose of a vehicle of this heading is not the transport of persons or goods. The classification expressed in NY R00594 was based on the mistaken belief that the vehicle met the terms of this EN. In fact, motor pump vehicles and other vehicles with pumps, ladders and crane mechanisms, or combinations thereof, qualify under 8705 if they are specially designed to perform non-transport functions. But, notwithstanding the vehicle’s fueling module, it is apparent that the primary purpose of the refueling truck is to transport fuel to the aircraft. This vehicle is to be distinguished from the vehicle in NY H85167, dated August 27, 2001, a case you cited, which was found to be classified in subheading 8705.90.00, HTSUS. This vehicle was, in fact, a pumping truck with no capacity for transporting the fuel it pumped. It is akin, by function, to fire fighting vehicles of the type cited in the 8705 heading text. HQ 961688, dated January 13, 1999, sets forth our position on motor vehicles of the type at issue here, which are principally designed to transport fuel.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the refueling truck is provided for in heading 8704. It is classifiable in subheading 8704.22.50, Harmonized Traiff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The appropriate statistical suffix depends of the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight. The rate of duty under this provision is 25 percent ad valorem. 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.

Under the authority of section 177.12(b), Customs Regulations, NY R00594, dated July 27, 2004, is revoked.


John Elkins for Myles B. Harmon, Director Commercial Rulings Division

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