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NY K81861

December 22, 2003
CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:102 K81861


TARIFF NO.: 8412.31.0080

Mr. David J. Levine
McDermott, Will & Emery
600 Thirteenth Street, N. W.
Washington, D.C. 20005-3096

RE: The tariff classification of gas springs of unspecified origin

Dear Mr. Levine:

In your letter dated December 4, 2003 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of the Hyson Products Division of Barnes Group.

The articles in question are described as “nitrogen cylinders” or “gas springs”, used for a wide range of mechanical applications, including machine tools, hoists and davits, farm machinery, construction equipment, robotics, and other industrial machines.

You indicate that the subject merchandise consists of various sizes and shapes of metal cylinders in which a metal piston moves in and out in a linear fashion in reaction to pressure from an external source, which pushes the piston into the cylinder, and from nitrogen gas compressed in the sealed cylinder, which pushes the piston out. You suggest that the articles in question are articles provided for in subheading 8412.31.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for other pneumatic linear acting cylinders.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized system. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted.

The ENs related to HTSUS heading 8412 explain that pneumatic linear acting cylinders are motors operated by compressed gas applied to a piston, converting the energy of the gas into linear motion. Essentially, the pneumatic motors of HTSUS heading 8412 convert the energy contained in an external source of pressurized gas into mechanical energy. The articles in question, while initially charged with a pressurized gas, do not convert an external source of pressurized gas into mechanical energy. Rather, the gas springs are charged with gas, and once charged, simply rely on the compressibility of that gas to act as a spring, much like an inflated bag would act as a cushion.

We find that the gas springs in question are not articles of HTSUS heading 8412. Accordingly, the classification of the gas springs ultimately will be determined by their principal use and we will need additional information in order to issue a ruling.

Please provide a detailed explanation of where the articles are used and identify any use, if any, that exceeds all other uses. When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. If you decide to resubmit your request, please include all of the material that we have returned to you and mail your request to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Customs Information Exchange, 10th Floor, One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119, attn: Binding Rulings Section.

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 Kenneth T. Brock at 646-733-3009.


Robert B. Swierupski

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