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HQ 967299

DECEMBER 21, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 967299 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7307.19.9060

Port Director
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
P.O. Box 619050
Dallas, TX 75261

RE: Classification of Gas Meter Swivels and Gas Meter Nuts

Dear Port Director:

With your undated memorandum (CLA 1-01:D:C:CLN), you forwarded a letter from counsel for Nitek Electronics, Inc., and Sango International LP., dated July 8, 2004, requesting internal advice, pursuant to section 177.11(b)(2) of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Regulations, concerning the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of gas meter swivels and gas meter nuts for use with industrial and residential gas meters.

The goods were entered under a provision in heading 9028, HTSUS, as parts and accessories for gas supply or production meters. You propose to reclassify both articles under a provision in heading 7307, HTSUS, as tube or pipe fittings of iron or steel.


The merchandise at issue is gas meter swivels (the swivel) and gas meter nuts (the nut), both used with industrial and residential gas displacement meters. Samples were submitted. The swivel is a hollow product of uncoated malleable cast iron, nearly 2 ¾ inches in length. One end is threaded externally approximately 1 inch from the end and the other end has a machined lip. The nut is of uncoated malleable cast iron and is internally threaded. It measures 2 1/8 inch
outside diameter on one end tapering to 1 ¾ inch outside diameter on the other end. A shoulder or flange is machined inside the rim of the nut forming a “stop.” This “stop” is intended to catch an external shoulder or flange of another component with which the nut is intended to be combined. Both the swivel and nut are used to connect the gas meter, two swivels and nuts per meter, through a meter bar to the gas service pipe line. A meter bar consists of two cast 45-degree elbows or bends, one at each end, with a hole-punched “bar” in the center to which a bracket can be attached. This insures that the gas meter is securely connected to the building. In use, the threaded end of each swivel screws into the bends at each end of the meter bar, one bend serving as the gas inlet and the other bend as the gas outlet. The other end of each swivel connects to the gas meter by means of the nut which slips over the swivel, secured by the machined lip, and screws onto mated threaded nipples cast into the top of the meter. Thus, gas flows from the service line, through the meter, into the premises.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

7307 Tube or pipe fittingsof iron or steel:

Cast fittings:


Ductile fittings


Gassupply or production meters, including calibrating meters thereof: parts and accessories thereof:

9028.90.00 Parts and accessories


Whether the meter swivel and meter nut are tube or pipe fittings of heading 7307.


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 and Border Protection believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

In its July 8, 2004, submission, counsel advances the following arguments in support of the subheading 9028.90.00, HTSUS, classification. All meter connections, to include the meter swivels and meter nuts at issue, conform to an American National Standard Institute (ANSI) requirement that is unique to gas meter parts and accessories, and which does not apply to generic malleable iron fittings. Industry sources and trade nomenclature establish meter swivels and meter nuts as accessories for gas meters. These articles have special design features which dedicate them for use solely or principally with diaphragm-type gas meters. They have no other practical commercial use. In their channels of distribution, the meter swivels and swivel nuts are sold only to gas companies having gas meter installation responsibilities, and never to retail establishments with hardware departments. Finally, counsel cites several administrative rulings on substantially similar articles, but maintains that these rulings either contain undocumented facts or fail to adequately address contentions made by the ruling requesters. He concludes that because these rulings are believed to be incorrect, appropriate modification and/or revocation proceedings should be initiated.

Preliminarily, CBP does not dispute counsel’s characterization of the goods as gas meter parts and/or accessories used with gas meters, nor its conclusion that their sole or principal use is with gas meters. However, Section XV, Note 2(a), HTSUS, states that articles of heading 7307 are within the phrase “parts of general use.” In addition, Chapter 90, Note 1(f), HTSUS, states the chapter does not cover parts of general use, as defined in note 2 to section XV. Thus, if the gas meter swivel and gas meter nut, or either of them, constitute goods of heading 7307, they cannot be classified in heading 9028.

A review of EN 73.07 indicates the heading covers fittings of iron or steel, mainly used for connecting the bores of two tubes together, or for connecting a tube to some other apparatus. The connection is obtained by screwing, among other means. The EN continues by excluding from heading 7307 bolts, nuts, screws, etc., of heading 73.18. Initially, the meter nuts are not “nuts” of heading 7318 for the reasons stated in HQ 965939, dated July 16, 2003. The facts in this case indicate that the meter swivels have a National Pipe Thread end which screws into the two pipe elbows or bends of the meter bar that connect to the gas piping (tube). The other end of each meter swivel connects to the gas meter by means of the nut which screws onto the threaded nipples
in the top of the meter. Thus, under the referenced EN, the meter swivel and meter nut together connect or screw the gas pipe to another apparatus, i.e., the meter, by means of the elbow sections of the meter bar, the center piece of which serves merely as a means of connecting and securing the meter to the wall. The meter swivel and meter nut qualify as goods of heading 7307. This eliminates heading 9028 from consideration.

Among the rulings counsel cites are NY 859671, dated February 14, 1991, and NY K83125, dated March 10, 2004, which classified meter swivels and swivel nuts and gas meter swivels, respectively, in subheading 7307.19.90, HTSUS. HQ 733717, dated July 30, 1991, cited NY 859671 with approval, in classifying meter swivels in subheading 7307.19.90, HTSUS. Finally, HQ 965939, supra, classified pipe fitting nuts in subheading 7307.19.90, HTSUS. It appears, therefore, that CBP’s classification of this merchandise has been consistent over an extended period. These rulings are affirmed.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the gas meter swivels and gas meter nuts at issue are provided for in heading 7307. They are classifiable in subheading 7307.19.9060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The 2000 rate of duty under this provision is 6.2 percent ad valorem.

You are to mail this decision to the internal advice applicant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. On that date the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs 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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