United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2005 HQ Rulings > HQ 967296 - HQ 967408 > HQ 967387

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 967387

OCTOBER 22, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR;GC 967387 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7318.29.00

Port Director of Customs
P.O. Box 619050
Dallas, TX 75261

RE: Protest 5501-96-100076; HUCKBOLT® Fastener

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 5501-96-100076, filed against your classification of a pin-and-collar fastener called the HUCKBOLT®. The entries under protest were liquidated on December 1, 1995, through and including January 12, 1996, and this protest timely filed on February 22, 1996.


The merchandise under protest, the HUCKBOLT®, is believed to be substantially identical to a fastener ruled upon in HQ 959571, dated December 3, 1996, the contents of which are incorporated into this decision. The article at issue, as described in HQ 959571, consists of a steel pin and collar. The pin is of carbon steel, 3 1/2 inches long, with a rounded head on one end and flat on the other end. The shank has a series of annular grooves along its entire length and is indented or recessed around the circumference at the midpoint. The collar is 3/4 inch in diameter, unthreaded, of zinc plated, low carbon steel. The shank of the steel pin is inserted through holes in the pieces to be fastened and the collar slipped on. A hydraulic fastening tool completes the joining by swaging or upsetting the collar into the end of the pin, presumably snapping off the bottom portion of the pin below the recess.

The HUCKBOLT® was entered under subheading 7318.23.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), a provision for rivets, of iron or steel. The entered provision was apparently based on the belief that the fastener was a non-threaded, usually cylindrical article with round head, used for the permanent assembly of metal parts. This design
exhibited the relevant characteristics of a rivet as an article that serves to hold other articles or materials together through the presence of a head formed on each end. Your office determined that the pin functioned in the manner of a fastener. However, because the pattern was rolled into the shank in the form of annular grooves, rather than in the axial plane, as with real threads, you classified the pin as an other non-threaded article, in subheading 7318.29.00, HTSUS, and the collar as an article of iron or steel, in subheading 7326.90.85, HTSUS.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

Screws, bolts, nuts, coach screws, screw hooks, rivets, cotters, cotter pins, washers (including spring washers) and similar articles, of iron or steel:

Non-threaded articles

7318.23.00 Rivets

7318.29.00 Other

7326 Other articles of iron or steel:

7326.90 Other:


7326.90.85 Other


Whether the HUCKBOLT® is a rivet for tariff purposes.


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).

The 73.18 ENs describe rivets as non-threaded, usually cylindrical articles with round heads used for the permanent assembly of metal parts. This description, while of some probative value, is inconclusive in establishing the tariff status of the HUCKBOLT®.

Relevant court decisions on rivets base their holdings on the common and commercial meanings of the term rivet as gleaned from dictionaries and authoritative technical sources. Among the salient design features of rivets is the fact that the joining function is completed by hammering or otherwise deforming one end into a head. Often cited as an authoritative technical source is the Glossary of Terms for Mechanical Fasteners, published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. That publication defines rivet as “A headed metal fastener used to join parts by inserting the shank through aligned holes in each piece and forming a head on the headless end by upsetting.” The HUCKBOLT® does not function in this manner. Rivets tend to be self-contained articles which do not require additional components such as collars to perform their intended service application. For these reasons, the HUCKBOLT® is not a rivet for tariff purposes. However, it is a 2-piece, non-threaded fastener. Because of its function and design, it is similar to the articles named in the text of heading 7318.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the HUCKBOLT® is provided for in heading 7318. It is classifiable in subheading 7318.29.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The collar is provided for in heading 7326 as an article of iron or steel. It is classifiable in subheading 7326.90.8587, HTSUSA.

The protest should be DENIED. In accordance with the Protest/Petition Processing Handbook (CIS HB 3500-08, June 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 of 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: