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HQ 967430

JANUARY 28, 2005

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 967430 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8479.89.9850

J. Skoreyko
Compliance Solutions Inc.
#19, 577 Butterworth Way
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6R 2Y2

RE: Retrievable Production Packer

Dear Ms. Skoreyko:

Your ruling request to the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), New York, dated September 19, 2004, on behalf of Weatherford Canada Partnership, has been referred to this office for reply. At issue is the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of devices known as Packers. Packers are mechanical devices that direct the flow of oil well production fluids. Supporting documentation was provided. You maintain that the packer is classifiable as other machines and mechanical appliances, in subheading 8479.89.98, HTSUS.


You state that a packer employs flexible, elastomeric elements that expand. Depending on the requirements of a particular well, different types of packers may be necessary, each one having its own method of triggering the expansion. Packers may be inflatable and their expansion accomplished either by pumping fluid into a bladder and the bladder expanding against the wall of the casing or wellbore, or they may be mechanically set, that is, expansion is accomplished by squeezing the elastomeric elements between two plates, forcing the sides to bulge out. The Retrievable Production Packer at issue is mechanically set.

Mechanically set packers provide an annular seal, that is, they essentially seal or “pack off” the wellbore and consist generally of a body, expandable gripping fingers called slips, cones, lock ring, key and elastomeric packing elements. Their manner of operation involves manipulating the packer through rotation, compression, tension or a combination of all three. Packers may be used individually or in tandem to essentially block the oil or other reservoir fluids from flowing into the annular space and direct it into production tubing inside the packer to the surface.


Whether the Retrievable Production Packer is a mechanical appliance of heading 8479.


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 HQ 967385, dated January 14, 2005, CBP addressed the tariff status of inflatable, bladder-type packers and found them to be classifiable in subheading 8479.89.9850, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). In this ruling, we eliminated a competing claim as handling machinery of heading 8428, HTSUS, on the basis that the function a packer performs, i.e., blocking and sealing, does not equate to the packaging and shipping of a good or material from one place to another.

Machinery and mechanical appliances of heading 8479 perform “individual functions” and are not excluded from chapter 84 by any section of chapter notes, are not covered more specifically by any heading of chapter 84 or other heading in the HTSUS. See EN 84.79. As we found in HQ 967385, while rotational force is no doubt applied to the packer by another machine or device, the packer is a mechanical device that performs its function of blocking and sealing independently of this machine or device. The Retrievable Production Packer is substantially similar to the device in HQ 967385 and qualifies as a machine or mechanical appliance of heading 8479.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Retrievable Production Packer is provided for in heading 8479. It is classifiable in subheading 8479.89.9850, HTSUSA. The 2005 rate of duty is 2.5 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.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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