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NY R00979

November 10, 2004

CLA-2-73:RR:NC:1:117 R00979


TARIFF NO.: 7326.19.0000

Mr. Karl F. Krueger
DHL Danzas Air and Ocean
2660 20th St.
Port Huron, MI 48060

RE: The tariff classification of forged steel rings from Italy.

Dear Mr. Krueger:

In your letter dated October 21, 2004 on behalf of John Deere Agricultural Equipment Division, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Drawings of the products to be imported were submitted with a previous ruling request you submitted (NY I86703).

The products to be imported are forged steel rings that will ultimately be made into gears. You state that the forgings that were ruled upon in NY I86703, 10/18/02, and classified under HTS subheading 7326.19.0000 are identical to the forgings presently under consideration except for one difference. The forgings presently under consideration have been mechanically descaled by shot blasting prior to importation. After importation, the forgings will undergo various machining operations, teeth will be cut, boltholes will be drilled and the products will be shot blasted again and painted. Descaling by mechanical or chemical means is done to remove the thick layer of oxides that forms on metal at elevated temperatures.

You express the opinion that these forged and descaled rings should be classified under subheading 8708.99.1500 which provides for other parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, parts of tractors suitable for agricultural use, other parts for power trains. You believe that the descaling operation is a significant advancement that not only improves the appearance of the forging but further works the metal. In support of your position you cite HQ 087910, 12/4/90, which was issued when the TSUS was in effect. This ruling held that certain axle shaft forgings that were descaled by sand blasting were not classifiable under TSUS 606.71; these forgings were instead held to be classifiable as parts of motor vehicles. Item 606.71, TSUS, provided for “Forgings of iron or steel, not machined, not tooled and not otherwise processed after forging.” Customs position under the TSUS was that steel forgings processed in any manner after the forging operation could not be classified in item 606.71. The axle shaft forgings ruled upon in HQ 087910 may have had, at the time of importation, the approximate shape of the finished part.

Under the HTSUS, merchandise is classified in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The forged steel rings presently under consideration are not unfinished gears within the context of GRI 2 (a). They do not have the outline of the gear teeth and lack the essential character of the finished article. They therefore cannot be classified under heading 8708. Heading 7326 covers all iron or steel products obtained by forging and other processes other than articles that are specifically covered elsewhere in the Nomenclature. The Subheading Explanatory Note to Subheading 7326.19 states, in part, that the products of this subheading may have been subjected to simple sand-blasting (essentially the same process as shot blasting).

The applicable subheading for the mechanically descaled forged steel rings will be 7326.19.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other articles of iron or steel, forged or stamped, but not further worked, other. The rate of duty will be 2.9 percent ad valorem.

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 Paula Ilardi at 646-733-3020.


Robert B. Swierupski

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