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NY R02275

August 9, 2005

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:N1:106 R02275


TARIFF NO.: 8428.90.0090; 8431.39.0080

Mr. Luis Abad
300 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Abad:

RE: The tariff classification of a building escape rescue system and separately imported components for that system

Dear Abad:

In a letter dated July 17, 2005 a tariff classification ruling was requested.

The merchandise at issue is an escape rescue system designed to facilitate the evacuation of tenants from high-rise buildings and to enable the deployment of fire and rescue personnel. The system is comprised of an array of five collapsible external cabins that are hoisted vertically by a hydraulic diesel-powered roof top system. The cabin array is stored in a folded position on the building’s roof. When deployed, the array expands and may ascend and descend on attached wind rails. The cabins stop at specially reconfigured windows where the building’s occupants may board. The array is then lowered to the ground to complete the evacuation. The array can then lift fire and rescue personnel into the building. You ask about the classification of the entire system and about the classification of the roof top system and cabin array if imported separately.

The roof top system consists of five major components: a grillage structure, made in the United States, which supports the entire system and forms the interface between the system and the building; a skid frame, which forms the base of the system; a hydraulic power unit, consisting of pumps, engines and controls; a drive unit to raise and lower the load; and a motion structure or boom, consisting of a boom, tilting arms and tilting cylinders. The escape rescue system without he grillage still has the essential character of the whole system and the room top system by itself has the essential character of a discrete lifting machine. The cabin array consists of 4-6 cabins and the top frame. The cabins contain lighting, sensors, intercom and associated systems. The top frame forms the interface between the cabin array and the suspension cables on which the array hangs. By itself, the cabin array and top frame represent but a part of the whole system and would be classified as such.

You suggested classifying that the entire escape rescue system in subheading 8428.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for passenger and freight elevators other than continuous action and skip hoists. A passenger or freight elevator consists of a car moving up and down on vertical rails generally using counterbalanced weights, while a skip hoist is used to lift bulk material containers up a ramp or vertical shaft. As the escape rescue system is not an elevator for tariff purposes nor is it a skip hoist, it is not classifiable in subheading 8428.10.0000, HTS. However, we do agree with your suggestion that the system is lifting machinery of heading 8428.

The applicable subheading for the unfinished escape rescue system as well as the roof top system when separately imported will be 8428.90.0090, HTS, which provides for other lifting, handling, loading or unloading machinery. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the separately imported cabin array will be 8431.39.0080, HTS, which provides for other parts of the machinery of heading 8428. The rate of duty will be free.

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 Patrick Wholey at 646-733-3013.


Robert B. Swierupski

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