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HQ 965547

September 12, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965547 AML


TARIFF Nos.: 7306 and 7307

Area Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
P.O. Box 1490
St. Albans, VT 05478

RE: Internal Advice; pipe spools

Dear Port Director:

The following is our decision regarding your memorandum, dated March 29, 2002, forwarding a request for Internal Advice, which was initiated by Deringer Logistics Consulting Group on behalf of Muga Fab, Inc., and seeks classification of pipe spools pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Schematic drawings, descriptive literature and photographs were provided for our consideration. We regret the delay in responding.


Based upon the information provided, the articles are described as steel pipe spools that the requester states will be ultimately used in a steam generation (boiler) system in a specific power plant. The articles are variously described in the documentation presented as “10 inch fabricated pipe spool”, “6 inch fabricated pipe spool”, “6” ERW pipe 453B”, “6” ell 45 degree A234 WPB” and “8” x 6” reducer A234 WPB”. The acronyms “A53 B” and “A234 WPB” also appear on some of the project drawings. (These acronyms are derived from the American Society of Testing and Materials ("ASTM") and have the following connotations: ASTM specification A53 is the standard specification for pipe, steel, black and hot-dipped, zinc-coated, welded and seamless. “ERW” means electric resistance welded, meaning that the pipe is of welded construction. “B” refers to the pipe grade. ASTM specification A234 is the standard specification for piping fittings of wrought carbon steel and alloy steel for moderate and high temperature service. “WPB” is a grade of welded pipe fitting.)

Upon request of the National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, Muga Fab, Inc. provided photographs of the representative merchandise. Two of the images depict pipe sections welded together and having branch outlets that will allow connections to be made to the pipe. The third depicts what are described as pipe spool components attached to a “system.” This appears to be two pipes side by side connected with an elbow end fitting.


Whether the pipe spools are classifiable under headings 7305, 7306, or 7307, HTSUS, which provide for steel pipes and tubes of various sizes, methods of construction and constituent materials, or under subheading 8402.00.40, HTSUS, which provides for steam and heat generating boilers and parts thereof?


Classification of imported merchandise is accomplished pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Classification under the HTSUS is guided by the General Rules of Interpretation of the Harmonized System (GRIs). GRI 1, HTSUS, 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[.]”

The 2001 HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

7305 Other tubes and pipes (for example, welded, riveted or similarly closed), having circular cross sections, the external diameter of which exceeds 406.4 mm, of iron or steel: Line pipe of a kind used for oil or gas pipelines: 7305.11 Longitudinally submerged arc welded: 7305.11.10 Of iron or nonalloy steel.
7306 Other tubes, pipes and hollow profiles (for example, open seamed or welded, riveted or similarly closed), of iron or steel: 7306.10 Line pipe of a kind used for oil or gas pipelines: 7306.10.10 Of iron or nonalloy steel.
7307 Tube or pipe fittings (for example, couplings, elbows, sleeves), of iron or steel[.] 8402 Steam or other vapor generating boilers (other than central heating hot water boilers capable also of producing low pressure steam); super-heated water boilers; parts thereof: Steam or other vapor generating boilers:
8402.90.00 Parts.
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 the remaining GRIs, applied sequentially.

Chapter 73, HTSUS, provides for Articles of Iron and Steel. Tubes and pipes are classifiable under headings 7305 or 7306, HTSUS, depending, at the subheading level, upon method of manufacture and manner of use for classification.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 8980, published in the Federal Register August 23, 1989 (54 FR 35127, 35128).

The General ENs to Chapter 73 provide, in pertinent part, as follows:

This Chapter covers a certain number of specific articles in headings 7301 to 7324, and in headings 7325 and 7326 a group of articles not specified or included in Chapter 82 or 83 and not falling in other Chapters of the Nomenclature, of iron (including cast iron as defined in Note 1 to this Chapter) or steel.

For the purposes of this Chapter, the expressions “tubes and pipes” and “hollow profiles” have the following meanings hereby assigned to them:

(1) Tubes and pipes

Concentric hollow products, of uniform cross-section with only one enclosed void along their whole length, having their inner and outer surfaces of the same form. Steel tubes are mainly of circular, oval, rectangular (including square) cross-sections but in addition may include equilateral triangular and other regular convex polygonal cross-sections. Products of cross-section other than circular, with rounded corners along their whole length, and tubes with upset ends, are also to be considered as tubes. They may be polished, coated, bent (including coiled tubing), threaded and coupled or not, drilled, waisted, expanded, cone shaped or fitted with flanges, collars or rings.

The ENs to heading 7303, HTSUS, provide as follows:

This heading applies to tubes, pipes and hollow profiles manufactured of cast iron as defined in Note 1 to this Chapter.

They may be manufactured by casting in moulds or by centrifugal casting; in the latter case, the molten iron is poured into a horizontal cylinder which is rapidly rotated so that the metal is forced centrifugally against the walls where it solidifies.

These tubes, pipes and hollow profiles may be straight or curved, plain, finned or gilled. They may be socketed, flanged integrally or flanged by welding or threading. To facilitate assembly, socketed pipes have one end expanded to receive the end of a second pipe. Flanged pipes can be assembled by means of collars, nuts, bolts, clamps, etc., while threaded or plain end pipes are assembled by means of couplings, rings or collars.

This heading also covers tubes, pipes and hollow profiles with multiple or branch openings, and those which are covered, for example, with zinc, plastics, bitumen [bold emphasis added].

Tubes and pipes of this heading are mainly used for pressure or gravity pipelines for water, sewer evacuation, for low pressure gas distribution, as gutter or drain-pipes or for drainage [bold emphasis added].

The heading does not cover:

(a)Tube or pipe fittings (heading 73.07).

(b)Tubes, pipes and hollow profiles made up into identifiable parts of articles, classified in their respective headings, such as sections of central heating radiators (heading 73.22) and machinery parts (Section XVI).

The ENs to heading 7304 through 7307, HTSUS, contain similar language that provides “identifiable parts of articles” are excluded from those headings.

An article is to be classified according to its condition as imported. See XTC Products, Inc. v. United States, 771 F.Supp. 401, 405 (1991). See also United States v. Citroen, 223 U.S. 407 (1911). In their condition as imported, the pipe spools cannot be construed to be “identifiable parts of articles” classifiable under a heading outside of those in Chapter 73. Rather, the articles are pipe spools that must be further worked (arranged and installed) in a heat generating boiler in order to perform their intended function.

Based upon the information provided, the nonalloy steel tubes and pipes
will be classified under headings 7306 or 7307, HTSUS, which provides for such articles. The subheading determination will be made in consideration of the size and the manner of use of the articles.

This conclusion comports with prior Customs decisions. In New York Ruling Letters (NYs) B84807, dated May 23, 1997, and G86941, dated March 7, 2001, various pipe spools similar to those at issue were classified under headings 7304, 7305, 7306, HTSUS, with classification depending method of manufacture, size and constituent material.


The welded pipes that are of a diameter not exceeding 406.4 mm are classified under heading 7306, HTSUS, which provides for welded tubes and pipes. Any pipe fittings imported separately are classifiable under heading 7307, HTSUS, which provides for tube or pipe fittings of iron or steel.

You are directed 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 make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other public methods of distribution.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director

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