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HQ 968133

MAY 4, 2006



TARIFF NO.: 7308.90.9590

Mr. Andrew Vieira
A.N.K. Enterprises, Inc.
13370 S.W. 131 Street, Unit 112
Miami, Florida 33186

RE: Steel Tubes for Fence Posts; NY J81431 Modified

Dear Mr. Vieira:

In NY J81431, which the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), New York, issued to you on March 20, 2003, certain welded galvanized steel tubes with swaged ends, for use as fence posts, were found to be classifiable as other articles of iron or steel, in subheading 7326.90.8587, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625©), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of NY J81431 was published on March 29, 2006, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 40, Number 14. No comments were received in response to this notice. As stated in this notice, the classification expressed in NY J81431 for galvanized steel tubes with plain ends is not affected by this decision.


The products to be imported are welded galvanized steel tubes ranging from 1 1/3 inches to 2 3/8 inches in diameter, from 0.035 inch to 0.322 inch in wall thickness and from 5 feet to 24 feet in length. These steel tubes will be used as fence posts. The tubes at issue here are swaged on one or both ends to permit one tube to fit inside another tube.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Structuresand parts of structuresof iron or steel; plates, rods, angles, shapes, sections, tubes and the like, prepared for use in structures, of iron or steel:


Columns, pillars, posts, beams, girders and similar structural units:



Other articles of iron or steel:






Whether galvanized steel tubes swaged on one or both ends, constitute tubes and the like, prepared for use in structures of heading 7308.


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 (or CBP, as appropriate) believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Initially, NY J81431 provided no explanation for the subheading 7326.90.8587, HTSUSA, classification it expressed for the galvanized steel tubes with swaged ends. However, we note that fence posts are among the exemplars listed in the 7326 EN. Nevertheless, heading 7326 covers all articles of iron or steel that are not covered more specifically in the preceding headings of Chapter 73 or elsewhere in the HTSUS. It is appropriate, therefore, to examine the issue of whether steel tubes with one or both ends swaged are tubes and the like prepared for use in structures, provided for in heading 7308.

The 73.08 EN includes within the heading as structures and parts of structures “assembled railings and fencing.” In fact, CBP has classified steel fencing consisting of various sized steel mesh panels and posts in subheading 7308.90.9590, HTSUSA, as structures of iron or steel. See NY I87193, dated November 6, 2002. The heading 7308 ENs state “[t]he heading also covers parts such as flat-rolled products, ‘wide flats’ including so-called universal plates, strip, rods, angles, shapes, sections and tubes, which have been prepared (e.g., drilled, bent or notched) for use in structures.” (Underscoring added). In this context, the term swage connotes a “ n. 1. A tool for bending or shaping cold metal.” Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary (1984), and swaging is “forming a taper or a reduction on metal products such as rod and tubing by forging, squeezing or hammering.” Metals Handbook, (8th. Ed., Vol. 1). Swaging one or both ends of galvanized steel tubes creates a taper which permits one tube to slide inside and connect to another tube. In our opinion, this “prepares” the tubes for use as fence posts and top rails to support steel fencing. Such tubes are provided for as parts in heading 7308.

This merchandise is to be distinguished from the steel posts used as fence posts which HQ 084528, dated November 8, 1989, and HQ 085908, dated November 9, 1989, found to be classifiable in subheading 7326.90.90, HTSUS. These posts were roll formed from galvanized steel sheet into a triangular configuration. There is no indication that these articles were prepared in any way subsequent to their formation.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the galvanized steel tubes, swaged on one or both ends, as indicated, are provided for in heading 7308. They are classifiable in subheading 7308.90.95.90, HTSUSA.


NY J81431, dated, March 20, 2003, is modified as to this merchandise. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.

for Gail A. Hamill

Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division

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