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HQ W968364

January 8, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 8483.20.8080

Area Port Director
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
1000 Second Ave., Suite 2100
Seattle, WA 98104

RE: Internal Advice 06/027; Wheel Hub Assemblies for Self-Propelled Articulating Booms

Dear Area Port Director:

This is in reference to your memorandum, dated June 8, 2006 (APP 2 FO:SE:ISB3 IM), forwardeding a letter from counsel on behalf of Blackstone OTR, dated May 1, 2006, requesting internal advice on the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of wheel hub assemblies for self-propelled articulating booms. Counsel provided additional facts and legal arguments at a meeting in our office on October 10, 2006. Our response follows.


The merchandise at issue is a wheel hub assembly, part number 8080004, designed for use on specific Genie Industries self-propelled articulating booms. The hub assembly consists of the following components: cast hub with nine threaded studs, crescent dust cap, outer bearing (tapered roller bearing), inner bearing (tapered roller bearing), outer bearing race, inner bearing race, oil seal and 5/8-inch mounting nuts. The smaller diameter roller bearing fits into the top end of the hub and is covered by the dust cap while the larger diameter roller bearing fits into the underside of the hub and is covered by the oil seal. The bearings fit into the cast hub in such a way that the inner races of the bearings
can be mounted onto an axle of the boom. A wheel can then be mounted onto the same axle by allowing the wheel to be mounted over the studs on the hub onto the outer races of the bearings.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the machinery of headings 8425 to 8430 (fork-lift trucks of heading 8427):

Of machinery of heading 8427

8483 [H]oused bearings and plain shaft bearings:

Housed bearings, incorporating ball or roller bearings:

8483.20.80 Other


Whether the wheel hub assembly is a housed bearing of heading 8483.


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.

Subject to certain exceptions that are not relevant here, goods that are identifiable as parts of machines or apparatus of Chapter 84 or Chapter 85 are classifiable in accordance with Section XVI, Note 2, HTSUS. See Nidec Corporation v. United States, 861 F. Supp. 136, aff'd. 68 F. 3d 1333 (1995). Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of Chapters 84 and 85 are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings. See Note 2(a). Other parts, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular machine, or with a number of machines of the same heading, are to be classified with the machines of that kind. See Note 2(b).

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding and, therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the Harmonized System. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Your office characterizes the wheel hub assembly as housed bearings of heading 8483 that incorporate tapered roller bearings. You propose to classify the hub assembly as other housed bearings, incorporating ball or roller bearings, in subheading 8483.20.80, HTSUS. Counsel for the protestant maintains that the wheel hub assembly is classifiable as other parts suitable for use solely or principally with the machinery of headings 8425 to heading 8430 (specifically fork-lift trucks of heading 8427), in subheading 8431.20.00, HTSUS. Counsel cites two rulings classifying what it characterizes as substantially similar merchandise as parts of the machines with which they are used. In addition, an Informed Compliance Notice from CBP, Seattle, to the protestant, dated September 20, 2005, incorrectly identified the subject wheel hub assembly as a housed tapered roller bearing. Counsel posits that “housed bearings” is a well-known term of art that clearly does not include wheel hub assemblies, and that wheel hub assemblies or units are not advertised for sale as housed bearing products. Finally, counsel notes that CBP acknowledges that wheel hub assemblies incorporating tapered roller bearings are not within the products identified in Anti-Dumping Duty Order A-570-601-000.

In the first ruling cited by counsel, NY 892200, dated November 26, 1993, CBP classified hub assemblies to be fitted into single and double tire drive axles for fork-lift trucks in subheading 8431.20.0000, HTSUSA, as other parts suitable for use solely or principally with the machinery of headings 8425 to 8430 (specifically with fork-lift trucks of heading 8427). The hub assembly was described in that ruling as consisting of a hub, oil seal, tapered rolling bearings, bolt hub, nuts and washers. The compelling factor in NY 892200 that resulted in the heading 8431 classification was that the wheel hub was for use with a drive axle. Such hub assemblies are designed not only to reduce friction between moving parts and to facilitate the mounting of a wheel, but also to transmit torque to the wheel from the axle onto which the wheel is mounted. This additional functional capability places the wheel hub assembly outside the scope of heading 8483. In the second ruling counsel cites, NY 818084, dated February 7, 1996, CBP classified a double flanged wheel hub assembly as other parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, in subheading

8708.99.8080, HTSUSA. That hub assembly consisted of a flanged outer hub containing two complete tapered roller bearings. A flanged spindle with splined inner surface and five mounting lugs is pressed into the bearings to complete the assembly. The wheel assembly in NY 818084 was designed for use on the drive wheels of a motor vehicle. Because of its construction, in particular the splining, CBP viewed this hub assembly not as a tapered roller bearing, but as an automotive component containing two bearings. It is noted that the wheel hub assembly at issue here is not for a driven wheel. Wheel hub assemblies that possess design features beyond those of articles of headings 8482 or 8483 are more fully described in HQ 088762, dated December 9, 1991, and HQ 965168, dated July 25, 2002.

Concerning the contention that CBP acknowledges that the wheel hub assemblies with tapered roller bearings are outside the scope of antidumping duties, counsel cites a document from the Port of Atlanta entitled “Bearings & Production Equipment” from Commodity Specialist Team 435, dated July 23, 1998, which lists wheel hub units containing tapered roller bearings among the products that are not within the scope of the antidumping duty orders for bearings. We note the same publication lists wheel hub units among the products that are covered by dumping orders. Because these products are described generically and specific design features are not listed, we conclude that no definitive conclusions can be drawn from this publication.

As noted in HQ 966728, dated June 29, 2004, the Court of International Trade has recognized that because CBP has been designated to administer the HTSUS, the classification of imported merchandise is a matter properly determined by that agency. On the other hand, whether specific merchandise is subject to antidumping duties is within the purview of the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. Thus, the Commerce Department’s antidumping scope determination applies to the merchandise named in that determination regardless of where CBP classifies the merchandise. In this respect, although NY 818084 offered the opinion that the wheel hub assemblies in that case would not be subject to antidumping duties, the ruling recipient was advised to seek a binding ruling on the issue from the Department of Commerce, Office of Compliance, Washington, D.C.

Finally, concerning counsel’s argument that the wheel hub assembly is not recognized in the trade as a housed bearing, the ENs for heading 8483 state, in relevant part, that bearing housings consist of a frame or block designed to house the roller bearings in which the ends of a shaft or axle turn. They usually consist of two parts which, when fitted together, form a ring to hold the bearing. The ENs state that bearing housings incorporating roller bearings remain in
heading 8483 whereas roller bearings presented separately fall in heading 8482. We find that the wheel hub assembly at issue conforms to the EN description of a housed bearing. The cast hub constitutes a block designed to house two roller bearings and the studs on the hub are the equivalent to a bracket listed in the ENs which facilitate the mounting of a wheel. Under Section XVI, Note 2(a), the wheel hub assembly at issue is a good included in heading 8483.


Under the authority of GRI 1, and Section XVI, Note 2(a), HTSUS, the wheel hub assembly is provided for in heading 8483. It is classifiable in subheading 8483.20.8080, HTSUSA. The column one, general rate of duty under this provision in 2005 is 4.5 percent ad valorem.

You are to mail this decision to counsel for 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 take steps to make the decision available to CBP personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.cbp.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division

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