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HQ W968414

OCTOBER 23, 2006



TARIFF NO.: 8481.10.0090

Daniel Cruz
Controls Corporation of America
1501 Harpers Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

RE: Gas Pressure Regulators

Dear Mr. Cruz:

In an email transmittal, dated September 5, 2006, you request a ruling under Schedule B on the proper classification of gas pressure regulators for purpose of export to Peru. Descriptive literature was attached.

You indicate that for several years you have been classifying these regulators under Schedule B number 9026.20 as instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking pressure. However, Peruvian authorities are now attempting to reclassify the regulators as valves in heading 8481.


The subject merchandise is described in submitted literature as the 202 and 5500 series regulators. The 202 series regulators are single stage devices intended for primary pressure control of non-corrosive, high purity or liquefied gases in applications where minor fluctuations in outlet pressure due to diminishing inlet supply pressure can be tolerated. The 5500 series regulators are described as internal spring-loaded relief valves that regulate gases like oxygen, acetylene and propane for medium duty welding, cutting, heating and brazing applications. The regulators consist of a forged body, bonnet, seat, filter, diaphragm and internal seals and incorporate easy-to-read pressure gauges. They are typically of brass, aluminum and grade 316L stainless steel construction depending on the properties and purity of the gas.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances, for pipes, boiler shells, tanks, vats or the like, including pressure-reducing valves and thermostatically controlled valves; parts thereof:

8481.10.00 Pressure-reducing valves

Instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking the flow, level, pressure or other variables of liquids or gases, excluding instruments and apparatus of heading 9014, 9015, 9028 or 9032; parts thereof:

9026.20 For measuring or checking pressure:


9026.20.80 Other


Whether the 202 and 5500 series regulators are pressure-reducing valves for Schedule B purposes.


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

The 8481 ENs state that the heading includes devices designed to regulate the pressure or the flow velocity of a liquid or a gas. The appliances regulate the flow by opening or closing an aperture (e.g., gate, disc, ball, plug, needle or diaphragm). They may be operated by hand (by means of a key, wheel, press button, etc.), or by a motor solenoid, clock movement, etc., or by an automatic device such as a spring, counterweight, float lever, thermostatic element or pressure capsule. Combinations consisting of a tap, valve, etc., and a thermostat, manostat or any other measuring, checking or automatically controlling instrument or apparatus of heading 90.26 or 90.32 remain in this heading if the instrument or apparatus is mounted or is designed to be mounted directly on the tap, valve, etc., and provided the combined apparatus has the essential character of an article of this heading. If not satisfying these conditions, they are classified in heading 90.26 (e.g., liquid-type pressure gauge fitted with a drain cock) or in heading 90.32.

Literature on the 202 series regulators describes those intended for primary pressure control of gases while the 5500 series are high pressure internal spring loaded relief valves. These devices regulate flow by opening and closing the diaphragm. They operate by hand - one adjusts the pressure by turning a knob on the device. They are designed to control a variable of flow, i.e., pressure. The gauges are not pressure gauges such as manometers of heading 9026 that “measure” the pressure of a gas. In fact, EN(a) to heading 9026 refers pressure-reducing valves to heading 8481. The instant gauges simply allow the valve to be set to the desired pressure and to display that pressure so that the operation of the valve can be monitored. The available information indicates that the function of the gauge is subordinate to that of the valve. For these reasons we find that these regulators retain the essential character of valves of heading 8481. We note that gas pressure regulators used with liquid propane barbecue grills are classifiable in subheading 8481.10.0090, HTSUSA. See NY 804939, dated January 10, 1995.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the 202 and 5500 series regulators are provided for in heading 8481. They are classifiable under Schedule B number 8481.10.0090.


Gail A. Hamill, Chief
Tariff Classification and Marking Branch

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