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S.I. Stud, Inc. v. U.S.

Decided: May 23, 1994.

S.I. STUD, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE UNITED STATES, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appealed from: U.S. Court of International Trade. Judge Musgrave

Before Newman and Plager, Circuit Judges, and Cohn, District Judge.*fn*

Newman

NEWMAN, Circuit Judge.

The United States Court of International Trade*fn1 upheld the classification of certain threaded, headless fasteners as "studs" under item 646.57, Tariff Schedules of the United States ("TSUS"), or heading 7318.15.20, Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States ("HTSUS"), and not as "bolts" under item 646.54, TSUS, or heading 7318.15.20, HTSUS. The items are listed in the TSUS as follows:

Bolts, nuts, studs and studding, screws, and washers (including bolts and their nuts imported in the same shipment, and assembled bolts or screws and washers, with or without nuts); screw eyes, screw hooks and screw rings; turnbuckles; all the foregoing not described in the foregoing provisions of this subpart, of base metal:

Of iron or steel:

646.54 Bolts and bolts and their nuts imported in the same shipment . . . . 0.7% ad val.

646.57 Studs and studding . . . . 4.7% ad val.

The corresponding headings from the HTSUS are:

Other screws and bolts, whether or not with their nuts or washers:

7318.15.20 Bolts and bolts and their nuts or washers entered or exported in the same shipment . . . . 0.7% ad val.

7318.15.50 Studs . . . . 4.7% ad val.

7318.19.00 Other . . . . 5.7% ad val.

The items imported are alloy steel headless fasteners, threaded over their entire length and having chamfered ends. These fasteners are used by passing them through holes in the things to be fastened, and securing them at each end with a nut. The importer argues that since the fasteners act as bolts, they should be so classified, and that "stud" should only apply to an article "applied as a fixed protuberance", Appellant's Brief at 8. The government argues that these fasteners more accurately meet the definition of studs, citing the mechanical and dictionary definitions relied upon by the Court of International Trade, and the testimony of experts before that court. For example, the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms defines "stud" as "A short rod or bolt threaded at both ends without a head." McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 1843 (4th ed. 1989). These are the headless threaded rods here at issue. The same dictionary defines "bolt" as "a rod, usually of metal, with a square, round, or hexagonal head at one end and a screw thread on the other, used to fasten objects together." Id. at 247. See also, Chambers Technical Dictionary (1953) (defining "stud" as "A shank or headless bolt, generally screwed ...


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