CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952493 DWS
U.S. Customs Service
3600 E. Paisano
Building B, Room 134
Bridge of the Americas
El Paso, TX 79985
RE: IA 53/92; Wiring Harness Assemblies; HQ 951223; HQ 088477;
Explanatory Note 85.44; Section XVII, Note 2(f);
This is in response to your memorandum of July 17, 1992
(CLA 1-EP:C DC), forwarding a letter dated October 14, 1991, from
Rudolph Miles & Sons, Inc., on behalf of Electro Wire Products,
Inc., requesting internal advice concerning the tariff
classification of wiring harness assemblies under the Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).
The merchandise consists of four types of wiring harness
assemblies, all dedicated for use in automobiles. The importer
claims that the assemblies are manufactured and assembled in
Mexico. Model no. F2UB-12A581 is used to connect an engine
control module to engine sensors. The assembly contains four
relays, one diode, and several fuses. Model no. F2UB-9D930 is
used to electronically control fuel injectors which supply fuel
to an automobile engine. Present in the assembly is a resistor
and a diode. Model no. F2UB-14A200 is used to supply electrical
power for the window and power door lock systems of an
automobile. Present in the assembly is a fuse panel and circuit
breakers. Model no. F2DB-14405 is used to supply electrical
power for an automobile's rear lamps. Some of these assemblies
in this model type contain diodes, and all contain lengths of
What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise
under the HTSUS?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in
accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's),
taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined
according to the terms of the headings and any relative section
or chapter notes.
The importer claims that the assemblies are classifiable
under subheading 8714.19.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[p]arts
and accessories of vehicles of headings 8711 to 8713: [o]f
motorcycles (including mopeds): [o]ther." However, it is your
position that the merchandise is classifiable under subheading
8544.30.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[i]nsulated (including
enameled or anodized) wire, cable (including coaxial cable) and
other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with
connectors: [i]gnition wiring sets and other wiring sets of a
kind used in vehicles, aircraft or ships."
In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized
Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be
utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are
to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS.
54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). In part,
Explanatory Note 85.44 (p. 1403, 1404), HTS, states:
[p]rovided they are insulated, this heading covers electric
wire, cable and other conductors (e.g., braids, strip, bars)
used as conductors in electrical machinery, apparatus or
installations. . . .
Wire, cable, etc., remain classified in this heading if cut
to length or fitted with connectors (e.g., plugs, sockets,
lugs, jacks, sleeves or terminals) at one or both ends.
The subject assemblies satisfy the above descriptions. They
are essentially insulated conductors with connectors. Although
the assemblies possess other electric components, these
components merely facilitate the conduction of electricity.
Therefore, it is our position that the subject merchandise is
classifiable under subheading 8544.39.00, HTSUS.
Because the importer argues that the assemblies are
classifiable as parts under heading 8714, HTSUS, section XVII,
note 2(f), HTSUS, is pertinent. It states that:
2. The expression "parts and accessories" do not apply to
the following articles, whether or not they are
identifiable as for the goods of this section:
(f) Electrical machinery or equipment (chapter 85).
Because the assemblies are classifiable as electric
conductors, and therefore classifiable under chapter 85, HTSUS,
under section XVII, note 2(f), HTSUS, they are precluded from
classification under chapter 87, HTSUS.
The importer cites several rulings, including HQ 088477,
dated May 9, 1991, to argue that the addition in the assemblies
"of other discrete electronic components makes them (the
assemblies) more than just wiring sets." HQ 088477 dealt with
the classification of a wiring harness assembly which contained a
fuse box with 19 fuses, a lamp socket with lamp, a lamp monitor
module with a microprocessor, a door ajar module, and a glove box
switch with lamp and socket.
In HQ 951223, dated July 17, 1992, wiring harness assemblies
dedicated for use with motorcycles were classified. Similar to
the subject assemblies, the various types of assemblies
classified in that ruling contained fuses, fuse boxes, relays,
conductors, connectors, and diodes. In dealing with the
application of HQ 088477 to the assemblies in HQ 951223, it was
[i]n HQ 088477 (5/9/91), Customs addressed the
classification of [wiring harness assemblies] with various
electrical devices . . . . for installation into a motor
vehicle. We stated that this type of device did not satisfy
the terms of heading 8544, HTSUS, based on the fact that it
incorporated a substantial number of devices in addition to
connectors. The IA applicant argues that the subject
[wiring harness assemblies] also possess devices other than
connectors, and thus do not satisfy the terms of heading
8544, HTSUS. However, the devices in HQ 088477 did not
facilitate the conduction of electricity, but performed
other functions (i.e., lighting). Consequently, we do not
find the result in HQ 088477 instructive for the resolution
of this matter.
Because the electrical components contained within the
subject assemblies facilitate the conduction of electricity,
cases concerning assemblies containing devices which perform
other functions (i.e., lighting) are not instructive as to the
classification of the subject merchandise.
It is our position that the subject wiring harness
assemblies are classifiable under subheading 8544.30.00, HTSUS.
The wiring harness assemblies are classifiable under
subheading 8544.30.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[i]nsulated
(including enameled or anodized) wire, cable (including coaxial
cable) and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not
fitted with connectors: [i]gnition wiring sets and other wiring
sets of a kind used in vehicles, aircraft or ships." The
general, column one rate of duty is 5 percent ad valorem.
Because the merchandise is manufactured in Mexico, upon the
meeting of certain regulations, the assemblies will be entitled
to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of
You should advise the internal advice applicant of this
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division