CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952494 RFA
Michael R. Doram, Esq.
Politis, Pollack & Doram
Attorneys At Law
3255 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1688
Los Angeles, CA 90010
RE: AM/FM Torch Radio; GRI 3(c); HQ 087161
Dear Mr. Doram:
In a letter dated July 30, 1992, to the Area Director of
Customs in New York on behalf of Enterprex International
Corporation, you inquired as to the tariff classification under
the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of
an AM/FM radio-flashlight manufactured in China. Your letter and
the sample were referred to this office for a direct response.
The sample submitted is a small portable battery operated
combination AM/FM radio/flashlight in a long square plastic
housing, referred to as a "Sports AM/FM Torch Radio Model No.
GL909A". It measures approximately 6 3/4 inches in length by 1
1/2 inches on each side and has an attached textile wrist strap
as well as a built-in belt clip. The combination article
contains an AM/FM radio, frequency tuner, a power LED light, a
speaker and antenna, a clear lens, a filament bulb with a
reflector and socket and is powered by two penlight batteries
Whether the merchandise is classified as a flashlight in
Heading 8513, HTSUS, or as a radio in Heading 8527, 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 shall be
determined according to the terms of the headings and any
relative section or chapter notes.
The merchandise is prima facie classifiable under two
headings. It is classifiable in subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS,
which provides for flashlights, as well as in subheading
8527.19.00, which provides for radios.
Because classification in a single heading cannot be
determined by applying GRI 1, we must apply the other GRI's. GRI
2(b) states that if a product is a mixture or combination of
materials or substance that are, prima facie, classifiable in two
or more headings, then GRI 3 applies. GRI 3(b) provides that
mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or
made up of different components, shall be classified as if they
consisted of the material or component which gives them their
The article is a composite good made up of a flashlight and
an AM/FM radio. Therefore, the component that imparts the
essential character to this article determines its
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Cooperation
Council's official interpretation of the HTSUS. While not
legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of
each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the
proper interpretation of these headings. EN VIII to GRI 3(b),
page 4, states that the factors will vary as between different
kinds of goods to determine the essential character of an
article. "It may, for example, be determined by the nature of
the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value,
or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use
of the goods."
In HQ 087161 (August 2, 1990), we classified an AM/FM radio
attached to a baseball-style cap under GRI 3(c). In that ruling
we held that
both the radio and the cap play an equal role in
relation to the use of the merchandise. The radio cap
would not be purchased for just one of its components.
If a purchaser wanted a baseball-style cap, there would
be no need for the radio component. Similarly, if a
purchaser wanted a portable radio, an article similar
to a Walkman-type radio could be purchased, and there
would be no need for a cap component.
Following the holding in HQ 087161, it is our opinion that
both the flashlight and the radio play an equal role in relation
to the use of the merchandise. The torch radio would not be
purchased for just one of its components. As you stated in your
letter, if a person wanted hand carry illumination, they would
purchase a flashlight since it would be cheaper. You also stated
that Enterprex sells a sports radio without the flashlight. If a
person wanted a radio they would buy a radio like Enterprex
Sports Radio, model no. GL909. The item here, the Sports AM/FM
Torch Radio, offers a person an article that serves the purposes
of both a flashlight and that of a radio.
Because neither of the components, by itself, imparts the
essential character to this merchandise, GRI 3(c) is applicable.
It states the following:
When goods cannot be classified by reference to
3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the
heading which occurs last in numerical order among
those which equally merit consideration.
The heading that occurs last in numerical order is Heading
8527, HTSUS. Therefore, the submitted merchandise is classified
in this heading.
The submitted merchandise is classified under subheading
8527.19.00, HTSUS, which provides for reception apparatus for
radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy or radio-broadcasting, whether
or not combined, in the same housing, with sound recording or
reproducing apparatus or a clock,. . .[o]ther. The column 1,
general rate of duty is 6 percent ad valorem.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division