CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953166 DWS
Mr. Juan B. Caballero
Martin, Drought & Torres
1111 First City Bank Tower
McAllen, TX 78501
RE: Wiring Harness Assemblies; Explanatory Note 85.44; HQ 086940;
HQ 951511; Heading 8512; Explanatory Note 85.12;
Dear Mr. Cabellero:
This is in response to your letter of December 18, 1992, to
the District Director of Customs, Laredo, Texas, concerning the
classification of certain wiring harness assemblies under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your
letter has been transferred to Customs Headquarters for a reply.
The merchandise consists of a wiring harness assemblies. The
assembly consists of insulated wires fitted with lamp sockets. The
harness is entered without corresponding lamps. After importation,
the assembly will be installed into a motor vehicle, and used to
conduct current to various lighting and signalling fixtures.
What is the proper classification of the wiring harness
assembly 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.
It is claimed that the wiring harness assembly is classifiable
under heading 8512, HTSUS, which provides for: "[e]lectrical
lighting or signaling equipment (excluding articles of heading
8539), windshield wipers, defrosters and demisters, of a kind used
for cycles or motor vehicles; parts thereof."
In part, heading 8544, HTSUS, provides for: "[i]nsulated
(including enameled or anodized) wire, cable (including coaxial
cable) and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not
fitted with connectors; . . ."
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) 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 assembly satisfies the above descriptions. It is
essentially an insulated conductor with connectors (sockets). See
HQ 086940, dated August 6, 1990. Therefore, the subject assembly
is described under heading 8544, HTSUS.
In part, Explanatory Note 85.12 (p. 1350) states that:
[t]he heading also excludes:
(a) - (d) xxx
(e) Insulated electric wire and cable, whether or not cut to
length or fitted with connectors or made up in sets
(e.g., ignition wiring sets) (heading 85.44).
Because the assembly is described under heading 8544, HTSUS,
under the above exclusion in Explanatory Note 85.12, it is
precluded from classification under heading 8512, HTSUS.
Consequently, it is our position that the subject wiring
harness assembly is classifiable under subheading 8544.30.00, 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."
It is claimed that the holding in HQ 951511, dated June 1,
1992, has a bearing upon the classification of the subject
assembly. In that ruling, a similar wiring harness with
corresponding lamps, imported in the same shipment but in different
containers, were held to be classifiable under heading 8512, HTSUS.
However, the subject assembly is not imported with any
corresponding lamps. Therefore, we do not find the result in
HQ 951511 instructive for the resolution in this matter.
The wiring harness assembly is classifiable under subheading
8544.30.00, HTSUS. The general, column one rate of duty is 5
percent ad valorem. Because the assembly is manufactured in
Mexico, upon the meeting of certain regulations, it will be
entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of
John Durant, Director