CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953933 RFA
Mr. Angel A. Oliva-Hardison
265 E. 12th Street
P.O. Box 8378
Brownsville, TX 78520-8378
RE: Dishwasher Control Panel; Escutcheon Assembly; Time
Switches; EN 91.07; eo nomine; heading 8422; heading 9032;
HQ 556694 Modified
Dear Mr. Oliva-Hardison:
This is in response to your letter, dated April 12, 1993, on
behalf of Condura S.A. de C.V. Eaton Corporation, requesting the
tariff classification of dishwasher control panels under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).
The merchandise, described as the E2 and E3 Escutcheon, is
the main control panel for a dishwasher. The dishwasher panel
consists of 17 parts or pieces which include a printed circuit
board (PCB). The PCB (or logic board) is the main component
which is joined with a light emitting diode (LED) board assembly,
a keyboard assembly and other parts to form the control assembly.
The PCB assembly controls all the time features of this unit
which in turns controls the timing of the cycles, options and
functions of the dishwasher. The control assembly is then
connected to a thermistor assembly, harnesses, detergent trip
motor, plastic Escutcheon and other parts to form the Escutcheon
The purpose of the Escutcheon assembly (or dishwasher panel)
is to control the dishwasher's functions and display the current
function that is activated. The Escutcheon assembly controls the
water temperature, wash cycles, and drives the detergent trip
motor to dispense detergent at predetermined intervals.
Is the Escutcheon dishwasher panel classifiable as a time
switch or as part of a dishwasher 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 shall be
determined according to the terms of the headings and any
relative section or chapter notes.
The following headings are under consideration:
8422: Dishwashing machines. . . parts thereof:
9032: Other automatic regulating or controlling
instruments and apparatus. . .
9107: Time switches with clock or watch movement or with
synchronous motor. . .
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 91.07, page 1547,
states as follows:
This heading covers devices which do not have the
character of clocks of heading 91.05, but are mainly
designed to make or break electric circuits
automatically at given times, usually at times
determined according to a previously established daily
or weekly programme. To be included in this heading
these devices must have a movement of the watch or
clock type (including secondary or synchronous motor
clock movements) or a synchronous motor with or without
* * * *
The heading also includes switches for making and
breaking the circuit supplying electrical apparatus
(television receivers, irons, washing machines,
billiard table lights, etc.), switching on when coins
are inserted and switching off through the action of a
synchronous motor, the interval being determined by the
number of coins inserted.
A tariff term that is not defined in the HTSUS or in the
EN's is construed in accordance with its common and commercial
meaning. Nippon Kogaku (USA) Inc. v. United States, 69 CCPA 89,
673 F.2d 380 (1982). Common and commercial meaning may be
determined by consulting dictionaries, lexicons, scientific
authorities and other reliable sources. C.J. Tower & Sons v.
United States, 69 CCPA 128, 673 F.2d 1268 (1982).
In Admiral Division of Magic Chef, Inc. v. United States, 14
CIT 868, 875, 754 F.Supp. 881 (1990), the Court defined "time
switch", based on its common meaning, as "an electric switch that
automatically operates at a set time." The Court held that
defrost timers for refrigerators, which make or break electric
circuits by activating two sets of electrical contact points
automatically upon the completion of some preset time interval
and equipped with a synchronous or subsynchronous motor, are
provided for eo nomine as "time switches".
The dishwasher panel contains a PCB assembly which controls
all the time features of this unit which in turn controls the
preset timing of the cycles, options and functions of the
dishwasher. Based upon EN 91.07 and Admiral Division, we find
that the dishwasher panel meets the definition of a time switch.
The dishwasher panels are provided for eo nomine under subheading
9107.00.80, HTSUS, as time switches.
You indicate that the dishwasher panels are classifiable as
parts of a dishwasher under heading 8422, HTSUS, or as other
automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus
under heading 9032, HTSUS. In HQ 556694, dated August 27, 1992,
Customs stated that the subject dishwasher panel appears, from
the description provided, to be classified as a part of a
dishwasher under heading 8422, HTSUS. After reviewing all the
information now available, we find that the classification of the
dishwasher panel in HQ 556694 is no longer valid. Classification
under heading 8422, HTSUS, and heading 9032, HTSUS, is
inapplicable because the subject merchandise is specifically
provided for under heading 9107, HTSUS.
The Escutcheon control panels for dishwashers are
classifiable under subheading 9107.00.80, HTSUS, which provides
for: "[t]ime switches with clock or watch movement or with
synchronous motor: [v]alued over $5 each. . . ." The general,
column one rate of duty is $0.15 each plus 4 percent ad valorem.
This is not a Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) eligible
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
HQ 556694, dated August 27, 1992, is modified pursuant to
section 177.9(d) of the Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.9(d)], as
set forth in this ruling.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division