CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954061 DWS

Mr. Kenneth J. Robertson
Border Brokerage Company, Inc.
P.O. Box B
Blaine, WA 98230

RE: "Statpack-8" Battery Pack; GRI 3(b); Explanatory Notes 3(b)(VIII) and (X); GRI 5(b); 8504.40.00

Dear Mr. Robertson:

This is in response to your letter of April 6, 1993, on behalf of Statpower Technologies, concerning the classification of a battery pack under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of the "Statpack-8" battery pack. The pack is comprised of a 12 volt (V) lead-acid battery and a 13 V battery charger, both fitted in a nylon carrying case. Connected to the battery is a cigarette lighter output socket. The purpose of the battery pack is to provide a power source.

The following subheadings are under consideration:

8507.20.00: [e]lectric storage batteries, including separators therefor, whether or not rectangular (including square); parts thereof: [o]ther lead-acid storage batteries.

The general, column one rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.

8504.40.00: [s]tatic converters.

The general, column one rate of duty is 3 percent ad valorem.

If imported separately, the battery and the battery pack would be classifiable under subheadings 8507.20.00 and 8504.40.00, HTSUS, respectively.


Whether, under GRI 3(b), the battery pack constitutes a set? If so, whether the pack is classifiable under subheading 8507.20.00, HTSUS, as a lead-acid storage battery?


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.

In determining whether the battery pack is a set, GRI 3(b) must be consulted. It states that:

[m]ixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

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). Explanatory Note 3(b)(X) (p. 4), HTSUS, provides that:

[f]or the purpose of this Rule, the term 'goods put up in sets for retail sale' shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings . . .;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards)."

It is our position that the battery pack is a set for classification purposes. It fully satisfies all three requirements of Explanatory Note 3(b)(X), HTSUS.

Because the battery pack is a set, its essential character must be determined. Explanatory Note 3(b)(VIII) (p. 4) states that:

[t]he factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. 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.

We find that the lead-acid battery imparts the essential character of the battery pack. The primary purpose of the pack is to provide a power source, and the battery accomplishes this function.

Consequently, the battery pack is classifiable as a lead-acid storage battery under subheading 8507.20.00, HTSUS.

GRI 5(b) states that:

[c]amera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character.

Based upon GRI 5(b), it is our position that the nylon carrying case, specially shaped to contain a set of articles, is to be classified with the battery pack set.


Under GRI 3(b), the "Statpack-8" battery pack is classifiable as a set. It is classifiable under subheading 8507.20.00, HTSUS, as a lead-acid storage battery.


John Durant, Director