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