SEPTEMBER 14 1993
CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 954373 JAS
Charles T. Silverberg, Esq.
Rockwell International Corporation
P.O. Box 4250
Seal Beach, CA 90740-8250
RE: Manifold/Battery Assembly; Thermal Battery Pack; Percussion
Fired Thermal Battery and Manifold Assembled in an Aluminum
Housing; Power Source for Aircraft Ejection Seat; Composite
Good, GRI 3(b), Essential Character; Parts of Airplanes,
Heading 8803; Section XVII, Note 2(f)
Dear Mr. Silverberg:
In your letter dated May 24, 1993, you inquire as to the
tariff classification of a manifold battery assembly from
Germany. Drawings and specifications were submitted.
The manifold battery assembly in issue consists of a thermal
battery and manifold, both encased in an aluminum housing. It is
to be used in a prototype aircraft to provide a source of
electrical current that activates an Ejection Sequencing Device
(ESD). The ESD ejects the pilot and his seat in an emergency
situation and releases the main parachute. In operation, when
the pilot pulls the "eject" handle hot gas from the plane's
engine fills the manifold and is directed by apertures in the
manifold against a firing pin which actuates a ballistic primer,
both of which are integral to the battery. The resulting
explosion sends hot particles into the battery core which melts
the gel-like electrolyte. The chemical reaction that results in
turn creates electrical current. Once the manifold battery
assembly is activated it is expended and cannot be reused. - 2 -
The provisions under consideration are as follows:
8506.19.00 Primary cells and primary batteries;
parts thereof: Having an external volume
not exceeding 300 cm cubed: Other
...5.3 percent ad valorem
* * * * *
8803.30.00 Parts of goods of heading 8801 or 8802:
Other parts of airplanes or helicopters
Whether by function and design the manifold battery assembly
has the essential character of is a primary cell or primary
battery of heading 8506.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the
General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), taken is order.
The classification of goods consisting of more than one
material or substance shall be according to the principles of GRI
3. In accordance with GRI 3(a), where goods are prima facie
classifiable under two or more headings, each of which refers to
part only of the materials, substances or components contained in
mixed or composite goods, those headings are to be regarded as
equally specific in relation to those goods. GRI 3(b) states, in
part, that composite goods made up of different components which
cannot be classified under GRI 3(a), shall be classified as if
they consisted of the component which gives them their essential
character insofar as this criterion is applicable.
The manifold battery assembly is a composite good consisting
of a firing pin and ballistic primer [electrical apparatus,
heading 8543], an aluminum housing [articles of aluminum, heading
7616], and the battery component [primary cells or primary
batteries, heading 8506]. Each heading describes part only of
Goods of heading 8506 generate electrical energy by means of
chemical reactions. Primary cells of heading 8506 consist of a
container holding an alkaline or non-alkaline electrolyte in
which two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, are immersed. Each
electrode is provided with a terminal or other arrangement for
connection to an external circuit. Primary cells may be used
individually or they may be grouped together in batteries, either
in series, or in parallel or a combination of both. The - 3 -
principal characteristic of goods of heading 8506 is that they
cannot be readily or efficiently recharged.
Heading 8506 provides for a class of goods eo nomine, by
name. Headings 8543 and 7616 are residual or basket provisions.
Because of its primary function and design, we conclude under the
authority of GRI 3(b) that the battery component imparts the
essential character to the manifold battery assembly.
Because it is an integral, constituent and component part
necessary to the proper functioning of the ESD, the manifold
battery assembly is also a part provided for in heading 8803.
However, goods cannot be classified in chapter 88 if they are
provided for in chapter 85. See Section XVII, Note 2(f), HTSUS.
This eliminates heading 8803 from consideration.
Under the authority of GRI 3(b), HTSUS, the manifold battery
assembly is provided for in heading 8506. Actual classification
is in subheading 8506.19.00, HTSUS, other primary cells and
primary batteries having an external volume not exceeding 300 cm
cubed. The rate of duty on products from Germany is 5.3 percent
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division