CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955026 DWS
U.S. Customs Service
9400 Viscount, Suite 104
El Paso, TX 79925
RE: IA 70/93; Wiring Harness Assemblies; Explanatory Note 85.44;
Section XVII, Note 2(f); HQ 088477; HQ 951223; HQ 952493;
Dear District Director:
This is in response to your memorandum of August 6, 1993 (CLA
1-EP:C:C OS), relating to a request for internal advice initiated
by Chrysler Corporation concerning the classification of wiring
harness assemblies under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the
United States (HTSUS).
The merchandise consists of wiring harness assemblies designed
for installation into passenger automobiles. The assembly is
comprised of wire conductors, two wiring troughs, terminals,
insulators, a grommet, various bundle coverings, fuses and relays,
and light sockets. The main function of the instrument panel
assembly is to interface between the body computer, instrument
cluster, radio, air bag module, I/P switches, body wiring, engine
compartment wiring, and all other modules in the panel.
The subheadings under consideration are as follows:
8708.99.50: [p]arts and accessories of the motor vehicles of
headings 8701 to 8705: [o]ther parts and
accessories: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther.
The general, column one rate of duty is 3.1 percent ad
8544.30.00: [i]gnition wiring sets and other wiring sets of
a kind used in vehicles, aircraft or ships.
The general, column one rate of duty is 5 percent ad valorem.
Whether the wiring harness assemblies are classifiable under
subheading 8708.99.50, HTSUS, as other parts of the motor vehicles
of headings 8701 to 8705, or under subheading 8544.30.00, HTSUS,
as other wiring sets of a kind used in vehicles.
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 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 assemblies satisfy the above descriptions. They
are essentially insulated conductors with connectors. Although the
assemblies possess other electric components, these components
merely facilitate the conduction of electricity. Therefore, it is
our position that the subject merchandise is classifiable under
subheading 8544.30.00, HTSUS.
Because the importer argues that the assemblies are
classifiable as parts under heading 8708, HTSUS, section XVII, note
2(f), HTSUS, is pertinent. It states that:
2. The expressions "parts" and "parts and accessories" do not
apply to the following articles, whether or not they are
identifiable as for the goods of this section:
(f) Electrical machinery or equipment (chapter 85).
Because the assemblies are classifiable as electric
conductors, and therefore classifiable under chapter 85, HTSUS,
under section XVII, note 2(f), HTSUS, they are precluded from
classification under chapter 87, HTSUS.
The importer cites HQ 088477, dated May 9, 1991, to argue that
the addition in the assemblies of electronic components makes them
more than just wiring sets. HQ 088477 dealt with the
classification of a wiring harness assembly which contained a fuse
box with 19 fuses, a lamp socket with a lamp, a lamp monitor module
with a microprocessor, a door ajar module, and a glove box switch
with a lamp and socket.
In HQ 951223, dated July 17, 1992, wiring harness assemblies
dedicated for use with motorcycles were classified. Similar to the
subject assemblies, the various types of assemblies classified in
that ruling contained fuses, fuse boxes, relays, conductors,
connectors, and diodes. In dealing with the application of HQ
088477 to the assemblies in HQ 951223, it was stated that:
[i]n HQ 088477 (5/9/91), Customs addressed the
classification of [wiring harness assemblies] with various
electrical devices . . . . for installation into a motor
vehicle. We stated that this type of device did not satisfy
the terms of heading 8544, HTSUS, based on the fact that it
incorporated a substantial number of devices in addition to
connectors. The IA applicant argues that the subject
[wiring harness assemblies] also possess devices other than
connectors, and thus do not satisfy the terms of heading
8544, HTSUS. However, the devices in HQ 088477 did not
facilitate the conduction of electricity, but performed
other functions (i.e., lighting). Consequently, we do not
find the result in HQ 088477 instructive for the resolution
of this matter.
Because the electrical components contained within the subject
assemblies facilitate the conduction of electricity, cases
concerning assemblies containing devices which perform other
functions (i.e., lighting) are not instructive as to the
classification of the subject merchandise. See HQ 952493, dated
September 15, 1992.
The wiring harness assemblies are classifiable under
subheading 8544.30.00, HTSUS, as other wiring sets of a kind used
You should advise the internal advice applicant of this
John Durant, Director