CLA-2 R:C:F 956863 ALS
Mr. Stewart Olsen
John A. Steer, Inc.
43 Park Place
New York, NY 10007
RE: New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 843516, dated August 8, 1989,
Regarding Silicone Rubber Light Bulb Covers From the United
Dear Mr. Olsen:
In NYRL 843516 you were advised that silicone rubber light
bulb covers were classifiable in subheading 4016.99.5050,
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated
(HTSUSA). We noted that that ruling was based on the premise
that the rubber of which the covers were composed was vulcanized.
Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C.
1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs
Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement
Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993),
notice of proposed modification of NYRL 846178 was published on
March 22, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 12.
The articles under consideration are light bulb covers of
silicone rubber. They come in various colors and are designed to
slip over light bulbs so that, when the bulbs are lit, they emit
different colors of light. The covers are meant for use in
private houses and commercial establishments.
What is the classification of light bulb covers composed of
LAWS AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed
by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. - 2 -
GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in
accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative
section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods
and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the
remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.
NYRL 843516 held that the subject articles were classifiable
under subheading 4016.99.5050, HTSUSA, the provision for other
article of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber, other.. In
considering the propriety of that classification we considered
the definition for the term "synthetic rubber" contained in legal
note 4(a) to Chapter 40, HTSUSA. That definition provides, in
(a) Unsaturated synthetic substances which can be
irreversibly transformed by vulcanization with
sulfur into non-thermoplastic substances...
We have noted that silicone cannot be cross-linked with
sulfur and ,therefore, the covers are not considered to be made
of synthetic rubber in accordance with that definition. They are
not classifiable under the provisions for rubber and articles
thereof in Chapter 40, HTSUSA. Accordingly, they remain
classifiable under the provisions for plastics in Chapter 39,
Light bulb covers made from silicone rubber are classifiable
in subheading 3926.90.9890, HTSUSA, which provides for other
articles of plastics, other, other, and are subject to a general
rate of duty of 5.3 percent ad valorem.
NYRL 843516 is hereby modified. In accordance with section
625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its
publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or
decision pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of
practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)91),
Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division