Maria T. Kalina
CEBI USA, Inc.
3, Parklane Blvd.
Suite 1000 West
Dearborn, Michigan 48126
RE: The tariff classification of a headlamp leveling actuator from Switzerland
Dear Ms. Kalina:
In your letter dated May 8, 1996 you requested a tariff classification ruling.
Your letter requests the tariff classification of a Headlamp Leveling Actuator, part number 16525027. The headlamp leveling actuator is used to adjust the position of headlamps in automobiles. A sample of this item is furnished. The merchandise consists of: a small DC motor, with gearing attached to its shaft, which drives a worm gear which turns gearing which raises or lowers a leveling rod; a printed circuit assembly used to control the motor; and a plastic housing which contains the aforementioned parts and additional gearing. The motor has an output of 18 watts. The motor contained in the submitted sample is marked "Made in China".
The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
Explanatory Note 85.01(I)(A) states that "Motors remain classified here even when they are equipped with pulleys, with gears or gear boxes, or with a flexible shaft for operating hand tools." Explanatory Note 85.01(I)(A), Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding Service ("HCDCS"), Vol. 4, p.1334. This Note further comments that motors "in the form of a unit comprising an electric motor, shaft, propeller and a rudder" are covered by heading 8501.
It is clear that a motor remains a motor for tariff purposes despite having other articles attached to it. These other articles can be quite substantial.
When confronted with an assembly incorporating a motor which includes additional components other than those listed in Explanatory Note 85.01, the previous rulings provide the following guidelines--an electric motor is classifiable under heading 8501, HTSUS, even when imported with additional components (other than those listed in Explanatory Note 85.01) if:
(1) those additional components complement the function of the motor [HQ 083955 (dated July 10, 1989)]; (2) those additional components are devices with which motors are commonly equipped [HQ 087909 (dated December 26, 1990)]; (3) those additional components serve merely to transmit the power the motors produce [HQ 950557 (dated December 26, 1991)].
The applicable subheading for the headlight leveling actuators will be 8501.10.40, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA), which provides for other electric motors, of an output of under 18.65 watts. The rate of duty will be 5.7 percent ad valorem.
We suggest that you contact the Customs office at the anticipated port of entry for advice on the proper country of origin marking before you import.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported.
Joseph J. Wilson
Buffalo, New York