CLA-2: CO:R:C:M 950001 DFC
Mr. James Schafehen
Japan Electronic Mfrs. Agency, Inc.
1000 Skokie Blvd.
Wilmette, IL 60091
RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 863744
dated June 12, 1991. Lamp, fluorescent; NYRL 863744
Dear Mr. Schafehen:
In the above referenced letter you were advised that a mini-
fluorescent lantern is classifiable under subheading 8539.31.00,
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated
(HTSUSA), as electrical filament or discharge, lamps, other
fluorescent lamps, with duty at the rate of 3.7 percent ad
valorem. We have been asked by our New York office to reconsider
the result reached in that ruling.
It is the position of our New York office that the mini-
fluorescent lantern is properly classifiable under subheading
8513.10.40, HTSUSA, as portable electric lamps designed to
function by their own source of energy (for example, dry
batteries, storage batteries, magnetos), other than lighting
equipment of heading 8512, lamps, other. The applicable rate of
duty for this provision is 6.9 percent ad valorem.
The product involved is a battery-operated mini-fluorescent
lantern, model no. JML 1128RN, which measures approximately 6.25
inches in length and possesses a fluorescent bulb contained
within a tube-like plastic case. It is noted that the bulb is
visible through its transparent covering and can be activated by
an on/off switch mechanism situated at its side. Although this
lantern is advertised to be hung through two "loop and Hook"
mounts (not found on the sample previously submitted), it can
also be easily placed, either in a vertical or horizontal
position, anywhere for easy lighting purposes.
Is the mini-fluorescent lantern more specifically provided
for in subheading 8513.10.40, HTSUSA, rather than in subheading
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the
General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GR1 1 provides that
"classification shall be determined according to the terms of the
headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided
such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to
[the remaining GRI's taken in order]." In other words,
classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of
the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.
GRI 3(a), HTSUSA, is relevant in determining the
classification of the mini-fluorescent lantern. It reads in
pertinent part as follows:
3. When by application of rule 2(b) or for any other
reason, goods are, prima facie classifiable under two
or more headings, classification shall be effected as
(a) The heading which provides the most specific
description shall be preferred to headings
providing a more general description. . . .
The Explanatory Notes (EN), although not dispositive,
should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA.
See 54 FR 35128 (August 23, 1989). The EN to heading 85.13 on
page 1351 reads in pertinent part as follows:
This heading covers portable electric lamps designed
to function by means of a self-contained source of
electricity (e.g. dry cell, accumulator or magneto).
They comprise two elements (i.e., the lamp proper and
the source of electricity) which are usually mounted
and directly connected together, often in a single
case. In some types, however, these elements are
The term "portable lamps" refers only to those lamps
(i.e., both the lamp and its electricity supply) which
are designed for use when carried in the hand or on the
person. They usually have a handle or a fastening
device and may be recognized by their particular shapes
and their light weight.
* * * *
The lamps of this heading include:
(2) Other hand lamps (including those with an
adjustable beam). Hand lamps are often
fitted with a simple device for hanging
them temporarily on a wall, etc., while
others are designed so that they can be
placed on the ground.
It is our opinion that the mini-fluorescent lantern is more
specifically described by subheading 8513.10.40, HTSUSA, for the
1. it possesses a self-contained source of electricity,
2. it is portable by design noting its light weight
construction which enables it to be carried in the
3. it can be placed either in a vertical or horizontal
position anywhere for lighting purposes.
The mini-fluorescent lantern is classifiable under
subheading 8513.10.40, HTSUSA, as portable electric lamps
designed to function by their own source of energy (for example,
dry batteries, storage batteries, magnetos), other than lighting
equipment of heading 8512, lamps, other.
The mini-fluorescent lantern is more specifically described
in subheading 8513.10.40, HTSUSA, than in subheading 8539.31.00,
The mini-fluorescent lantern is dutiable at the rate of 6.9
percent ad valorem under subheading 8513.10.40, HTSUSA.
This notice to you should be considered a modification of
NYRL 863744 under 19 CFR 177.9(d). It is not to be applied
retroactively to NYRL 863744 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not,
therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your
merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of
future transactions in merchandise of this type, NYRL 863744 will
not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions
may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current
contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this
decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation
arises, you may, at your discretion notify this office and apply
for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be
warranted by the circumstances.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division