CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952087 DFC
Area Director of Customs
JFK Airport Area
Jamaica, New York 11430
RE: Internal Advice Request no. 34/92 concerning the tariff
classification of "floating" lanterns
This request for internal advice was initiated by an undated
letter to you from Mr. A.J. Hughes of Excel International Co., on
behalf of Bestex Co., of Los Angeles, California. It concerns
the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule
of the United States (HTSUS), of a "floating" lantern produced in
The sample submitted is a portable battery operated lamp,
model Supra Hi-Lite 904 D, in a plastic housing containing a
Krypton bulb. It measures approximately 8 inches in length and
has a molded plastic carrying handle with a removable wrist
strap. This lantern is capable of floating upright in water.
The inquirer maintains that the lantern is classifiable
under subheading 8513.10.40, HTSUS, as portable electric lamps
designed to function by their own source of energy (for example,
dry batteries, storage batteries, magnetos), other , parts
thereof, lamps, other.
It is your position that the lantern is properly
classifiable under subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS, as portable
electric lamps designed to function by their own source of energy
(for example, dry batteries, storage batteries, magnetos), parts
thereof, lamps, flashlights.
Whether the lantern is classifiable as a flashlight under
subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS, or under subheading 8513.10.40,
HTSUS, as a portable electric lamp other than a flashlight.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the
General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 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]." GRI 6, HTSUS, requires
that the GRI's be applied at the subheading level on the
understanding that only subheadings at the same level are
comparable. The GRI's apply in the same manner when comparing
subheadings within a heading.
Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) dated March 28, 1990,
concerned the tariff classification of a rechargeable emergency
flashlight. In that ruling Customs held that pursuant to GRI
3(b), the essential character of the portable lamp/flashlight was
derived from the flashlight and, therefore, classification under
subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS, was appropriate. In reaching this
result, Customs observed that "the 'Other,' of subheading
8513.10.4000, HTSUSA, does not cover the power failure warning
features, but merely refers to portable lamps of a size and shape
other than a flashlight." (Emphasis added).
Although the lamp has certain characteristics of a
flashlight in that it is portable, lightweight and projects a
beam, its configuration prevents it from being so classified.
It is in effect a portable lamp of a size and shape other than a
flashlight (Emphasis added.) Specifically, in HRL 073809 of
March 9, 1984, it was stated that ". . . one of the differences
between a flashlight and a lantern is that a flashlight is
normally held entirely in the hand by the housing itself, while a
lantern has a handle on its framework so that it can be carried."
Since the housing of the subject device has a molded plastic
carrying handle and is not held in the hand by the housing, it is
a lantern and not a flashlight
The portable "floating" lantern is classifiable under
subheading 8513.10.40, HTSUS, as portable electric lamps designed
to function by their own source of energy (for example, dry
batteries, storage batteries, magnetos), parts thereof, lamps,
other. The applicable rate of duty for this provision is 6.9% ad
You should inform the inquirer of this ruling.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division