CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966661 KBR
Ms. Christie Sicken
1500 Atlantic Boulevard
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
RE: Reconsideration of NY E81170; Security Indicator
Dear Ms. Sicken:
This is in reference to New York Ruling Letter (NY) E81170, issued to you by the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, on May 27, 1999. That ruling concerned the classification of several automobile components, including a security indicator with an electric wiring harness, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have reviewed NY E81170 and determined that the classification provided for the security indicator with wiring harness is incorrect.
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), a notice was published on June 23, 2004, in Vol. 38, No. 26 of the Customs Bulletin, proposing to modify NY E81170. No comments were received in response to this notice.
In NY E81170, it was determined that the ALPS item number SANWD9011B security indicator was classifiable in subheading 8544.30.0000, HTSUSA, as ignition wiring sets and other wiring harnesses of a type used in vehicles, aircraft or ships. The security indicator consists of a wiring harness with a connector attached to one end and a plastic housing containing a small printed circuit board and an LED at the other end. The plastic housing fits over the post of the door lock and the LED is illuminated when the security system is activated. The LED is labeled “SECURITY”. The wires measure approximately 10 inches in length.
We have reviewed that ruling and determined that the classification of the security indicator is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification.
Is a security indicator with wiring harness properly classified under the HTSUSA as a wiring harness or as signaling equipment?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). Under GRI 1, merchandise is classifiable according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.
In interpreting the headings and subheadings, Customs looks to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN). Although not legally binding, they provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA. It is Customs practice to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the ENs when interpreting the HTSUSA. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
The HTSUSA provisions under consideration are as follows:
8512 Electrical lighting or signaling equipment (excluding articles of heading 8539), windshield wipers, defrosters and demisters, of a kind used for cycles or motor vehicles; parts thereof:
* * * * *
8512.20 Other lighting or visual signaling equipment:
8512.20.40 Visual signaling equipment
8512.20.4040 For vehicles of subheading 8701.20 or heading 8702, 8703, 8704, 8705 or 8711
8544 Insulated (including enameled or anodized) wire, cable (including coaxial cable) and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fiber cables, made up of individually sheathed fibers, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors:
* * * * *
8544.30.0000 Ignition wiring sets and other wiring sets of a kind used in vehicles
The article at issue is a security indicator comprised of a wiring harness with a connector attached to one end and a plastic housing containing a small printed circuit board and an LED on the other end. The ENs for heading 8512, HTSUSA, exclude from this heading:
(e) Insulated electric wire and cable, whether or not cut to length or fitted with connectors or made up in sets (e.g., ignition wiring sets) (heading 85.44).
The EN for heading 8544, HTSUSA, states that:
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 heading also includes wire, etc., of the types described above made up in sets (e.g., multiple cables for connecting motor vehicle sparking plugs to the distributor).
Customs has issued several rulings dealing with the classification of wiring harnesses and headings 8512 and 8544, HTSUSA. In distinguishing between headings 8512 and 8544, HTSUSA, Customs in HQ 951511 (June 1, 1992), found that a wiring harness with a bulb is classified in heading 8512, HTSUSA. However, when imported without a bulb a wiring harness would not be classified under heading, 8512, HTSUSA, but would be classified under heading 8544, HTSUSA, as insulated wire with connectors. See also HQ 953166 (January 14, 1993) (classifying a wiring harness with only a lamp socket but no bulb in heading 8544 and specifically distinguishing HQ 951511 whose article included bulbs).
In HQ 954945 (November 23, 1993), Customs looked at the function an automobile rear tail light assembly performed. The rear tail light assembly provided rear end illumination for night driving, turn signaling, brake lighting, hazard signaling, and illumination in reverse gear. Customs determined that, under GRI 3(b), the essential character of a combination lamp assembly which included a hazard light performed as visual signaling equipment and therefore was classified under subheading 8512.20.40, HTSUSA.
In HQ 962654 (April 5, 1999), which corrected a clerical error in NY D86618, Customs found that an automotive wiring and LED warning light assembly was classified in subheading 8512.20.4040, HTSUSA. See also HQ 963831 (January 11, 2001) (finding that due to its “principal use,” an LED warning system is classified in heading 8512, HTSUSA). In NY H87857 (February 1, 2002), Customs found that a seatbelt sensor warning light assembly was
classified in subheading 8512.20.4040, HTSUSA.
Like the merchandise classified in HQ 962654, the instant article is not simply a wiring harness with a connector on one or both ends. One end of the instant article has a security indicator LED assembly. The purpose of the indicator is to warn that the security system is active. This is a visual signaling function. Because the function of the instant security indicator is to provide a visual warning to the automobile operator and it is imported with the LED included, the security indicator is classified under subheading 8512.20.4040, HTSUSA, as visual signaling equipment for vehicles.
The security indicator is classified under subheading 8512.20.4040, HTSUSA, as electrical lighting or signaling equipment, of a kind used for cycles or motor vehicles; parts thereof: other lighting or visual signaling equipment: visual signaling equipment, for vehicles. The 2004 column one, general rate of duty rate is 2.5% ad valorum. Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUSA and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
NY E81170 dated May 27, 1999, is modified. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. §1625(c), this ruling will become effective sixty (60) days after publication in the Customs Bulletin.
Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division