CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:EMAIN H301945 TPB
Mr. R. B. Burke
Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg, P.A.
551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1100
New York, NY 10176
RE: Classification of two types of dimmer switches for lamps.
Dear Mr. Burke:
This is in response to your letter of October 9, 2018, filed on behalf of your client, Lutron Electronics, Inc. (“Lutron”), in which you request a binding ruling as to the classification of two types of dimmer switches for lamp: the Diva Model DVCL 153P (“Diva”) and the Skylark Model S2-LFSQ 3-Speed Fan Control/Dimmer Combination Switch (“Skylark”). Consideration was given to additional information presented at our May 16, 2019 meeting in Washington, DC.
Your October 9, 2018 letter (“ruling request”) describes the Diva as an advanced technology dimmer switch assembly designed to be installed in an electrical wall box to control a single lighting load on a single electrical circuit. The device is 4.69 inches high by 2.94 inches wide by 1.31 inches deep and can be installed in a standard 2 ½-inch deep wall box. The DVCL 153P can control a load of up to 600 watts of incandescent lighting or up to 150 watts of compact fluorescent or LED lighting. The main components of the DVCL 153P assembly are: an electronic switch composed of a microprocessor, a TRIAC switch that actually dims the lighting load based on a signal from the microprocessor, and an opto-coupler; a mechanical air-gap switch for turning the lighting load completely on or off; a fuse; and a base in the form of an aluminum yoke on which printed circuit boards and other electrical components are contained within a single plastic enclosure. A physical sample of the Diva was also provided.
The Skylark is a combination dimmer switch assembly and fan controller designed to be installed in an electrical wall box to control both a lighting load and a fan motor load on two separate attached electrical circuits. It is comprised of an air-gap switch, a PCBA, a TRIAC, a four-position slide switch, and various electronic components.
What is the classification of the Diva and Skylark dimmer switches.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Merchandise imported into the United States is classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Tariff classification is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) and, in the absence of special language or context which requires otherwise, by the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation. The GRIs and the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation are part of the HTSUS and are to be considered statutory provisions of law for all purposes.
GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first 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 solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs 2 through 6 may then be applied in order.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
You indicate that the first step to classifying the products at issue is to determine which heading or headings of the tariff most accurately describe these products. You note that although the various components of both devices perform various functions, both devices are hard-wired to electrical circuits and the principal purpose of both devices is to control the electricity flowing to the attached load or loads.
The headings of the HTSUS covering most electrical switches are heading 85.35
(which applies to switches for voltages exceeding 1000 volts) and heading 85.36 (which
covers switches for voltages not exceeding 1000 volts). The terms of heading 85.36 provide as follows:
Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for
making connections to or in electrical circuits (for example, switches, relays, fuses, surge suppressors, plugs, sockets, lamp-holders and other connectors, junction boxes), for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V; connectors for optical fibers, optical fiber bundles or cables:
You further note that heading 85.37 provides for:
Boards, panels, consoles, desks, cabinets and other bases, equipped with
two or more apparatus of heading 85.35 or 85.36, for electric control or the
distribution of electricity, including those incorporating instruments or
apparatus of chapter 90, and numerical control apparatus, other than
switching apparatus of heading 85.17.
We note that switches that control more than one circuit, for example a single device that controls a light and a fan such as the Skylark, have been classified by CBP under subheading 8537.10.9170, HTSUS. In this case, there are two controlled circuits (a fan, and a light) and two individual switch assemblies, one control switch for each circuit. As such, the Skylark is properly classified under subheading 8537.10.9170, HTSUS.
With regard to the Diva, it controls only one circuit. This agency has classified similar devices based on TRIAC electronic dimmer switches under subheading 8536.50.7000, HTSUS. See, for example, N275258 dated May 19, 2016. Based on the information presented, the Diva dimmer switch is classifiable under heading 85.36, subheading 8536.50.7000, HTSUS.
Based on the facts of this case and as discussed above, the Skylark dimmer switch is classified under subheading 8537.10.9170, HTSUS, by application of GIR 1 and 6 and the Diva dimmer switch is classified under subheading 8536.50.7000, by application of GIRs 1 and 6.
Pursuant to U.S. Note 20 to Subchapter III, Chapter 99, HTSUS, products of China classified under subheadings 8536.50.70 and 8537.10.91, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to an additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., subheadings 9903.88.02 and 9903.88.03, HTSUS, in addition to subheadings 8536.50.70 and 8537.10.91, HTSUS, listed above.
The HTSUS is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Note cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading. For background information regarding the trade remedy initiated pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, you may refer to the relevant parts of the USTR and CBP websites, which are available at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/tariff-actions and https://www.cbp.gov/trade/remedies/301-certain-products-china respectively.
A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time the goods are entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the CBP officer handling the transaction.
Gregory Connor, Chief
Electronics, Machinery, Automotive, and
International Nomenclature Branch