Ms. Eunice D. Martinez
Operations Manager, CHB
Norman Krieger, Inc.
9635 Heinrich Hertz Rd. Ste 6
San Diego, CA 92154
RE: The tariff classification of a PVU-B50 Photovoltaic Junction Box from an unspecified country of origin
Dear Ms. Martinez:
In your letter dated December 2, 2008, on behalf of O & S California, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling. The sample which you submitted is being retained by this office.
The merchandise concerned is referred to as a photovoltaic junction box. It consists of two insulated electrical cables, with electrical connectors at one end and a plastic junction box on the opposite end. The junction box incorporates an electrical bus bar/terminal and diodes.
In use, this item would be mounted to the back of a solar panel by fitting the terminals from this unit to that of the solar panel. This unit is designed to conduct the electric current produced by the solar panel or cells, into batteries. The diodes insure that the current flow is in only one direction, into the batteries. These items are used solely to facilitate the conduction of electricity from the solar panel to the batteries without allowing the current to flow from the battery back to the solar panel.
You suggest that the photovoltaic junction box (basic solar panel circuit) is classifiable under subheading 8541.90.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Subheading 8541.90.0000 provides for parts of photovoltaic cells. However, Explanatory Note (EN) 85.41 (B) (i) states that heading 8541 does not cover panels or modules equipped with elements, however simple, i.e. diodes to control the direction of the current. As such, since the photovoltaic junction box does contain a diode, in addition to a terminal, connector, electrical wire, and a plastic box, classification of the photovoltaic junction box under subheading HTSUS 8541.90.0000 is inapplicable.
You also suggest classification under subheading 8536.69.8000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or in electrical circuits: Lamp-holders, plugs and sockets: Other: Other.” The explanatory notes for heading 8536 exclude plugs and sockets, etc., assembled with a length of wire and direct you to heading 8544. As such, heading 8536 would not be applicable.
The applicable subheading for the PVU-B50 Photovoltaic Junction Box will be 8544.42.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Insulated wire, cable and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors: Other electric conductors, for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: Fitted with connectors: Other: Other.” The general rate of duty will be 2.6%.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
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. If you have any questions regarding heading 8541, please contact National Import Specialist Linda Hackett at (646) 733-3015, for questions concerning heading 8536, please contact National Import Specialist Thomas Campanelli at (646) 733- 3016. For all other issues regarding this ruling, contact National Import Specialist Steve Pollichino at (646) 733-3008.
Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division