Ms. Judith L. Haggin
Geo. S. Bush & Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 8829
Portland, Oregon 97208
RE: The tariff classification and marking of light bulbs from Korea.
Dear Ms. Haggin:
In your letter dated December 15, 1994, on behalf of your client, Beacon Light Products Inc., you requested a tariff classification and marking ruling.
The sample submitted is an unfinished light bulb of 120 V and 150 W in which the insulators and eyelets are of U.S. origin, while the bulb, brass screw base and filament are of Korean origin. After importation, the importer adds an electronic control module (ECM) to the bottom of its brass screw base, thereby creating the "smart" light bulb. It is stated that the ECM is considered to be the "brains" of the bulb, as it regulates the dimming capacities of the bulb.
You inquire as to whether this merchandise is classified under heading 7011, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for glass envelopes (including bulbs and tubes), open...without fittings, for electric lamps...or the like, or more properly classified under heading 8539, HTS, which provides for electrical filament or discharge lamps.
Although the subject merchandise is not considered to be a finished light bulb, it still possesses the necessary components/fittings to be regarded as a light bulb, thereby precluding consideration of classification under heading 7011, HTS.
The applicable subheading for this light bulb will be 8539.22.8040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for electrical filament or discharge lamps...other, of a power not exceeding 200 W and for a voltage exceeding 100 V: other, including standard household: of a power 15 W or more but not exceeding 150 W. The rate of duty will be 3.7 percent ad valorem.
In noting that the U.S. components account for the majority of the value of the finished article, you inquire as to whether each bulb should be marked to indicate the country of origin to be "Korea" or the "United States assembled with foreign components".
The marking statue, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin.
Since the subject bulb, in its imported condition, is considered to be an article of Korean origin, it should be marked "Korea" in compliance with the above-stated regulation.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.
Jean F. Maguire
New York Seaport