Ms. Sandra Mericle
Lamson & Sessions
25701 Science Park Drive
Cleveland, OH 44122
RE: The tariff classification of push-button switches and a floor receptacle from China.
Dear Ms. Mericle:
In your letter dated August 8, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Lamson & Sessions Carlon Division.
The merchandise under consideration consists of four “Push Button” switches identified as part numbers DH1652L, DH1404L, DH1670L and 234442, and a “Drop In Floor Box” receptacle identified as part number E971FBDI. Samples of all items, including a sample of a Carlton Door Chime, were submitted with your ruling request and will be returned to you.
The four push buttons are all low voltage (8-24 volt) lighted, two wire switches for use with chime or doorbells, and are typically installed to the side of a door leading to a residency. Each button is packaged with mounting screws and a wall plate within a sealed plastic blister pack, ready for retail sale. The wall plate houses or supports the switch, and is provided in various designs.
The drop in floor box is a cylindrical tube of PVC measuring approximately 7 inches tall with a diameter of 2 inches. Within this tube is a standard single three-prong polarized receptacle rated for 125 volts and 15 amps. The drop in floor box is designed for mounting a floor outlet into the floor of a home or office. The drop in floor box is packaged with installation instructions, a PVC cylinder, the receptacle, mounting screws, a brass cover plate, low voltage and blank PVC insert plates, and a 2? inch diameter hole saw with arbor and pilot drill bit needed for installation. All items are ready for retail sale within a sealed plastic blister pack.
As imported, each push button switch, as well as the drop in floor box, consists of at least two different articles that are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings. The floor box is also an installation kit that is put up together to carry out a specific activity (i.e., floor receptacle installation). All five articles are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Therefore, the push buttons and drop in floor box each meet the definition of “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” As per GRI 3(b), goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. The essential character of the push buttons is the switch, and the essential character of the drop in floor box kit is the electrical receptacle.
In your letter, you suggest classification for the push buttons under subheading 8531.90.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), for sound or visual signaling apparatus. Individual push button switches, however, are specifically provided for under heading 8536, HTSUS. You also suggest classification for the drop in floor box under subheading 3925.90.0000, HTSUS, for builders’ ware of plastics, not elsewhere specified. As stated above, the drop in floor box kit has the essential character of an electrical receptacle of heading 8536, HTSUS.
The applicable subheading for the “Push Buttons” part numbers DH1652L, DH1404L, DH1670L and 234442 will be 8536.50.9031, HTSUS, which provides for “Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits…for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: Other Switches: Other: Other: Push-button: Rated at not over 5 A: Momentary contact.” The general rate of duty will be 2.7 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the “Drop In Floor Box” part number E971FBDI with receptacle will be 8536.69.8000, HTSUS, which provides for “Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or in electrical circuits…for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: Lamp-holders, plugs and sockets: Other: Other.” The general rate of duty will be 2.7 percent ad valorem.
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 the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Thomas Campanelli at 646-733-3016.
Robert B. Swierupski