Ms. Carrie Laskavy
Central Purchasing, LLC.
Import Operations Group
3491 Mission Oaks Blvd
Camarillo, CA 93012
RE: The tariff classification of a solar power kit from China
Dear Ms. Laskavy:
In your letter dated September 10, 2007 you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The merchandise subject to this ruling is all of the components within, as your letter describes, a solar power kit. It is further identified in your letter as SKU# 96535. A sample of this merchandise was furnished along with your request and is being returned as per your request.
The sample consisted of 1 aluminum briefcase trolley (wheeled) design containing 1 lead acid rechargeable battery with controller, 1 AC/DC adapter - class II/12V-500mA (6 watts) with 5.5 diameter plug, 1 solar panel with hard wired main cable, 2 L.E.D. work lights - 9” long, hand-held with rocker switch & lighter plug-in, 1 lighter plug-in (male) with 5.5mm diameter plug, and 1 small parts bag containing seven different mobile phone adapters (four rectangular multi-contact connectors and the two cylindrical multi-contact connectors).
The lead acid rechargeable battery with controller is actually a lead acid rechargeable battery housed within a charge regulator. The charge regulator contains an on/off switch, various input ports, and a voltage meter that indicates real time battery voltage.
The literature provided states that the solar power kit provides power to various devices, i.e., electronic devices that have a USB power port, 12 VDC electronic tools, mobile phones, small appliances, and the 2 L.E.D. work lights that are imported with the solar power kit. The lead acid rechargeable battery obtains its initial and future charges from the external charger AC/DC adapter, as well as future charges from the solar panel by plugging either the adapter or solar panel wiring into the “AC & SOLAR INPUT” port on the charge regulator. The various input ports on the charge regulator enable the L.E.D. work lights, mobile phone and other electronic devices to be plugged in via the adapters (rectangular multi-contact connectors and the cylindrical multi-contact connectors) imported with the solar power kit.
In determining the classification of the solar power kit (SKU# 96535), we are guided by General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3 in determining its classification because the items within the solar power kit are classifiable under two or more separate headings. GRI 3 (a) states that the heading, which provides the most specific description, shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. We do not find that any one heading is more specific among the those under consideration. Each heading is equally specific and merit equal consideration. As a result, we make reference to GRI 3 (b), which states mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3 (a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or components which gives them their essential character. In this instance, we believe that the solar power kit (SKU# 96535) is a composite good consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a whole for the purpose of performing two or more complementary functions. Those machines are the lead acid rechargeable battery with controller, the solar panel with hard wired main cable, and the AC/DC adapter - class II/12V-500mA with 5.5 diameter plug.
The lead acid rechargeable battery with controller functions to provide power, while the AC/DC adapter - class II/12V-500mA with 5.5 diameter plug, and the solar panel with hard wired main cable, function to recharge the lead acid rechargeable battery. The lead acid rechargeable battery with controller, AC/DC adapter - class II/12V-500mA with 5.5 diameter plug, and solar panel with hard wired main cable, is a composite good, whose classification is determined based on the component that imparts the essential character. We find that the primary purpose of the composite good is to provide a power source and the lead acid rechargeable battery accomplishes that function, the AC/DC adapter and the solar panel function to support the battery by recharging it so that it can carry-out its function as a power source. As a result, the lead acid rechargeable battery with the controller imparts the essential character of the solar power kit (SKU# 96535).
The applicable subheading for the solar power kit (SKU# 96535) will be 8507.20.8040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Other lead-acid storage batteries: Other: 12 V batteries.” The rate of duty will be 3.5 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 Linda M. Hackett at 646-733-3015.
Robert B. Swierupski