Mr.William J. Polkinhorn
Bill Polkinhorn, Inc.
2401 Portico Blvd.
Calexico, CA 92231

RE: The tariff classification of an igniter/flame sensor from Mexico or France.

Dear Mr. Polkinhorn:

In your letter dated October 16, 2008, together with two undated supplements received here on December 8, 2008 and January 23, 2009, respectively, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Robertshaw Controls Co. (also known as Grayson Controls and Invensys Controls). Mr. John Kociecki of Robertshaw/Invensys Controls also provided additional information via telephone.

The item in question, a sample of which was submitted, is identified as part/item # BP209M Probe, an igniter/flame sensor assembly for gas-fired heaters and/or appliances. It consists of an electrode (K1 Kanthal electrode wire-rod) housed in a ceramic (95% alumina ceramic) body mounted on a bracket. It measures 65mm x 55mm x 153mm. Absent the bracket, the item bears some resemblance to a spark plug for an internal combustion engine, except that at its firing end it has an extended center electrode that is bent to a 90-degree angle in two places, and there is no second (ground) electrode.

You state that the product is most commonly used as a component of electrical ignition systems for gas-burning appliances (e.g., hot-water heaters). Such systems typically include a control circuit, an igniter controlled by the control circuit which causes spark-ignition of fuel issuing from the burner assembly, and a flame sensing electrode located in the flame which serves to provide a signal to the control circuit once the flame is established.

The subject article is capable of performing either or both the spark-ignition or flame-sensing functions, depending on the application. Its functionality is determined by the manner in which it is wired into the control circuit. For example, if the application stipulates that only an igniter will be used, then the item will be used solely as such. It is understood that in carrying out its role as part of an ignition system, the BP209M Probe will be connected to a spark generator or power source, and that the spark will jump from its electrode to an external, proximate conductor within the appliance in which it is mounted.

The applicable subheading for the BP209M Probe will be 9613.90.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for cigarette lighters and other lighters, whether or not mechanical or electrical, and parts thereof other than flints and wicks: parts: electrical. The general rate of duty will be 3.9%.

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

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 Nathan Rosenstein at (646) 733-3030.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division