Ms. Geri Davidson
The Container Store
500 Freeport Parkway
Coppell, TX 75019

RE: The tariff classification of a flashlight from China.

Dear Ms. Davidson:

In your letter dated July 15, 2009, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is described as the Mini Eco-i-Lite, SKU# 10050886. A sample of the Mini Eco-i-Lite was submitted with your ruling.

The Mini Eco-i-Lite is a multi-function power failure light. This item consists of a flashlight with an integrated nightlight and a charging base. The flashlight is a small cylinder-shaped handheld device constructed of plastic and is powered by an internal lithium-ion rechargeable battery. The flashlight measures approximately 4 inches in length and has an outside diameter of approximately 1½ inches. One end of the Mini Eco-i-Lite features 3 light emitting diode (LED) lamps under a clear plastic lens. The opposite end of the flashlight features a dome-shaped translucent amber lens over a single LED lamp, which provides a nightlight feature. On the side of the flashlight is a three-position slide switch for on/off/auto and a light sensor. The charging base consists of a plug-in donut-shaped housing designed to hold the flashlight for charging by induction. The charging base plugs directly into a standard two-prong wall outlet and can swivel 90 degrees to adjust for horizontal mounted outlets so that the inserted flashlight always remains upright. With the flashlight in the charging base and the switch in the “on” mode, the light sensor will turn on the nightlight when a room darkens. With the switch in the “auto” mode, the flashlight will turn on automatically in the event of a power failure allowing the user to easily locate it for use in an emergency. Additionally, the flashlight may be removed from the charging base and used at any time.

“Flashlights” have been defined in previous customs rulings as small battery-operated portable electric lights normally held in the hand by the housing itself, the primary function of which is to project a beam of light (HQ 084852). The Mini Eco-i-Lite flashlight component meets this definition by virtue of its design.

The Mini Eco-i-Lite and charging base are imported together in a blister package ready for retail sale. The flashlight and charging base, meet the definition of “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” As per GRI 3(b), classification is determined by the component which provides the set with its essential character. The flashlight provides the essential character of this set.

The applicable subheading for the Mini Eco-i-Lite, SKU# 10050886 will be 8513.10.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Portable electric lamps designed to function by their own source of energy (for example, dry batteries, storage batteries, magnetos)…: Lamps: Flashlights.” The general rate of duty will be 12.5 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

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
National Commodity Specialist Division