Ms. Aneta Davis
Director, Sales Operations
101 Portola Avenue
Livermore, CA 94551
RE: The tariff classification of LED arrays (ES arrays and LS arrays) from Asia
Dear Ms. Davis:
In your letter dated January 11, 2011 you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The merchandise subject to this ruling is LED arrays, specifically ES arrays (rectangle and star products) and LS arrays (mini products). Each of these LED arrays is a single electrical component used in the manufacture of lighting fixtures. Representative samples were furnished for classification and, as you have not requested they be returned to you, they will be retained within our files.
Bridgelux’s LED array products use the same materials and manufacturing methods to produce a single LED. To achieve more light output than a single LED can provide, multiple LED chips (dies) are contained in the array product package. The methods used to construct the array are those associated with semiconductor manufacturing technology, not field installation or electronic board assembly. There is no fitting, housing, printed circuit board, driver or plug contained in or attached to the array that would make its use any different than a single LED device. The methods used to apply the LED array in a product are the same as for an individual LED soldering and mechanical assembly to a suitable heat sink. The LED array is a single component; it cannot be disassembled, modified, repaired or reworked by the user without destroying the device.
The arrays are not LED modules of heading 9405 because they require further manufacturing to produce light, such as a driver, mounting onto a printed circuit board, fittings, and a housing. Rather, the material used to create the LED arrays is a metal base, a dielectric layer, a metal layer, a solder-mask layer, a polymer coating, dies (LEDs), ring material, and silicone layer. As such, each LED array meets the definition of an array device as “a group of many similar, basic, complex, or integrated devices without separate enclosures.” This definition was obtained from The Modern Dictionary of Electronics (1999 Technology & Engineering Edition) authored by Rudolf F. Graf.
The applicable subheading for the LED arrays (ES arrays and LS arrays) will be 8541.40.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Diodes, transistors, and other semiconductor devices;…: Photosensitive semiconductor devices,…: Light-emitting diodes (LEDs). “ The rate of duty will be free.
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
National Commodity Specialist Division