Mr. Matthew Kemper
Customs and International Trade Manager
Crowell & Moring LLP
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004
RE: The tariff classification of seat motors from Japan
Dear Mr. Kemper:
In your letter dated February 11, 2011 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Aisin Holdings of America, Inc.
The items concerned are automobile seat motor assemblies (part numbers 439440-10060 and 441910-10030). In their imported condition these items consist of an electric motor with an attached power cable. After importation these motors will be incorporated into an automobile seat assembly. They are used to provide the power to automatically adjust the position of an automobile seat. Seat motor 439440-10060 is a DC motor that has a maximum output of 50 watts. Seat motor 441910-10030 is a DC motor that has a maximum output of 60 watts.
You suggest classification of both motor assemblies (part numbers 439440-10030 and 439440-10060) in HTSUS 9401.90.1085, which provides for parts of seats of a kind used for motor vehicles. To support this assertion you reference New York Ruling Letter J89545, dated October 16, 2003, which classified two fully assembled automobile seat adjusters with motors in Heading 9401. The articles in that ruling letter differ from those covered by your submission in several respects. The automobile seat adjusters in NYRL J89545 consisted of the entire base metal assembly upon which the automobile seat would be mounted. The seat adjusters also included the rails the seat would travel on, as well as the gear box assembly and the motors. The two assemblies comprised a fully assembled seat adjusting mechanism. Your imports do not include all of the components described in NYRL J89545, rather they primarily comprise the seat motors themselves. While you indicate that the motors are specially designed to be incorporated into an automobile seat adjuster, electric motors are specifically provided for elsewhere in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, and thus would not be classified in Heading 9401.
The applicable subheading for the automobile seat motors (part numbers 439440-10060 and 441910-10030) will be 8501.31.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Electric motors…: Other DC motors; DC generators: Of an output not exceeding 750 W: Motors: Exceeding 37.5 W but not exceeding 74.6 W”. The rate of duty will be 2.8%.
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 Steven Pollichino at (646) 733-3008.
Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division