Mr. William R.F. White
Sandler and Travis Trade Advisory Services36555 Corporate Drive, Suite 400
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
RE: The tariff classification of an electrical control deviceDear Mr. White:In your letter dated August 27, 2015, you requested a tariff classification ruling on electrical control and distribution machinery on behalf of your client, Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. You indicate your client plans to export the machinery to undisclosed countries. The merchandise under consideration is referred to as the Electrical Locker, part #40202940. The Electrical Locker houses the equipment used for an off-highway mining truck and provides for the control and distribution of on-board electrical systems used for propulsion, dynamic braking and traction control motors, as well as overall power distribution for the vehicle.
You describe the Electrical Locker as a large metal frame fitted with multiple electrical apparatus such as: relays, switches, circuit breakers, connectors, inverters, rectifiers, bus bars, and controller modules. The Electrical Locker receives its power in the form of alternating current (AC), which is supplied by the truck’s alternator, and converts and rectifies the AC prior to delivering power to the various systems and components of the mining vehicle.
You suggest the Electrical Locker is properly classified under 8537.20.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). We note that the Electrical Locker has three distinct functions: it converts and supplies power; it controls motors and various other electrical apparatus and distributes electricity where the voltage is equal to or less than 1,000 V; it controls motors and various other electrical apparatus and distributes electricity where the voltage exceeds 1,000 V. However, you state the principal function is the traction motor control/distribution function which exceeds 1,000 V, the electric control of the dynamic braking system, and the electrical distribution function to other systems.
When interpreting and implementing the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, while neither legally binding nor dispositive, provide a guiding commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. CBP believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
The ENs to the HTSUS, heading 8537 state, in pertinent part: “These consist of an assembly of apparatus of the kind referred to in the two preceding headings (e.g., switches and fuses)”… and also “incorporate meters… transformers, valves, voltage regulators, rheostats or luminous circuit diagrams”. Thus, the presence of rectifying or inverting devices do not preclude them from classification in heading 8537.
As noted in your submission, the Electrical Locker is a composite machine performing electrical rectifying and conversion utilities as well as distribution functions. Note 3 to Section XVI, HTSUS, states in pertinent part; “composite machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a whole…designed for the purpose of performing two or more complementary or alternative functions, are to be classified as if consisting only of that component or as being that machine which performs the principal function.” The primary function of the Electrical Locker is to control and distribute power to the truck’s traction motors, the dynamic braking system, and to distribute power to the entire vehicle. Thus, the presence of rectifying or inverting apparatus does not alter the core utility of the machine and is in concert within the meaning the EN text for heading 8537. As such, we agree with your suggested tariff and the electrical locker will be classified accordingly.
The applicable subheading for the Electrical Locker, part #40202940 will be 8537.20.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Boards, panels, consoles, desks, cabinets and other bases…for electric control or the distribution of electricity... For a voltage exceeding 1,000 V: Other”.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 Karl Moosbrugger at email@example.com.Sincerely,
Gwenn Klein Kirschner
National Commodity Specialist Division