Woo-Nam Son
LS Industrial Systems Co., Ltd.
LS Tower, LS-ro 127, Dongan-gu
Gyeonggi-do, 14119
South Korea

RE: The tariff classification of a motor protection device from South Korea.

Dear Mr. Son:

In your letter dated December 8, 2015, you requested a tariff classification.

The item under consideration is referred to as the Electronic Motor Protection Relay (EMPR), model GMP-22-3S, which is a device designed to automatically interrupt the supply of electricity to a low voltage motor from overcurrent/overvoltage when current faults such as overcurrent, open phase, stall or unbalance are detected. It is a multi-component electronic module which contains a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), the parts of which consists of a product control unit, a relay, a processor, and a current transformer (CT) terminal. The device is rated for 100/260 VAC.

As indicated in the literature submitted to this office, the EMPR is installed between a 3-phase AC power supply and a low voltage motor. The EMPR determines whether the overcurrent/overvoltage gets applied to the motor by measuring the input/output current using the CT. The processor monitors the current value (such as overcurrent), from the CT connection terminal and controls the operation of the relay to act accordingly. Based upon the information received, the relay trips a magnetic contactor or circuit breaker when the overcurrent/overvoltage is detected, thereby protecting the low voltage motor from an overload situation.

You suggest the EMPR is classified in subheading 8536.49, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for a relay with a voltage exceeding 60 volts. This office disagrees.

Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. The EMPR is an electrical apparatus for protecting electrical circuits, and is specifically identified as a “motor overload protector,” which is provided for by name in subheading 8536.30. Therefore, under the authority of GRI 1, the EMPR will be classified there.

The applicable subheading for the Electronic Motor Protection Relay, Model GMP 22-3S will be 8536.30.4000, HTSUS, which provides for "Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits…Other apparatus for protecting electrical circuits: Motor overload protectors." The rate of duty will be 2.7 percent ad valorem.

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


Deborah C. Marinucci
Acting Director
National Commodity Specialist Division