Ji Eun Lee
S.A.M.C Customs Co., Ltd.
11, Chungjang-Daero, Jung-Gu, Busan, Republic of Korea KITA Bldg 5F
Busan N/A KS012/48939
Korea, South

RE: The tariff classification of automobile latches, sensors and optical fiber bundles from South Korea

Dear Ji Eun Lee:

In your letter dated March 2, 2018 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Pyeong Hwa Automotive Co., Ltd. The samples you submitted were examined and will be returned as requested.

The first article under consideration is a semi-finished product for a hood latch, Product Name A31XXN BASE-H/LAT&SW(70N) LHD EXP_ALPS(2336189B, B2336234). It is described as a locking device that prevents the hood from opening during operation. The metal housing is mounted inside the engine compartment to hold a component of the hood to the vehicle body. It is activated/released by a cable that runs from within the vehicle’s interior to hood release latch.

The article identified as K2XX SECONDARY HANDLE, Product Number 2336499B, works in conjunction with the hood latch to prevent the opening and closing of the hood during operation. The metal secondary handle is mounted to the vehicle hood. Once the hood latch is released from inside the vehicle, the operator, standing in front of the vehicle hood, lifts the handle and opens the hood.

The applicable subheading for hood latch and secondary handle will be 8302.30.3060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Base metal mountings, fittings and similar articles suitable for furniture, doors, staircases, windows, blinds, coachwork… Other mountings, fittings and similar articles suitable for motor vehicles; and parts thereof: Of iron or steel, of aluminum or of zinc, Other. The rate of duty will be 2 percent ad valorem.

The “Anti Pinch Sensor Assy LH”, Product Number 83140-C5100, is described as molded plastic carrier with the fasteners, a “sensor”, and a short length of wire with a multi-pin electrical connector at the end. What is referred to as the “sensor” is composed of approximately 18 inches of two conductor wires embedded in a rubber coating and terminated at one end with a resistor and an electrical connector at the other end. The electrical connector is stated to be attached to a wiring harness and ultimately the vehicle’s electronic control unit (ECU).

In use, the subject assembly is attached to the rear hatch/tailgate of a vehicle that features a motorized closure. When the user initiates the closing process, the rear hatch lowers until completely closed and latched. If there is an obstruction between the vehicle and the tailgate, the “sensor” is compressed, causing the two conductors to come into contact with each other, and a signal is sent to the ECU to stop the closing process.

You suggest classification of the “Anti Pinch Sensor Assy LH” in subheading 9031.80, HTSUS, which provides for “Measuring or checking instruments, appliances and machines, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; profile projectors; parts and accessories thereof: Other instruments, appliances and machines.”  However, based on the information provided, the assembly’s “sensor” is not actually measuring pressure, but rather detecting the presence of it when a body part or external pollutant comes between the car body and the tailgate. As such, this assembly cannot be classified in heading 9031, HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the “Anti Pinch Sensor Assy LH”, Product Number 83140-C5100, will be 8536.90.8585, HTSUS, which provides for "Electrical apparatus…for making connections to or in electrical circuits…for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: Other apparatus: Other: Other."  The rate of duty will be 1.3 percent ad valorem.

The “Contact Sensor”, Item No. DH791-21000, is described as two strips of polyester with an embedded electrical conductor and contacts down the length of the strip. At one end of the Contact Sensor strip there is an electrical connector that is presumably connected to the vehicle ECU. The Contact Sensor is intended to be installed between a vehicle’s exterior trim and the vehicle where the upper contact strip is positioned adjacent to the lower contact strip to form an electrical connection. In use, when the vehicle comes into contact with another object, such as in the event of a collision, if sufficient pressure is applied to the vehicle’s trim containing the Contact Sensor, the upper and lower contacts are coupled, which closes the electrical circuit and sends a notification signal to the ECU.

You have proposed classification of the contact sensor within subheading 8534.00.00, which provides for printed circuits. The printed circuits of heading 8534 are passive electronic circuits printed on an insulating base. They are bare circuits; they do not contain discrete components or other electrical or mechanical elements. The item concerned contains elements that allow it to function as a contact switch/contact sensor. It is manufactured beyond the point of being a bare printed circuit.  As such heading 8534 would not be applicable. The applicable subheading for the Contact Sensor”, Item No. DH791-21000, will be 8536.90.8585, HTSUS, which provides for "Electrical apparatus…for making connections to or in electrical circuits…for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: Other apparatus: Other: Other."  The rate of duty will be 1.3 percent ad valorem.

The article identified as P DH PE POF-SENSOR&UNIT AHLS, item number DH791-DH450, is described as plastic optical fiber cables. You suggested that the plastic optical fiber cables are classified in heading 9001, HTSUS, which provides, in pertinent part, for Optical fibers and optical fiber bundles; Optical fiber cables other than those of heading 8544 . However, heading 9001, HTSUS, excluded articles of heading 8544, HTSUS; therefore, classification in heading 9001, HTSUS, is not applicable.

The plastic optical fiber is classified in subheading 8544.70.0000, HTSUS, which provides for "Insulated wire, cable…; optical fiber cables, made up of individually sheathed fibers…: Optical fiber cables." 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

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 Jennifer Jameson at


Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division