Nissan North America, INC.
One Nissan Way
Franklin, TN 37067
RE: The tariff classification of a motion sensors from Japan
Dear Mr. Moore:
In your letter dated January 24, 2019 you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The items under consideration are referred to as the Kick Motion Sensors, PN 285T26JA0A and 285T26JA0B, the Kick Motion Control Module, PN 285T16KA0A, and the Kick Motion Sensor Assembly, PN 285T06KA0A. Your request indicates that the Kick Motion Sensor Assembly consists of the two motion sensors and the control module, a plastic housing, and a wiring harness. Additionally, you state that the sensors and control module may be imported separately and a classification is requested for the individual components as well as the complete assembly.
The Kick Motion Sensors are described as capacitive electrodes of copper alloy material with insulation of PVC material and molded plastic over the ends. They are intended to be mounted to the underside of a vehicle’s rear body and are connected to the Kick Motion Control Module by a sealed cable. Once connected and receiving electricity, the Kick Motion Sensors create an electric field under the bumper. When a person’s leg or foot is moved beneath the bumper, the pair of sensors register the change in capacitance as voltage feedback to the Kick Motion Control Module.
The Kick Motion Control Module is described as an enclosed printed circuit board assembly that receives the feedback from the sensors and analyses the voltage differences to determine the presence of a user’s leg or foot. Based on preset parameters, the module sends a signal to Power Back Door (PBD) module which in turn actuates the electric motor to open the trunk door. We would note that the PBD module is not under review in this request.
As previously stated, the Kick Motion Sensor Assembly consists of the sensors and the control module attached by cables. The principal use of the Kick Motion Sensor Assembly is to detect the proximity of a user, generally by them waving their foot below the sensors, which alters the capacitance of the electrodes. The detection of movement by the kick sensors alters the electrical properties perceived by the connected controller which initiates the process to raise the gate.
In your request you suggest that the Kick Motion Control Module, when imported separately, is correctly classified as a programmable controller under 8537.10.9160, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS). We disagree. The subject control module is not comprised of two or more apparatus of headings 8535 or 8536, and merely sends an input signal to the PBD module, which then operates the rear gate lift /close operations. As such, 8537.10.9160, HTSUS, is not appropriate.
You also suggest that the Module Kick Motion Sensor Assembly and the Kick Motion Sensors are correctly classified under 8543.70.4500, HTSUS. With regard to the suggested classification for the Kick Motion Sensors, we agree. The subject sensors perform a function of a capacitance transducer by converting the electric field changes into a variable voltage input signal. However, we do not agree with the suggested classification of the entire Kick Motion Sensor Assembly. In our view, the Kick Motion Sensor Assembly is performing the distinct function of detecting the presence of a person’s foot, processing the conditional parameters, and then informing the PWB module. While it achieves this activity through the use of the capacitive transducers, its principal function is that of processing and control which go beyond that of just a transducer.
The applicable subheading for the Kick Motion Sensors, PN 285T26JA0A and 285T26JA0B, will be 8543.70.4500, HTSUS, which provides for “Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter…: Other machines and apparatus: Electric synchros and transducers…: Other”. The general rate of duty will be 2.6% ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the Kick Motion Control Module, PN 285T16KA0A, will be 8543.70.9960, HTSUS, which provides for “Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; Other machines and apparatus; …Other”. The general rate of duty will be 2.6 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the Kick Motion Sensor Assembly, PN 285T06KA0A, will be 8543.70.9960, HTSUS, which provides for “Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; Other machines and apparatus; …Other”. The general rate of duty will be 2.6 percent ad valorem.
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 the World Wide Web at https://hts.usitc.gov/current.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division