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HQ 082572

February 12, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082572 WAW


TARIFF NO.: 9405.20.4010

Scott A. Cohn, Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, N.Y. 10017

RE: Combination floor lamp with lamp shade, end table and magazine rack

Dear Mr. Cohn:

This is in response to your letter of May 6, 1988, requesting a classification ruling on behalf of your client, Zayre Corp., for a combination floor lamp with lamp shade, end table and magazine rack, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The sample product is comprised of three distinct components: a magazine rack, an end table and a floor lamp unit. The magazine rack is made of wood and sits at the base of the end table. The end table is also made of wood, it has two legs and a large surface designed to be utilized as a table top. The lamp consists of a brass stand, a bulb socket and a lamp shade. The subject merchandise will be imported unassembled, and will be manufactured in, and imported from Taiwan.


(1) Whether the merchandise at issue is classifiable as a composite good for tariff purposes?

(2) If considered a composite good, which item provides the essential character for classification purposes; and if not considered a composite good, how are the items properly classified?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's, taken in order.

In the instant case, the first issue to be considered is whether the end table, the magazine rack and the floor lamp are all included under one heading in the Nomenclature. The relevant subheadings at issue in this case are set forth below. Both the end table and the magazine rack are classifiable under subheading 9403.60.8080, HTSUSA, which provides for other wooden furniture. The floor lamp alone is properly classifiable under subheading 9405.20.4010, HTSUSA, which provides for electric table, desk, bedside or floor-standing lamps: of brass.

Since no heading, by itself, covers the subject merchandise, classification cannot be determined by applying GRI 1. Therefore, reference to the subsequent GRI's is necessary. GRI 2 is not applicable here because the item in question is not an incomplete or unfinished article and is not a mixture or combination of goods.

GRI 3, however, is applicable in this situation. It provides in pertinent part:

When, by application of Rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

In the instant case, there is no one heading which provides an adequate description of the subject merchandise. Since the end table, magazine rack and floor lamp fall under two separate headings in the HTSUSA, the headings are to be regarded as equally specific under GRI 3(a). Therefore, GRI 3(a) fails in establishing classification, and GRI 3(b) becomes applicable.

Explanatory Note GRI 3(b) provides:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b) to the HTSUSA, which constitutes the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, provides, in part:

(IX) For the purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

In the instant case, the floor lamp unit, the end table and the magazine rack qualify as composite goods as defined in GRI 3(b). The three components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole. The legs of the end table are connected to the upper portion of the magazine rack, and together the two pieces of furniture constitute the base of the lamp. Furthermore, all three components as a whole would not normally be sold in separate parts. Since the subject merchandise cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a), we must determine which component, if any, imparts the essential character of the item pursuant to the factors set out in the applicable Explanatory Note.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) states the following:

(VIII) The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In this case, the article at issue falls within the definition of "floor-standing lamp" as set forth in heading 9405, HTSUSA. The floor lamp is the article that imparts the essential character of the subject merchandise. The end table and magazine rack merely enhance the use of the article as a floor lamp. Although the end table and magazine rack impart the greatest bulk and weight of the composite article, the subject merchandise is marketed for sale and will be purchased primarily as a floor lamp with accompanying furniture. Thus, it is Customs position that the article is properly classifiable under subheading 9405.20.4010, HTSUSA, which provides for electric table, desk, bedside or floor-standing lamps: other; other.


The submitted combination floor lamp unit, end table and magazine rack is classifiable under subheading 9405.20.4010, HTSUSA. The applicable rate of duty is 3.7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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