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HQ 082701

October 12, 1988

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082701 VEA


TARIFF NO.: 8543.80.90

Mr. Joseph Catanzarite
2502 Petaluma Avenue
Long Beach, California 90815

RE: Tariff Classification of air ionizers manufactured in England

Dear Mr. Catanzarite:

This letter is in response to your inquiry dated August 14, 1988, requesting the proper classification and rate of duty for air ionizers.


The merchandise in question is an air ionizer called, "The Airtone Pulsar". The literature submitted with the request for classification gives the following description of the merchandise. The Pulsar is designed for both residential and commercial use. It is said to emit ions into the air which counteract the debilitating side effects of air conditioning, smoking and city air pollution, and relieve the stuffiness encountered in office buildings induced by modern static-proof plastics, fabrics and carpets.

The Pulsar's features include a built-in indicator designed to monitor ion output and signal if cleaning or servicing is necessary. It operates on 110 or 240 volts of electricity.

The U.S. Customs Service office in Los Angeles informally advised you that the Pulsar is classified under item 688.4280 of the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (TSUSA) and subject to a duty rate of 3.9%.

This inquiry has been submitted to Headquarters for a binding classification and rate of duty. Since the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated, (HTSUSA) will replace the current TSUSA effective January 1, 1989, this ruling will be issued pursuant to the HTSUSA.


Whether an air ionizer is properly classifiable under heading 8543.80.90 of the HTSUSA and subject to a duty rate of 3.9 percent.


Electrical articles, in general, are classified in chapter 85. The applicable heading and subheadings state:

8543 Electrical machines and apparatus having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter, parts thereof;

8543.80 Other machines and apparatus;

8543.80.90 Other

On its face, application of this provision turns on three criteria: one, the merchandise must be an electrical machine or apparatus; two, it must have an individual function; and three, it cannot be listed in any other provision in the chapter. The merchandise in question meets these criteria. They are electrical apparatus. They function on 110 or 240 volts of electricity and use a two wire main lead which can be connected to a suitable AC source. Air ionizers perform the independent function of emitting ions and are not listed in any other heading in Chapter 85.

The Explanatory Notes interpreting this provision support this conclusion. They provide, "this heading covers all electrical appliances and apparatus, not falling in any other heading of any other Chapter of the Nonmenclature, nor excluded by the operation of a legal Note to Section XVI or to this Chapter....The electrical appliances and apparatus of this heading must have individual functions".


Based on the above reasoning, an air ionizer is properly classifiable in subheading 8543.80.90, HTSUSA, and is subject to a rate of duty of 3.9 percent. Under the TSUSA, the merchandise would be classified under item 688.4280 and subject to a rate of duty of 3.9 percent.


John Durant, Director

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