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HQ 083064

September 26, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083064 JMH


TARIFF NO.: 8543.80.90

Mr. Frank A. Denny
Vice President
Chiu Technical Corporation
252 Indian Head Road
Kings Park, New York 11754

RE: Filament bypass circuit

Dear Mr. Denny:

Your letter of September 16, 1988, requesting a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA) has been referred to this office for a reply.


The "filament bypass circuit" in question is a semiconductor device. This apparatus replaces a transformer in certain lighting arrays used to display a name or message for hotels, nightclubs, or other similar establishments. These lighting arrays operate on a "series" electrical circuit that deprives line voltage to any functioning light bulbs when a single bulb in the array burns out.

When the "filament bypass circuit" is used in the lighting array, the burned out bulb is bypassed and line voltage continues to be transmitted to the operating bulbs. Defective bulbs are easily replaced, and the name or message projected by the array remains illuminated by the functioning bulbs.

This device consists of a diode and a Sidac, both of which are purchased in the United States. These components are sent to Taiwan where they are assembled by soldering to form a complete circuit. The complete circuit is then encapsulated in an epoxy.


What is the appropriate classification of the "filament bypass circuit under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA)?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes..."

The circuit in question is made of components. These components "contribute together to a clearly defined function" and must be "classified in the heading appropriate to that function." Section XVI, Note 4, HTSUSA.

It is opinion of this office that the heading appropriate to the function is 8543, HTSUSA. Heading 8543, HTSUSA, describes "Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof..."


The proper classification for the "filament bypass circuit" is under heading 8543.80.90, HTSUSA. The rate of duty is 3.9 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Director

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