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HQ 084209

July 25, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084209 KK


TARIFF NO: 9613.80.20

Mr. Paul L. Greenlee
Import Department
John A. Steer Co.
Custom House Brokers
28 South Second Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

RE: Ignition coil; electrical lighters; electric heating resistors.

Dear Mr. Greenlee:

Your letter of March 27, 1989, requesting a binding ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), regarding the tariff classification of electric ignition coils used in kerosene heaters was referred to this office for a direct reply to you.


The subject device is an air wound resistive coil attached to a housing which fits into the base of non-electric, manually controlled kerosene heaters. The base is similar to a flashlight lamp base. When current flows through the resistive coil, the coil becomes hot enough to light the kerosene. The device, which does not possess control function, consists of an air wound resistive coil attached to a distinct housing and base.


Whether the subject devices are properly classifiable in heading 9613, which provides for "[c]igarette lighters and other lighters, whether or not mechanical or electrical;" in heading 8516, HTSUS, which provides for "electric heating resistors;" or in heading 7321, HTSUS, which provides for "nonelectric domestic appliances, and parts thereof."


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 states, in part, that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System, and are thus useful in ascertaining the tariff classification of merchandise.

By operation of GRI 1 and the relevant Explanatory Notes, the subject devices are prima facie classifiable in HTSUS headings 9613, 8516 and 7321. Heading 9613 is applicable insofar as instant device is properly describable as an electric lighter. Instructive in this regard, is the following description of "electrical lighters" set forth in Explanatory Note (2) to heading 9613 at 1610:

[c]urrent from the mains or a battery produces a spark, or in certain types, a glowing heat in an electric resistor.

In short, the instant ignition coil uses current to produce sufficient heat in an electric resistor to light a kerosene heater.

Heading 7321, which provides, in part, for "nonelectric domestic appliance parts," also describes the instant devices. Since the subject ignition coils are used only on non-electric, manually operated domestic type kerosene heaters, they are prima facie classifiable as "parts" in heading 7321, HTSUS.

Heading 8516 does provide for electrical heating resistors. However, based on Explanatory Note (F) to heading 8516 at 1360, the instant devices are not classifiable as electrical heating resistors. Explanatory Note (F) excludes from coverage electrical heating resistors "assembled with parts other than a simple insulated former and electrical connections." Since the subject devices contain not only resistive coils, but also distinct housing and base components, the devices cannot fall to be classified in heading 8516, HTSUS.

Since GRI 2 is not applicable in this case, and the merchandise is described in two or more headings, GRI 3(a) applies. GRI 3 states that the "heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description." In accordance with general
classification principles, as well as Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation, Rule (c), heading 9613, which specifically describes the subject merchandise, prevails over the applicable "parts" provision in heading 7321, HTSUS. Accordingly, the subject devices are classifiable in heading 9613, HTSUS.


The ignition coil in issue, which is used in domestic kerosene heaters, is properly classifiable in subheading 9613.80.20, HTSUS, which provides for "[c]igarette lighters and other lighters, whether or not mechanical or electrical . . . [o]ther lighters . . . [e]lectrical," dutiable at the rate of 3.9 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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