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HQ 085540

December 18, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085540 AJS


TARIFF NO.: 8504.40.00; 8541.10.00

Mr. Robert Blanc
Associate General Counsel
General Instruments Corporation
125 Chubb Avenue
P.O. Box 617
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071-0617

RE: Bridge Rectifier Diodes

Dear Mr. Blanc:

Your letter of July 28, 1989, requesting a tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), has been referred to this office for reply.


The article in question is the series KBPC6 Bridge Rectifier Diode (BRD). The BRD consists of four discrete rectifier diodes or cells connected together and mounted in a housing to form a full wave rectifier. Each of the four diodes is a two terminal device with a single p-n junction which allows current to pass in one direction. BRDs are used in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products, such as power supplies, personal computers and associated equipment (i.e., printers and monitors).


Whether the article in question is classifiable within subheading 8541.10.00, HTSUSA, which provides for "[d]iodes, other than photosensitive or light emitting diodes."; or within subheading 8504.40.00, HTSUSA, which provides for static converters.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 8541, HTSUSA, provides for diodes. Diodes are described as semiconductor devices, the operation of which depends on variations in resistivity on the application of an electric field. Chapter 85, Note 5(a). Explanatory Note 85.41(A)(I) states that "[d]iodes which are two terminal devices with a single p-n junction; they allow current to pass in one direction (forward) but offer a very high resistance in the other (reverse). They are used for detection, rectification, switching, etc. The main types of diodes are signal diodes, power rectifier diodes, voltage regulator diodes, voltage reference diodes."

The diodes contained in the BRD are each two terminal devices which possess a single p-n junction that allows current to pass in one direction. However, the BRD itself is not a two terminal device with a single p-n junction which allows current to pass in one direction. Instead, the BRD is composed of four of these two terminal devices which pass current in two directions. Therefore, the BRD does not satisfy the description of a diode within the terms of heading 8541.

Heading 8504, HTSUSA, provides for static converters. EN 85.04(II) states that "[t]he apparatus of this group [static converters] are used to convert electrical energy in order to adapt it for further use. They incorporate converting elements (e.g., valves) of different types. They may also incorporate various auxiliary devices (e.g., transformers, induction coils, resistors, command regulators, etc.). Their operation is based on the principle that the converting elements act alternately as conductors and non-conductors." Furthermore, this group includes "rectifiers by which alternating current (single or polyphase) is converted to direct current, generally accompanied by a voltage change." Your letter states that each of the BRDs contain four rectifier diodes. In addition, you state that all of these BRD devices are used for the same function and that is to transfer energy from alternating current to direct current. Thus, the BRDs perform the specific function of rectifiers and are therefore classifiable as a type of static converter within heading 8504.


The article in question is classifiable within subheading 8504.40.00, HTSUSA, which provides for static converters dutiable at the rate of 3.0 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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