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HQ 088477

May 9, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 088477 CMS


TARIFF NO.: 8708.99.50, 8543.80.90

Mr Kevin M. Smith
Customs Administrator
General Motors Corporation
3044 West Grand Boulevard
Room 14-262C
Detroit, MI 48202

RE: Motor Vehicles; Transport Of Persons; Parts; Automobile Wiring Harness Assembly With Lamp Sockets, Lamps, Fuse Box, Glove Box Switch, Monitors, Relays, Circuit Breakers; Electrical Conductors Fitted With Connectors; Individual Functions

Dear Mr. Smith:

This is in response to your request dated January 14, 1991, for a classification ruling on certain automobile wiring harness assemblies. Our ruling follows.


The merchandise consists of an assembly of wires and various electrical devices for installation in the instrument panel of a passenger motor vehicle. Incorporated into the assembly are a fuse box with 19 fuses, a courtesy lamp socket with lamp, lamp monitor module with microprocessor, door ajar module, glove box switch with lamp and socket, "check engine light driver module" and "convenience center". Also included in the assembly are electrical connectors, grommets, gaskets, plastic conduit, tape and fasteners.

The lamp monitor module senses voltage drop, fuel levels and door ajar. The "check engine light driver module" contains a circuit board and monitors water temperature, emission levels, fuel error ratio and manifold pressure. The "convenience center" consists of relays and a circuit breaker for the air conditioner blower fan and headlights; this device also acts as the common housing for the hazard flasher, chime and defogger modules which are installed after importation.


Is the merchandise classified in Heading 8708 as parts of the motor vehicles of Headings 8701 to 8705, or in an applicable heading in Chapter 85?


The Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) provides that the classification of articles is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "...classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...".

Heading 8708 describes parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of Headings 8701 to 8705. The merchandise under consideration is principally used as parts of the motor vehicles of Heading 8703, and is described by Heading 8708.

Heading 8708 is a Section XVII heading. Section XVII Note 2(f) provides in pertinent part that the expression "parts and accessories" does not apply to "[e]lectrical machinery or equipment (chapter 85)". The General Explanatory Notes to Section XVII Note 2, p. 1411, provide guidance on the meaning of Note 2, stating that the Section excludes parts that are "[e]lectrical machinery and equipment of Chapter 85..." (emphasis added).

Although certain devices within the assemblies (e.g., fuses, switches, lamps, wire) are separately described by the terms of Chapter 85 headings, the assembly in its condition as entered is not machinery or equipment described by the terms of a Chapter 85 heading.

The assembly is not described by Heading 8544 as insulated wire fitted with connectors because the assembly incorporates a substantial amount of devices in addition to connectors (e.g., complete fuse box, lamps, switches, monitor modules with processor boards). The assembly is not described by Heading 8543 as electrical apparatus, having individual functions, n.s.p.f., because it does not satisfy the "individual functions" requirement (see Explanatory Notes to Heading 8479, adopted mutatis mutandis by the Explanatory Notes to Heading 8543).

The merchandise is also not described by the terms of any other heading in the tariff (except Heading 8708).

The GRI 3(b) composite good provision is inapplicable. The merchandise is not prima facie classifiable under two or more
headings. Parts of the merchandise are described by headings in Chapter 85, but the merchandise is described fully by only one heading in the tariff, Heading 8708.

Not all automotive wiring assemblies are classified in Heading 8708. In HQ Ruling 086940 (August 6, 1990), we held that wiring harnesses fitted with connectors were described by and classified in Heading 8544. We also held in HQ Ruling 086940, and in HQ Ruling 087078 (November 29, 1990), that wiring harnesses fitted with connectors and lamps, principally used for vehicle illumination and signalling purposes, were described by and classified in Heading 8512.

The merchandise under consideration, however, is not described as electrical machinery or equipment by any heading of Chapter 85. Heading 8708 is the only heading that describes the assemblies in their condition as entered.

The merchandise is described as parts of the motor vehicles of Headings 8701 to 8705, other parts, other, other, other, in 8708.99.50, HTSUSA.


The merchandise is described as parts of the motor vehicles of Headings 8701 to 8705, other parts, other, other, other, in 8708.99.50, HTSUSA.


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