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HQ 089000

July 29, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089000 CMS


TARIFF NO.: 9405.10.60, 9405.10.80

District Director of Customs
300 South Ferry St., Terminal Is.
Room 2017
San Pedro, CA 90731

RE: Protest No. 2704-90-003252; Electric Lighting Fixtures; Fittings; Base Metal; Steel; Glass

Dear District Director:

This protest was filed against your liquidation dated May 11, 1990, in which certain electric lighting fixtures were classified in subheading 9405.10.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise consists of an electrical lighting fixture comprised of steel and glass. From the information and catalogue photograph provided, the article appears to be a circular ceiling lighting fixture with a metal housing and metal decorative frame encircling a glass shade. It appears from the catalogue photograph that the steel and glass visible to the viewer have approximately the same surface area. The glass comprises 52.26% of the total weight of the packaged product and the steel comprises 29.41%.


Is the merchandise classified as a lighting fitting of base metal other than brass, in subheading 9405.10.60, or as a lighting fitting of material other than base metal, in subheading 9405.10.80?


The 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 9405 in pertinent part describes lamps and lighting fittings. The merchandise is described by Heading 9405.

Subheading 9405.10.60 describes fittings of base metal other than brass. Subheading 9405.10.80 describes fittings of materials other than base metal.

GRI 6 governs the classification of articles in the subheadings of a heading, and provides in pertinent part that classification shall be according to the principles of GRI's 1 through 5.

The merchandise is a GRI 3(b) composite good, classified according to the material or component that gives it its essential character.

The protestant argues that the glass gives the product its essential character because it comprises the chief weight of the article.

Weight, however, is but one of many factors which may be considered in determining essential character. The General Explanatory Notes to GRI 3 provide that other factors include bulk, quantity, value and the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In HQ Ruling 086628 (July 3, 1990), the merchandise at issue was a metal and glass lighting fitting in which glass comprised more than 65% of the weight. The fitting was a marine fixture designed to resist moisture. We found that the metal formed the very structure of the article, that the basic function of the lamp in providing light was made possible by the metal, and that the appearance of the lamp was imparted no less by the metal than the glass. The article was classified as a fitting of base metal in subheading 9405.10.60, HTSUSA.

The glass in the lighting fitting under consideration comprises a lesser percentage of weight than the glass in the fitting at issue in HQ Ruling 086628. Like the fitting in HQ Ruling 086628, the metal in the fitting under consideration forms the basic structure of the article and is certainly no less visible than the glass. Also, like the fitting in HQ 086628, the fitting under consideration is described in the catalogue literature as "SUITABLE FOR WET LOCATIONS", with the metal likely being intended to resist moisture.

Considering the role of the metal in relation to the use of the lighting fitting, and the other essential character criteria,
we find that the metal in the fitting under consideration gives the article its essential character. The article is classified as lamps and lighting fittings, of base metal, other than brass, in subheading 9405.10.60, HTSUSA.


The lighting fitting under consideration is classified as lamps and lighting fittings, of base metal, other than brass, in subheading 9405.10.60, HTSUSA. The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Form 19 Notice of Action.


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