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HQ 952869

November 30, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952869 DWS


TARIFF No.: 8506.19.00; 8531.80.00

Mr. M. Chris La Conte
A.N. Deringer, Inc.
15 River Street
Calais, ME 04619

RE: Safety Lights; Battery Packs; Explanatory Note 85.31(C); 8512

Dear Mr. La Conte:

This is in response to your letter of October 2, 1992, to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, on behalf of Baytech, Inc., concerning the classification of safety lights and battery packs under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter has been referred to Headquarters for a reply.


The merchandise consists of battery powered safety lights and their battery packs. The safety lights are high intensity, pulsating lights attached to machinery or equipment in order to warn operators and other personnel when the machinery or equipment is in operation. It is our understanding that the lights are principally used in the mining industry, attached to equipment used to carry miners in and out of mines and to pull carts to various locations within a mine.


What is the proper classification of the subject safety light and battery pack under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

It is our position that the safety light is classifiable under heading 8531, HTSUS, which provides for: "[e]lectric sound or visual signaling apparatus (for example, bells, sirens, indicator panels, burglar or fire alarms), other than those of headings 8512 or 8530; parts thereof."

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. Explanatory Note 85.31(C) (p. 1381) states:

[t]he heading includes, inter alia:

(C) Other electrical signalling apparatus (winking or intermittent lights, etc.) for aircraft, ships, trains or other vehicles (other than for cycles or motor vehicles heading 85.12), but not radio or radar apparatus of heading 85.26.

It has been suggested that the safety light is classifiable under heading 8512, HTSUS, which provides for: "[e]lectrical lighting or signaling equipment (excluding articles of heading 8539), windshield wipers, defrosters and demisters, of a kind used for cycles or motor vehicles; parts thereof." However, it is our position that the safety lights are precluded from classification under heading 8512, HTSUS, because the equipment to which the light is attached is not a motor vehicle for the purposes of that heading.

Therefore, because it is our position that the safety light is described under heading 8531, HTSUS, it is classifiable under subheading 8531.80.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[o]ther apparatus."

The subject battery pack is classifiable under subheading 8506.19.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[p]rimary cells and primary batteries having an external volume not exceeding 300 cm3: [o]ther."


The safety light is classifiable under subheading 8531.80.00, HTSUS. The general, column one rate of duty is 2.7 percent ad valorem. The battery pack is classifiable under subheading 8506.19.00, HTSUS. The general, colum one rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.

Goods classifiable under subheadings 8531.80.00, HTSUS, and 8506.19.00, HTSUS, which have originated in the territory of Canada, will respectively be entitled to a 0.5 percent and 3.1 percent ad valorem rate of duty under the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement upon compliance with all applicable regulations.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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