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HQ 954764

August 26, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954764 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 8513.10.20

Mr. Jack J. Rosemond
B.K. Umbrella Industries, Inc.
104 Farmington Court
Martinsville, Virginia 24112

RE: Flashlight and Siren; 8531.80.00; signalling apparatus; composite good; Note 3, Section XVI; principal function; HRL 089877; HRL 082933

Dear Mr. Rosemond:

This is in reference to your letter dated July 28, 1993, to the Commissioner of Customs, regarding the tariff classification of a flashlight and siren protective device under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter was referred to this office for a response. We have also reviewed your submission dated August 11, 1993, and examined the sample furnished.


The article under consideration is a protective device called the "Lighorn" The Lighorn consists of a flashlight and siren in the same plastic housing. The Lighorn is approximately eight inches in length and 3 1/4 inches in diameter. The on and off switch is located on the handle which protrudes from the middle of the Lighorn's plastic housing.

You contend that the major part of the Lighorn is the siren which can be heard for a distance of three blocks. Therefore, you state that the Lighorn should be classified as a siren and not as a flashlight. Customs in Charleston, South Carolina, advised you that the Lighorn was being classified as a flashlight under subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS.


Is the Lighorn classified as a flashlight under subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS, or as a siren under subheading 8531.80.00, HTSUS?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...." The competing subheadings are:

8513.10.20 Portable electric lamps designed to function by their own source of energy (for examples, dry batteries, storage batteries, magnetos), other than lighting equipment of heading 8512; parts thereof...Lamps...Flashlights.

8531.80.00 Electric sound or visual signaling apparatus (for example, bells, sirens, indicator panels, burglar or fire alarms), other than those of heading 8512 or 8530; parts thereof...Other apparatus....

Chapter 85, HTSUS, falls within Section XVI, making the Section XVI notes applicable to this classification. Note 3, Section XVI, HTSUS, states:

Unless the context otherwise requires, composite machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a whole and other machines adapted for the purpose of performing two or more complementary or alternative functions are to be classified as if consisting of that component or as being that machine which performs the principal function.

The Lighorn satisfies this description. It consists of two separate machines adapted together for the purpose of providing personal protection. These types of machines are to be classified as if consisting only of the component or as being that machine which performs the principal function of the machine.

It is our opinion that the Lighorn's principal function is the lighting function. The Lighorn is predominately used as a flashlight to produce light. The siren is used only in emergency situations to scare off an attacker when one feels threatened. The siren function remains subsidiary to the light function. Therefore, the Lighorn is classified as a flashlight under subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS. See, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 089877 dated December 16, 1991, which classified an AM/FM radio, flashlight, fluorescent lamp and siren combination as other portable electric lamps under subheading 8513.10.40, HTSUS; and HRL 082933 dated August 4, 1989, which classified a combination flashlight and signaling device as a flashlight under subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS.


The Lighorn is classified as a flashlight under subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS, which is dutiable at the Column 1 rate of 25 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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