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HQ 954867

December 21, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954867 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 8507.80.00

Ms. Gendy Allbrook, M/S 36IE
Apple Computer, Inc.
20525 Mariani Avenue
Cupertino, CA 95014

RE: Lithium Batteries; Rechargeable Storage Batteries; Heading 8506; EN 85.07; PC 851623; PC 886290, modified

Dear Ms. Allbrook:

In letters dated June 15 and June 29, 1993, to the Regional Commissioner of Customs in New York, you requested reconsideration of PC 886290, dated May 28, 1993, as to the tariff classification of lithium batteries under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letters were referred to this office for a response.


In PC 851623, dated May 16, 1990, issued to you by Customs in San Francisco, lithium batteries (model # 630-6546) were classified under subheading 8507.80.00, HTSUS, as storage batteries. In PC 886290, also issued to you by Customs in San Francisco, the same lithium batteries were classified under subheading 8506.19.00, HTSUS, as other primary batteries.

According to the information provided, the subject lithium batteries, measuring 2 cm x 0.4 cm, are used in the Apple notebook personal computers. The lithium batteries use a lithium aluminum alloy which is considerably safer than pure lithium as the negative electrode. As a result of using lithium aluminum alloy, the batteries are readily and efficiently rechargeable storage batteries which store electricity and supply it when required. The cycle of charging and discharging current in the lithium batteries can be repeated for the life of the accumulator.


Are the subject lithium batteries classifiable as storage batteries or as primary cells 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 shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the HTSUS. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. EN 85.07, page 1343, states:

Electric accumulators (storage batteries) are used to store electricity and supply it when required. A direct current is passed through the accumulator producing certain chemical changes (charging); when the terminals of the accumulator are subsequently connected to an external circuit these chemical changes reverse and produce a direct current in the external circuit (discharging). This cycle of operations, charging and discharging, can be repeated for the life of the accumulator.

In your letters, you indicate that the subject lithium batteries contains a chemical composition which enables the batteries to be recharged. The subject batteries are electric accumulators or storage batteries because the cycle of charging and discharging current can be repeated for the life of the accumulator. We find that the lithium batteries (model # 630- 6546) are classifiable under subheading 8507.80.00, HTSUS as other storage batteries. Classification of the lithium batteries under heading 8506, HTSUS, as primary batteries is therefore precluded.

Based upon the above analysis, PC 886290 is modified as to the classification of the lithium batteries only.


The lithium batteries are classifiable under subheading 8507.80.00, HTSUS, which provides for other storage batteries. The general, column one rate of duty is 5.1 percent ad valorem. EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:

PC 886290, dated May 28, 1993, no longer reflects the position of Customs Service and is modified, in regards to the classification of the lithium batteries, pursuant to section 177.9(d) of the Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.9(d)].


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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