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HQ 954913

December 13, 1993

CLA-2-CO:R:C:M 954913 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 9405.20.80

Ms. Bettie Jo Shearer, Manager
International Department
Wholesale Supply Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 24600
Nashville, Tennessee 37027

RE: PC874018 Affirmed; Combination floor lamp with shade, table, and magazine rack; HQRL 082572

Dear Ms. Shearer:

This is in response to your letter of August 20, 1993, requesting reconsideration of preclassification ruling 874018 dated May 15, 1992, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a combination floor lamp with shade, table, and magazine rack.


The merchandise is identified as item 110LP, Beacon House Magazine Table/Floor Lamp, #21 on page 379 of the 1993/1994 Service Merchandise Catalog. The catalog depicts the merchandise as a combination magazine rack, an end table, and a floor lamp with shade. The magazine rack, table, and part of the lamp base are made of oak veneer, with the magazine rack at the base of the combination unit and the table in the middle. Two wide oak veneer panels serve as both sides for the magazine rack and support for the table surface. The lamp, which extends upward from one end of the oval shaped table surface, also contains a brass swing arm and 3-way switch and bulb socket. The lamp is covered with a shade. The combination unit is imported unassembled; packaged together in the same carton for retail sale.

In preclassification ruling 874018, the article was classified in subheading 9504.20.80, HTSUS, as a floor standing lamp. You have asked that we reconsider this ruling and classify the article as other wooden furniture in subheading 9403.60.80, HTSUS.


Is the merchandise classifiable as a floor standing lamp or as other wooden furniture?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. 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 headings at issue are as follows:

9405.20 [l]amps and lighting fittings including searchlights and spotlights and parts thereof, not elsewhere specified or included; illuminated signs, illuminated nameplates and the like, having a permanently fixed light source, and parts thereof not elsewhere specified or included: [e]lectric table, desk, bedside or floor- standing lamps

9403.60 [o]ther furniture and parts thereof: [o]ther wooden furniture

Inasmuch as the subject combination magazine rack, table, lamp, and shade is a composite good described in both of these headings, it cannot be classified according to GRI 1.

When goods cannot be classified by applying GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied in descending order. GRI 2(a) states in pertinent part that:

[a]ny reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.

We are of the opinion that as imported, the combination unit has the essential character of a combined magazine rack, table, and floor lamp. All the necessary elements for creating the article, are contained in the same carton; ready for assembly. It remains however to determine, whether the combination unit creates a floor lamp, described by subheading 9405.20, HTSUS, or other wooden furniture described in subheading 9403.60, HTSUS.

GRI 2 (b) states, in pertinent part, that any reference in a heading to a material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to mixtures or combinations of that material or substance with other materials or substances. The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule GRI 3.

GRI 3 states that when, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

The combination magazine rack, table and floor lamp cannot be classified according to the relative specificity provision of GRI 2(a) because the applicable subheadings describe only part of the article and are thus considered equally specific. Therefore, GRI 3(b) must be applied.

GRI 3 (b) states in pertinent part that:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be consulted. The Explanatory Notes (EN), although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128, (August 23, 1989).

EN IX, pg. 4, states in pertinent part that:

(IX) [f]or the purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean...those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components,...

The article in question qualifies as a composite good because the magazine rack, table and floor lamp are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole. The legs of the table form the sides of the magazine rack and both structures serve as a base for the lamp.

EN VIII to GRI 3(b), pg. 4, states that:

[t]he factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

It is our opinion that the floor lamp portion imparts the essential character of the subject merchandise. This is consistent with Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQRL) 082572 dated February 12, 1990. In HQRL 082572, we held that the magazine rack and end table portions of a floor lamp, end table, and magazine rack combination, merely enhanced the use of the article as a floor lamp. Additionally, although the end table and magazine rack imparted the greatest bulk and weight of the composite article, the subject merchandise was marketed for sale as a floor lamp. Therefore, the floor lamp imparted the article's essential character.

The same can be said for the present article. The magazine rack and table merely enhance the use of the article as a floor lamp and the article is advertized in the lamp section of the catalog. Therefore, the article is classifiable in subheading 9405.20, HTSUS. Classification to the eight digit level is dependent upon the base metal composition of the lamp.

PC874018 properly classified the combination floor lamp, magazine rack, and table as a electric table, desk bedside or floor-standing lamp in subheading 9405.20.80, HTSUS.


The combination floor lamp, magazine rack, and table are correctly classified as electric table, desk, bedside or floor- standing lamps in subheading 9405.20.80, HTSUS. PC874018 is affirmed.


John Durant, Director

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