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HQ 955026

September 27, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955026 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8544.30.00

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
9400 Viscount, Suite 104
El Paso, TX 79925

RE: IA 70/93; Wiring Harness Assemblies; Explanatory Note 85.44; Section XVII, Note 2(f); HQ 088477; HQ 951223; HQ 952493; 8708.99.50

Dear District Director:

This is in response to your memorandum of August 6, 1993 (CLA 1-EP:C:C OS), relating to a request for internal advice initiated by Chrysler Corporation concerning the classification of wiring harness assemblies under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of wiring harness assemblies designed for installation into passenger automobiles. The assembly is comprised of wire conductors, two wiring troughs, terminals, insulators, a grommet, various bundle coverings, fuses and relays, and light sockets. The main function of the instrument panel assembly is to interface between the body computer, instrument cluster, radio, air bag module, I/P switches, body wiring, engine compartment wiring, and all other modules in the panel.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

8708.99.50: [p]arts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705: [o]ther parts and accessories: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther.

The general, column one rate of duty is 3.1 percent ad valorem.

8544.30.00: [i]gnition wiring sets and other wiring sets of a kind used in vehicles, aircraft or ships.

The general, column one rate of duty is 5 percent ad valorem.


Whether the wiring harness assemblies are classifiable under subheading 8708.99.50, HTSUS, as other parts of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705, or under subheading 8544.30.00, HTSUS, as other wiring sets of a kind used in vehicles.


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.

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. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). In part, Explanatory Note 85.44 (p. 1403, 1404), states:

[p]rovided they are insulated, this heading covers electric wire, cable and other conductors (e.g., braids, strip, bars) used as conductors in electrical machinery, apparatus or installations. . . .

Wire, cable, etc., remain classified in this heading if cut to length or fitted with connectors (e.g., plugs, sockets, lugs, jacks, sleeves or terminals) at one or both ends.

The subject assemblies satisfy the above descriptions. They are essentially insulated conductors with connectors. Although the assemblies possess other electric components, these components merely facilitate the conduction of electricity. Therefore, it is our position that the subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 8544.30.00, HTSUS.

Because the importer argues that the assemblies are classifiable as parts under heading 8708, HTSUS, section XVII, note 2(f), HTSUS, is pertinent. It states that:

2. The expressions "parts" and "parts and accessories" do not apply to the following articles, whether or not they are identifiable as for the goods of this section:

(f) Electrical machinery or equipment (chapter 85).

Because the assemblies are classifiable as electric conductors, and therefore classifiable under chapter 85, HTSUS, under section XVII, note 2(f), HTSUS, they are precluded from classification under chapter 87, HTSUS.

The importer cites HQ 088477, dated May 9, 1991, to argue that the addition in the assemblies of electronic components makes them more than just wiring sets. HQ 088477 dealt with the classification of a wiring harness assembly which contained a fuse box with 19 fuses, a lamp socket with a lamp, a lamp monitor module with a microprocessor, a door ajar module, and a glove box switch with a lamp and socket.

In HQ 951223, dated July 17, 1992, wiring harness assemblies dedicated for use with motorcycles were classified. Similar to the subject assemblies, the various types of assemblies classified in that ruling contained fuses, fuse boxes, relays, conductors, connectors, and diodes. In dealing with the application of HQ 088477 to the assemblies in HQ 951223, it was stated that:

[i]n HQ 088477 (5/9/91), Customs addressed the classification of [wiring harness assemblies] with various electrical devices . . . . for installation into a motor vehicle. We stated that this type of device did not satisfy the terms of heading 8544, HTSUS, based on the fact that it incorporated a substantial number of devices in addition to connectors. The IA applicant argues that the subject [wiring harness assemblies] also possess devices other than connectors, and thus do not satisfy the terms of heading 8544, HTSUS. However, the devices in HQ 088477 did not facilitate the conduction of electricity, but performed other functions (i.e., lighting). Consequently, we do not find the result in HQ 088477 instructive for the resolution of this matter.

Because the electrical components contained within the subject assemblies facilitate the conduction of electricity, cases concerning assemblies containing devices which perform other functions (i.e., lighting) are not instructive as to the classification of the subject merchandise. See HQ 952493, dated September 15, 1992.


The wiring harness assemblies are classifiable under subheading 8544.30.00, HTSUS, as other wiring sets of a kind used in vehicles.

You should advise the internal advice applicant of this decision.


John Durant, Director

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