United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1994 HQ Rulings > HQ 0955917 - HQ 0956019 > HQ 0955948

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 955948

March 7, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955948 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8542.90.00

Mr. F. David Foster
Ablondi, Foster, & Sobin, P.C.
1130 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

RE: Revocation of NY 893293; Heatsink/Heat Spreading Substrates; Electrical Apparatus; Electronic Integrated Circuits; Section XVI, Note 2; 8536.30.00

Dear Mr. Foster:

This is in response to your letter of February 22, 1994, on behalf of Sumitomo Electric U.S.A. Inc., requesting reconsideration of NY 893293, dated January 20, 1994, which dealt with the classification of heatsink/heat spreading substrates under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of heatsink/heat spreading substrates used in multi-chip large scale integration devices (integrated circuits). The substrates are made to customer specifications from a combination of aluminum nitride ceramics. They are often metallized with nickel-gold, gold-tin, gold, platinum, or titanium at the request of the customer. The metallization process consists of the coating of a thick or thin film of precious metal to the outside of the substrate to reduce corrosion and permit metal soldering. Depending upon the customer, the metallization may form a pattern upon the substrate. The merchandise is designed to absorb, store, and remove excess heat.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

8536.30.00: [e]lectrical apparatus for . . . protecting electrical circuits . . . for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: [o]ther apparatus for protecting electrical circuits: [o]ther.

The general, column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 5.3 percent ad valorem.

8542.90.00: [e]lectronic integrated circuits and microassemblies; parts thereof: [p]arts.

Goods classifiable under this provision receive duty free treatment.


Whether the heatsink/heat spreading substrates are classifiable under subheading 8536.30.00, HTSUS, as an electrical apparatus for protecting electrical circuits, or under subheading 8542.90.00, HTSUS, as parts of electronic integrated circuits.


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 NY 893293, the substrates were held to be classifiable under subheading 8536.30.00, HTSUS.

It is our position that the substrates are not classifiable under subheading 8536.30.00, HTSUS, because they are not "electrical apparatus". The substrates do not possess electrical properties of any kind, nor do they possess any circuitry for conducting electricity.

Section XVI, note 2, HTSUS, states that:

[s]ubject to note 1 to this section, note 1 to chapter 84 and to note 1 to chapter 85, parts of machines (not being parts of the articles of heading 8484, 8544, 8545, 8546 or 8547) are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85 (other than headings 8485 and 8548) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings;

(b) Other parts, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, or with a number of machines of the same heading (including a machine of heading 8479 or 8543) are to be classified with the machines of that kind. However, parts which are equally suitable for use principally with the goods of headings 8517 and 8525 to 8528 are to be classified in heading 8517;

(c) All other parts are to be classified in heading 8485 or 8548.

Because the substrates are not goods classifiable under either chapters 84 or 85, HTSUS, section XVI, note 2(a), HTSUS, does not apply. However, under section XVI, note 2(b), HTSUS, because the substrates are suitable for use solely or principally with electronic integrated circuits of heading 8542, HTSUS, they are classifiable under subheading 8542.90.00, HTSUS.


The heatsink/heat spreading substrates are classifiable under subheading 8542.90.00, HTSUS, as parts of electronic integrated circuits.


NY 893293 is revoked.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: