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HQ 954373


CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 954373 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8506.19.00

Charles T. Silverberg, Esq.
Rockwell International Corporation
P.O. Box 4250
Seal Beach, CA 90740-8250

RE: Manifold/Battery Assembly; Thermal Battery Pack; Percussion Fired Thermal Battery and Manifold Assembled in an Aluminum Housing; Power Source for Aircraft Ejection Seat; Composite Good, GRI 3(b), Essential Character; Parts of Airplanes, Heading 8803; Section XVII, Note 2(f)

Dear Mr. Silverberg:

In your letter dated May 24, 1993, you inquire as to the tariff classification of a manifold battery assembly from Germany. Drawings and specifications were submitted.


The manifold battery assembly in issue consists of a thermal battery and manifold, both encased in an aluminum housing. It is to be used in a prototype aircraft to provide a source of electrical current that activates an Ejection Sequencing Device (ESD). The ESD ejects the pilot and his seat in an emergency situation and releases the main parachute. In operation, when the pilot pulls the "eject" handle hot gas from the plane's engine fills the manifold and is directed by apertures in the manifold against a firing pin which actuates a ballistic primer, both of which are integral to the battery. The resulting explosion sends hot particles into the battery core which melts the gel-like electrolyte. The chemical reaction that results in turn creates electrical current. Once the manifold battery assembly is activated it is expended and cannot be reused. - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8506.19.00 Primary cells and primary batteries; parts thereof: Having an external volume not exceeding 300 cm cubed: Other
...5.3 percent ad valorem

8803.30.00 Parts of goods of heading 8801 or 8802: Other parts of airplanes or helicopters


Whether by function and design the manifold battery assembly has the essential character of is a primary cell or primary battery of heading 8506.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), taken is order.

The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of GRI 3. In accordance with GRI 3(a), where goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, each of which refers to part only of the materials, substances or components contained in mixed or composite goods, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods. GRI 3(b) states, in part, that composite goods made up of different components which cannot be classified under GRI 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The manifold battery assembly is a composite good consisting of a firing pin and ballistic primer [electrical apparatus, heading 8543], an aluminum housing [articles of aluminum, heading 7616], and the battery component [primary cells or primary batteries, heading 8506]. Each heading describes part only of the goods.

Goods of heading 8506 generate electrical energy by means of chemical reactions. Primary cells of heading 8506 consist of a container holding an alkaline or non-alkaline electrolyte in which two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, are immersed. Each electrode is provided with a terminal or other arrangement for connection to an external circuit. Primary cells may be used individually or they may be grouped together in batteries, either in series, or in parallel or a combination of both. The - 3 -
principal characteristic of goods of heading 8506 is that they cannot be readily or efficiently recharged.

Heading 8506 provides for a class of goods eo nomine, by name. Headings 8543 and 7616 are residual or basket provisions. Because of its primary function and design, we conclude under the authority of GRI 3(b) that the battery component imparts the essential character to the manifold battery assembly.

Because it is an integral, constituent and component part necessary to the proper functioning of the ESD, the manifold battery assembly is also a part provided for in heading 8803. However, goods cannot be classified in chapter 88 if they are provided for in chapter 85. See Section XVII, Note 2(f), HTSUS. This eliminates heading 8803 from consideration.


Under the authority of GRI 3(b), HTSUS, the manifold battery assembly is provided for in heading 8506. Actual classification is in subheading 8506.19.00, HTSUS, other primary cells and primary batteries having an external volume not exceeding 300 cm cubed. The rate of duty on products from Germany is 5.3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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