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HQ 956226

SEPTEMBER 13, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 956226 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8516.50.00

District Director of Customs
300 S. Ferry Street
Terminal Island, CA 90731

RE: PRD 2704-93-102874; Microwave Oven Component for Combination Microwave/Convection Oven; Unfinished Microwave Oven, GRI 2(a); Subheading 8516.60.40, Cooking Stoves, Ranges and Ovens; 8516.90.20, Parts of Cooking Stoves, Ranges and Ovens; Section XVI, Note 2(a); HQ 083850, HQ 953456, HQ 952019

Dear District Director:

This is our decision on Protest No. 2704-93-102874 filed against your classification of certain microwave oven components from Thailand. The entries under protest were liquidated on June 11 and July 2, 1993, and this protest timely filed on September 9, 1993.


The merchandise in issue is a microwave oven module for either the 27 or the 30-inch combination microwave/convection ovens. As imported, this module lacks operating controls and a standard outlet plug and cord. After importation, the microwave oven module is incorporated into the convection oven chassis and separate controls for each are added to the combination. In addition, the microwave module has no conventional wall plug but must be connected to the convection oven module which we presume can be plugged into a home electrical outlet.

The microwave module was entered under a duty-free provision for parts of cooking stoves, ranges and ovens. Alternatively, counsel for the protestant argues that the microwave module is to be classified under a provision for other ovens on the theory that the microwave/convection oven combination is a composite machine with the convection feature performing the principal function. - 2 -

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8516 [O]ther electrothermic appliances of a kind used for domestic purposes; parts thereof:

8516.50.00 Microwave ovens...4 percent

8516.60 Other ovens; cooking stoves, ranges, cooking plates, boiling ranges, grillers and roasters:

8516.60.40 Cooking stoves, ranges and ovens...Free

8516.90 Parts:

8516.90.20 Of cooking stoves, ranges and ovens...Free


Whether the microwave module is an unfinished good for tariff purposes; if it is, whether under Section XVI, Note 2(a) it is included in a subheading of heading 8516.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 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, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The provision in heading 8516, electrothermic appliances of a kind used for domestic purposes, is one governed by use. Group Italglass U.S.A., Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 93-46 (1993). The dimensions, capacity, power output and other features of a complete microwave oven of the type in issue here lead us to conclude that it is an electrothermic appliance belonging to a class or kind principally used in the household.

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include that article unfinished, provided that, as entered, the unfinished article has the essential character of the finished article. GRI 2(a), HTSUS. A complete microwave oven is an enclosed chamber or compartment that cooks using electronics, not applied heat. It defrosts, heats, reheats and cooks utilizing a magnetron tube to convert household electrical (120V) energy into high-frequency microwaves that reflect off the walls of the oven. - 3 -

These waves cook the food by agitating the water molecules in it, creating frictional heat. The microwave module in issue is complete, lacking only the operating controls and plug and cord. As imported, is has the aggregate of distinctive component parts that establishes its identity as what it is, a microwave oven. We conclude that, as imported, the microwave module has the essential character of an electrothermic household appliance of heading 8516.

It is settled that with certain limited exceptions goods which are parts of machines of chapters 84 and 85 are to be classified in accordance with Section XVI, Note 2, HTSUS. HQ 952019, dated March 18, 1993. In accordance with Note 2(a), parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85 are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings. In view of the previous discussion, we conclude that the microwave module in issue, having the essential character of a complete or finished microwave oven, is provided for in heading 8516. It is classifiable in subheading 8516.50.20, HTSUS, as a microwave oven. This obviates any discussion of an alternative parts claim. In addition, the claim under subheading 8516.60.40, based on the theory that the convection oven feature performs the principal function, is not persuasive as the microwave module, as imported, is not a composite machine under Section XVI, Note 3, HTSUS. We have ruled that microwave/convection oven combinations, with both modules being imported together, are composite machines classifiable in subheading 8516.50.00. The microwave feature in both cases was held to constitute the principal function. HQ 083850, dated June 9, 1989, HQ 953456, dated February 25, 1994.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the microwave oven module under protest is provided for in heading 8516 as an electrothermic appliance of a kind used for domestic purposes. It is classifiable in subheading 8516.50.00, HTSUS.

The protest is DENIED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you should mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel - 4 -
via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and to the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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