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HQ 956863

May 2, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:F 956863 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9890

Mr. Stewart Olsen
John A. Steer, Inc.
43 Park Place
New York, NY 10007

RE: New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 843516, dated August 8, 1989, Regarding Silicone Rubber Light Bulb Covers From the United Kingdom

Dear Mr. Olsen:

In NYRL 843516 you were advised that silicone rubber light bulb covers were classifiable in subheading 4016.99.5050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We noted that that ruling was based on the premise that the rubber of which the covers were composed was vulcanized.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of proposed modification of NYRL 846178 was published on March 22, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 12.


The articles under consideration are light bulb covers of silicone rubber. They come in various colors and are designed to slip over light bulbs so that, when the bulbs are lit, they emit different colors of light. The covers are meant for use in private houses and commercial establishments.


What is the classification of light bulb covers composed of silicone rubber?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. - 2 -

GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

NYRL 843516 held that the subject articles were classifiable under subheading 4016.99.5050, HTSUSA, the provision for other article of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber, other.. In considering the propriety of that classification we considered the definition for the term "synthetic rubber" contained in legal note 4(a) to Chapter 40, HTSUSA. That definition provides, in pertinent part:

(a) Unsaturated synthetic substances which can be irreversibly transformed by vulcanization with sulfur into non-thermoplastic substances...

We have noted that silicone cannot be cross-linked with sulfur and ,therefore, the covers are not considered to be made of synthetic rubber in accordance with that definition. They are not classifiable under the provisions for rubber and articles thereof in Chapter 40, HTSUSA. Accordingly, they remain classifiable under the provisions for plastics in Chapter 39, HTSUSA.


Light bulb covers made from silicone rubber are classifiable in subheading 3926.90.9890, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of plastics, other, other, and are subject to a general rate of duty of 5.3 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 843516 is hereby modified. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decision pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)91), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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