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 > 1996 HQ Rulings > HQ 958368 - HQ 958509 > HQ 958423

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 958423

January 21, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 958423 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 9404.92.00

Ms. Jacqueline A. Bonace
Blair Corporation
220 Hickory Street
Warren, PA 16366-0001

RE: Plastic light shade with metal light clip and finial; NY 813307; EN 94.05

Dear Ms. Bonace:

This is in response to your letter of September 8, 1995, requesting reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) 813307 dated August 29, 1995.


In NY 813307, the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, classified a clip on light shade under subheading 9405.92.00, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides, in pertinent part for lamp parts of plastics. Additionally, the Area Director classified a metal clip with finial designed to secure the shade to a standard light bulb under subheading 9405.99.40, HTSUS, which provides, in pertinent part, for other metal lamp parts. At the time NY 813307 was issued, the subject articles were thought to be imported separately. You now indicate that the articles are imported as one unit.

The subject article is identified as Blair product # 7607, a plastic light shade with metal clip and finial. The metal clip with finial is designed to secure the shade to a standard light bulb.


What is the proper classification of the light shade and metal clip when imported as a unit?


The classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Chapter 94, HTSUS, provides, in pertinent part, for lamps and lighting fittings including searchlights and spotlights and parts thereof, not elsewhere specified or included.

Heading 9405, HTSUS, provides for lamps and lighting fittings including searchlights and spotlights and parts thereof, not elsewhere specified or included; illuminated signs, illuminated nameplates and the like, having a permanently fixed light source, and parts thereof not elsewhere specified or included. In an effort to determine if the light shade unit is provided for under heading 9405, HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be consulted. The ENs, although not dispositive nor legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128, (August 23, 1989).

EN 94.05, pg. , states, in pertinent part, that:

Lamps and lighting fittings of this group can be constituted of any material (excluding those materials described in Note 1 to Chapter 71) and use any source of light (candles, oil, petrol, paraffin (or kerosene), gas, acetylene, electricity, etc.). Electrical lamps and lighting fittings of this heading may be equipped with lamp-holders, switches, flex and plugs, transformers, etc., or, as in the case of fluorescent strip fixtures, a starter or a ballast.

This heading covers in particular:

(1) Lamps and lighting fittings normally used for the illumination of rooms, e.g.: hanging lamps; bowl lamps; ceiling lamps; chandeliers; wall lamps; standard lamps; table lamps; bedside lamps; desk lamps; night lamps; water-tight lamps...

According to the ENs, both plastic light shades and the metal articles used to secure them are provided for under heading 9405, HTSUS. Heading 9405, is further divided into many subheadings, two of which prima facie describe the subject article, subheading 9405.92.00, HTSUS, which provides for plastic parts and describes the light shade component and 9405.99.40, HTSUS, which provides for other parts, and describes the metal components.

GRI 6, HTSUS, provides in pertinent part, that the classification of goods in subheadings of the same heading shall be according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, by appropriate substitution of terms, according to GRIs 1 through 5, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. Inasmuch as the subject light shade unit is prima facie described in two different subheadings, it cannot be classified according to GRI 1.

When goods cannot be classified by applying GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied.

GRI 3 states, in pertinent part, that when goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description.

Subheading 9405.92.00, HTSUS, provides for plastic parts of lighting fixtures. The principle component of the unit is the plastic light shade. Alternatively, subheading 9405.99.40, HTSUS, merely provides for all other parts of lighting fixtures, which do not meet the description provided by other subheadings. Therefore, we are of the opinion that subheading 9405.92.00, HTSUS, provides the most specific description of the unit.


The plastic lighting shade and metal clip-on piece, when imported together, are classifiable under subheading 9405.92.00, HTSUS, subject to a column one duty rate of 4.7% ad valorem.

Inasmuch as the holding in NY 813307 is correct if the components are imported separately, its revocation is not necessary.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: