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HQ 959316

JANUARY 3, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 959316 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8635.30.40

Port Director of Customs
111 West Huron Street
Buffalo, NY 14202-2378

RE: PRD 0901-95-101333; Motor Protector, Circuit Breaker for use in Electric Motors; Device for Opening Electrical Circuit in Motor During Current Overload, Current Overload Protector; Plug-In Busway, 9905.85.74

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 0901-95-101333, filed against your classification of the AM Series Motor Protector, products of Canada. The entries were liquidated on April 4, 14, 21, and 28, on May 5, 12, 19, and 26, and on June 2 and 16, 1995. Except for the entry which was liquidated on April 4, 1995, this protest was timely filed on July 13, 1995, and amended on April 1, 1996, in accordance with section 174.28, Customs Regulations. The protest is denied as to the one entry because it is untimely under section 174.12(e), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 174.12(e)).


The merchandise under protest is the AM Series Automatic Motor Protector. It is a device designed to prevent overheating of the electrical windings of a motor. It is connected in series with the line voltage supplied to the motor. When a circuit overload condition occurs, a bimetal disc is calibrated to open contacts in the Motor Protector, thus interrupting the current in the manner of a circuit breaker.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 8536.30.40, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as apparatus for protecting electrical circuits, motor overload protectors. The protest was subsequently amended to include a claim under HTSUS subheading 9905.85.74 as plug-in busways, - 2 -
fusible or circuit breaker type of the type provided for in subheading 8536.30. Protestant supports this latter claim on the basis that busways are grounded metal enclosures containing insulated conductors and the term includes devices such as motor protectors which branch from them. Protestant maintains that since subheading 9905.85.74 includes, among others, plug-in busways provided for in subheading 8536.30, liquidation under that subheading implies compliance with the chapter 99 provision. You liquidated the entries under subheading 8536.30.40 but denied the claim under subheading 9905.85.74 on the basis that motor protectors are not plug-in busways.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8536 Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or in electrical circuits..., for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V:

8536.30 Other apparatus for protecting electrical circuits:

8536.30.40 Motor overload protectors...1.5 percent ad valorem as an originating good from Canada

9905.85.74 Plug-in busways, fusible or circuit breaker type (provided for in subheading 8536.10.00, 8536.20.00 or 8536.30)...Free as an originating good from Canada


Whether AM Series Motor Protectors are plug-in busways for tariff purposes.


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. - 3 -

Initially, all parties agree that the AM series motor overload protectors are classifiable in subheading 8536.30.40, HTSUS. However, there is disagreement over whether they are described by the provision in subheading 9905.85.74, HTSUS. The protestant maintains that motor protectors are other apparatus for protecting electrical circuits provided for in subheading 8536.30. This, it is claimed, is the only way to make that reference in subheading 9905.85.74 meaningful. We do not agree. Technical information available to us on plug-in busways describes a device very different from the merchandise in issue here. The Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers describe busways as consisting of interconnected prefabricated lengths or sections of steel or aluminum duct which enclose either bare or insulated electrical conductors called bus bars. Because a bus must be designed to carry current without overheating, regularly spaced openings in the sides of the duct permit plugging in branch circuit-control devices of the circuit-breaker, fuse or fused-switch type. When a motor, for example, contains a motor protector that may be plugged directly into the branch circuit, it is the motor protector that serves as the branch circuit protection device. Nevertheless, plug-in overcurrent devices, while required for the protection of busways used as feeders or branch circuits, are separate and distinct electrical articles that function in the manner of parts or accessories. In no way do they qualify as busways.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the AM series Automatic Motor Protectors are provided for in heading 8536. They are classifiable in subheading 8536.30.40, HTSUS. For the stated reasons, they do not qualify for classification in subheading 9905.85.74.

The protest should be 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 - 4 -
available to Customs personnel 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
Tariff Classification

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