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HQ 962145

November 20, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962145ptl


TARIFF NO.: 8538.90.60

Mr. Martin Zima
Kintetsu World Express (U.S.A.), Inc.
1221 North Mittel Blvd.
Wood Dale, IL 60191

RE: Plastic electrical connector housing; NY B82385 revoked.

Dear Mr. Zima:

In NY B82385, issued to you on March 7, 1997, by the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, in New York, on behalf of JST Corporation, an article referred to as a plastic electrical connector housing was classified in subheading 8547.20.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for insulating fittings of plastics. We have reconsidered that ruling and determined that that classification is incorrect. Pursuant to the analysis set forth below, the correct classification for the article is subheading 8538.90.60, HTSUS, which provides for parts for electrical connectors.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), notice of the proposed revocation of NY B82385 was published on October 18, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, No. 41 & 42. No comments were received in response to the notice.


The plastic connector housing classified in NY B82385 is a small (¾" x ½" x ¼") rectangular box. The interior is evenly divided along its length into five separate compartments each with a large opening at one end, a small opening at the other and an additional opening along its "top." The "bottom" of the connector has been made so that it forms a "clip" which can be used to attach the connector to some external surface. In your ruling request of February 6, 1997, you state the article protects the wiring and connector elements from overheating and short circuiting by protecting the wiring elements from heat and contact with other electrically active wires. The connector is made from 100 % molded plastic and is said to have uses ranging from automotive to light and heavy machinery.


What is the classification of a plastic electrical connector housing?


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the HTSUS is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied in order.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes (ENs), although not dispositive or 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).

The HTSUS headings under consideration are as follows:

8538.00 Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of heading 8535, 8536 or 8537:

8538.90 Other:

8538.90.60 Molded parts

8547 Insulating fittings for electrical machines, appliances or equipment, being fittings wholly of insulating material apart from any minor components of metal (for example, threaded sockets) incorporated during molding solely for the purposes of assembly, other than insulators of heading 8546; electrical conduit tubing and joints therefor, of base metal lined with insulating material:

8547.20.00 Insulating fittings of plastics

In NY B82385, Customs classified the article in heading 8547, HTSUS, on the basis of EN 85.47(A) which provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

" With the exception of insulators as such (heading 85.46), this group covers all fittings for electrical machinery, appliances or apparatus, provided: (i) They are wholly of insulating material, or are wholly of insulating material (e.g., plastics) apart from any minor components of metal (screws, threaded sockets, sleeves, etc.) incorporated during moulding solely for purposes of assembly. and (ii) They are designed for insulating purposes even though at the same time they have other functions (e.g., protection)."

Customs has reviewed the relevant ENs and the subject article and has determined that while the article is wholly made of an insulating material (plastic), it does not possess the characteristics normally associated with insulating fittings or other articles described in the EN. The molded plastic article being classified is designed to function as a part for a electrical connector housing and not as an insulating fitting or insulator.

Accordingly, because the article is a part of an electrical connector and is not an insulating fitting, it falls within the scope of EN 85.38 and is classified in subheading 8538.90.60, HTSUS.


Plastic electrical connector housings are classified in subheading 8538.90.60, HTSUS, which provides for [p]arts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of heading 8535, 8536 or 8537: [o]ther: [o]ther: [m]olded parts.

NY B82385, dated March 7, 1997, is revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director

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