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HQ 963270

JULY 3, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963270 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8535.90.80

Mr. Michael O’Neill
O’Neill & Whitaker, Inc.
1809 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64108

RE: NY A82816 Revoked; Spark Plug Boot

Dear Mr. O’Neill:

In a letter to you, dated May 16, 1996, on behalf of Standard Motor Products, Inc., the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, held that a spark plug boot was classifiable in subheading 8536.90.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as electrical apparatus for making connections to or in electrical circuits, for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), 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 the proposed revocation of NY A82816 was published on May 31, 2000, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 34, Number 22. No comments were received in response to that notice.


The spark plug boot at issue was described in NY A82816 as consisting of a ceramic tubular housing with rubber coated electrical connectors at each end. Standard automotive spark plug cables normally have a boot crimped onto each end. The boot on one end of the cable snaps onto a spark plug while the boot on the other end of the cable attaches to the distributor in the ignition system. This completes the circuit between the spark plug and the distributor
and provides the spark to ignite the air-fuel mixture in the cylinders of the engine. It was noted in the ruling that while the ceramic housing and rubber coated connectors provided a degree of insulation, the principal function of the spark plug boot was to provide electrical connection.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8535 Electrical apparatusfor making connections to or in electrical circuits, for a voltage exceeding 1,000 V:

8536 Electrical apparatusfor making connections to or in electrical circuits, for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V:


Whether the spark plug boot is a good of heading 8535.


Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified 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.

Headings 8535 and 8536 both cover electrical apparatus generally used in power distribution systems. Heading 8535 covers electrical apparatus designed for a voltage exceeding 1,000 V, while heading 8536 covers such apparatus designed for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V. Customs initially believed that heading 8536 covered the voltage rating of the spark plug boots at issue. It is now apparent that in order to jump the gap between the electrodes of the spark plugs, and to trigger the high voltage needed for ignition, the 12-volt potential of today’s motor vehicle electrical system must be stepped up to about 20,000 volts. The spark plug boots at issue, therefore, are electrical apparatus described by heading 8535.


Under the authority of GRI 1, spark plug boots for motor vehicles, as described, are provided for in heading 8535. They are classifiable in subheading 8535.90.80, HTSUS.


NY A82816, dated May 16, 1996, 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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