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HQ 963033

July 21, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963033 AML


TARIFF NO.: 8414.59.60.40

Port Director of Customs
555 Battery Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94111

RE: Protest 2809-99-100274; car fans; NY 860554 and NY 879310 modified

Dear Port Director:

The following is our decision regarding protest 2809-99-100274, dated April 20, 1999, concerning your classification of a car fan with a 360º swiveling gooseneck pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The car fan in question consists of a 12-volt electric motor with foam blades attached to a swivel mechanism. The article is assembled with a cigarette lighter plug to form an integral mounting. The article has no other source of power. The lighter receptacle in a motor vehicle serves as both the power source and as the means to temporarily secure the fan in place while in use within the motor vehicle.

The products were entered on March 8, 1998, and the entries were liquidated on January 22, 1999. The protest was filed on April 20, 1999.


Whether the car fan with a 360º swiveling gooseneck is classifiable under subheading 8414.59.60.40, HTSUS, as fans suitable for use with motor vehicles; or subheading 8451.51.00, HTSUS, as other table, floor, wall, window, ceiling or roof fans?


Initially we note that the protest was timely filed and the matter protested is protestable (see 19 U.S.C. §1514(a)(2) and (5)).

Classification of imported merchandise is accomplished pursuant to the

Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Classification under the HTSUS is guided by the General Rules of Interpretation of the Harmonized System (GRIs). GRI 1, HTSUS, 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[.]”

The 1999 HTSUS headings and subheadings under consideration are as follows:

8414 Air or vacuum pumps, air or other gas compressors and fans; ventilating or recycling hoods incorporating a fan, whether or not fitted with filters; parts thereof:
8414.51.00 Table, floor, wall, window, ceiling or roof fans, with a self-contained electric motor of an output not exceeding 125 W[.]

8414.59 Other:
8414.59.60 Other:
8414.59.6040 Suitable for use with motor vehicles.

The protestant claims that the articles are classifiable under subheading 8414.59.60, HTSUS, as other fans, suitable for use with motor vehicles. We agree.

Upon liquidation, you relied upon New York Ruling Letters (NYs) 860554, dated March 13, 1991 and 879310, dated November 3, 1992, in concluding that the car fans at issue are classifiable in subheading 8414.51.00, HTSUS, which provides for table, floor, wall, window, ceiling or roof fans. The articles in NY 860554 and 879310 are substantially similar to the article under consideration as to have warranted such reliance. However, we have reconsidered these rulings and determined that they are incorrect. Those rulings have been modified by Headquarters Ruling Letters (HQ) 963857 and 963865 issued on May 31, 2000 (see Customs Bulletin, June 14, 2000, Vol. 34, No. 24).

When interpreting and implementing the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, while neither legally binding nor dispositive, provide a guiding commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See, T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Heading 8414, HTSUS, provides for, inter alia, fans. Pursuant to GRI 6, each of the subheadings within heading 8414 are considered in order to determine which best describes the articles in question. The ENs to heading 8414 provide that:

These machines, which may or may not be fitted with integral motors, are designed either for delivering large volumes of air or other gases at relatively low pressure or merely for creating a movement of the surrounding air.

Those of the first kind may act as air extractors or as blowers. They consist of a propeller or blade-type impeller revolving in a casing or conduit, and function on the principle of rotary or centrifugal compressors.

The second type are of more simple construction, and consist merely of a driven fan rotating in free air.

The car fans, because of their size, are of relatively simple construction and are designed to move the air in the small space of the passenger compartment of an automobile.

The car fans are equipped with a protuberance that is designed to fit into the cigarette lighter receptacle commonly found on or near the dashboard of most, if not all, motor vehicles. The car fan has no other source of power. Such lighter receptacles are not customarily found in any of the locations described in subheading 8414.51.00. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the car fan is designed and manufactured to be used exclusively in motor vehicles. Accordingly, the article is classifiable in subheading 8414.59.60, HTSUS.


The car fans with 360º swiveling goosenecks are classifiable in subheading 8414.59.6040, HTSUS, which provides for other fans suitable for use with a motor vehicle.

The protest is GRANTED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision, together with Customs Form 19, should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than sixty (60) days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of this decision. Sixty (60) days from the date of this decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the World Wide Web at www.customs.treas.gov, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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