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HQ 963720

December 19, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963720 GOB


TARIFF NO.: 8529.90.99

Ms. Terry Coker
Import Manager
BAX Global, Inc.
5149 Southridge Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30349

RE: Lamp assembly for projector

Dear Ms. Moore:

This is in response to your letter of June 12, 2000, resubmitting a letter of October 20, 1998, to Customs in Atlanta, on behalf of Digital Projection, Inc., requesting the classification of certain lamp assemblies known as “Ultra Compact Cermaz Xenon Arc Lamps” under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). We regret the delay in responding.


You request a ruling with respect to certain lamp assemblies known as “Ultra Compact Cermaz Xenon Arc Lamps.” The information submitted with your request states that “[t]he lamp assembly is a proprietary design that works specifically with Digital Projection POWER Display video and data projectors and is designed to couple with a proprietary optical system found only in POWER Display video and data projectors.”

The information further provides:

The lamp consists of four fundamental components: (1) compact cermax lamp (weight approx. 1 pound); (2) copper heat sink, both positive and negative sides (weight approx. 24 pounds); (3) composite plastic cover assembly; (4) lamp base and shutter plate. (Composite cover and base/shutter weigh approximately 1 pound). The materials utilized in the manufacture are metallic outer case, cermax (ceramic) envelope, a special optically coated glass window, and xenon glass. The lamp is contained within two copper radial vain heat sinks, which assist in the removal of heat generated by the lamp when operating. The composite plastic case is molded specifically for this lamp. The lamp base plate and shutter are metal and also designed specifically for this lamp assembly.

The lamp assemblies are placed into the projectors with which they are used.


Are the lamp assemblies provided for in heading 8473, HTSUS, as parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with machines of headings 8469 to 8472, or in heading 8529, HTSUS, as parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528?


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRI’s”). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined 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 GRI may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“EN’s”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the EN’s 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.

Heading 8473, HTSUS, covers:

Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying cases and the like) suitable for use solely or principally with machines of headings 8469 to 8472[.]

Heading 8529, HTSUS, covers:

Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528[.] The tariff classification of the lamp assemblies will depend on whether the machines they are part of are classified in headings 8469 to 8472 (see heading 8473, above) or in headings 8525 to 8528 (see heading 8529, above).

With respect to the potential applicability of heading 8473, heading 8471 covers:

Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, not elsewhere specified or included[.]

With respect to the potential applicability of heading 8529, heading 8528 covers:

Reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radiobroadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus; video monitors and video projectors[.]

Legal Note 3 to Section XVI, HTSUS, provides:

Unless the context otherwise requires, composite machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a whole and other machines adapted for the purpose of performing two or more complementary or alternative functions are to be classified as if consisting only of that component or as being that machine which performs the principal function.

GRI 3 provides as follows:

When, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

Customs has reconsidered the uses of projectors and the evidentiary requirements of Legal Note 3 to Section XVI. The courts have provided factors, which are indicative but not conclusive, to apply when determining whether merchandise falls within a particular class or kind. They include: general physical characteristics, expectation of the ultimate purchaser, channels of trade, environment of sale (accompanying accessories, manner of advertisement and display), use in the same manner as merchandise which defines the class, economic practicality of so using the merchandise, and recognition in the trade of such use. See U.S. v. Carborundum Co., 63 CCPA 98, 102, 536 F. 2d 373, 377 (1976), cert denied, 429 U.S. 979 (1976). We note that in Lenox Collections v. U.S., 19 CIT 345, 347 (1995) and Kraft, Inc. v. U.S., 16 CIT 483, 489 (1992) the court applied the Carborundum factors to principal use. See also G. Heileman Brewing Co. v. U.S., 14 CIT 614, 620 (1990).

In the instant case, Digital Projection has not established the sole or principal use of the lamp assemblies, i.e., it has not established that the lamp assemblies will be solely or principally used with machines of headings 8469 to 8472, as is necessary to qualify for heading 8473. The lamp assembly works with certain video and data projectors.

Accordingly, we are not able to classify the lamp assembly based upon GRI 1. GRI 2 is not applicable here. At GRI 3(a), neither of the two competing headings provides a more specific description than the other. Pursuant to GRI 3(b), the lamp assembly is a composite good and there is no satisfactory documentary evidence as to its essential character. Accordingly, we proceed to GRI 3(c), i.e., the goods shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

Pursuant to GRI 3(c), we determine that the lamp assembly is provided for in heading 8529, HTSUS. It is classified in subheading 8529.90.99, HTSUS, as: “Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8538: Other: Other: Other.” This determination is consistent with HQ 964605 dated December 18, 2000, where we held that certain LCD projectors of Digital Projection were classified in subheading 8528.30.66, HTSUS, based upon GRI 3(c). The lamp assemblies at issue here are used in certain of the LCD projectors at issue in HQ 964605 (as well as used in other projectors of Digital Projection not specifically at issue in HQ 964605).

This determination is also consistent with our determinations in HQ 964043 dated July 25, 2000, and HQ 964159 dated July 25, 2000. In those rulings we classified LCD projectors in heading 8528, HTSUS, based upon GRI 3(c) where there was no satisfactory documentary evidence with respect to the principal function (see Legal Note 3 to Section XVI, HTSUS, above) or the essential character (see GRI 3(b), above) of the projectors. See also HQ 960282 dated October 22, 1998, and HQ 960354 dated October 22, 1998, where we classified monitors in heading 8528 based upon GRI 3(c).


The lamp assembly is classified in subheading 8529.90.99, HTSUS, as: “Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528: Other: Other: Other.”


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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