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HQ 963137

January 15, 2002

CLA-2 RR: CR: GC 963137 TPB


TARIFF NO.: 8504.50.80

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
3575 Concorde Drive
Vandalia, OH 45377

RE: Protest 4195-99-100012; Inductors; Mislabeled merchandise

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision with respect to Protest 4195-99-100012 concerning the classification of certain inductors under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). Please see the attached memorandum from the Chief, Duty & Refund Determination Branch for a discussion of the mislabeling issue.


The file indicates the following. The subject entries were filed between June 6, 1998 and August 5, 1998. The entries were liquidated between April 16, 1999 and June 18, 1999. This protest was timely filed on July 12, 1999.

The merchandise consists of leadless (wound chip) inductors where the metal terminals are used as the electrodes and the coils are encapsulated in heat-proof resin.

The protestant claims the goods were originally entered as “capacitors” rather than “inductors”, due to an error on the part of the exporters. Because of this, the items were liquidated under subheading 8532.24.00.60, HTSUS, as electrical capacitorsceramic dielectric, multilayerotherradial heads. Protestant asks that the imported merchandise be reclassified as inductors for power supplies for automatic data processing (“ADP”) machines and telecommunications apparatus.


What is the proper classification of the imported merchandise?


We note initially that the protest was timely filed under the statutory and regulatory provisions for protests, 19 U.S.C. 1514(c)(3)(A) and 19 CFR 174.12(e)(1).

Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRIs”). 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 GRIs may then be applied.

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

Capacitors are electrical devices capable of storing electrical energy. In general, a capacitor consists of two metal plates insulated from each other by a dielectric (see McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, vol. 3, 7th ed., 200 (1992). Inductors are devices used to introduce inductance into a circuit (ibid. vol. 9, 7th ed., 101 (1992). Inductance is that property of an electric circuit or of two neighboring circuits whereby an electromotive force is induced (by the process of electromagnetic induction) in one of the circuits by a change in the current in either of them (ibid. at 88). In its most basic form, an inductor is a coil of wire wrapped around some type of core material.

The HTSUS headings under consideration are as follows:

Electrical transformers, static converters (for example, rectifiers) and inductors; parts thereof:

Other inductors

For power supplies for automatic data processing machines and units thereof of heading 8471; for telecommunications apparatus. Other.

Electrical capacitors, fixed, variable or adjustable (pre-set); parts thereof:

Other fixed capacitors

8532.24 Ceramic dielectric multilayer

Heading 8532, HTS, deals with the classification of capacitors. From the information and schematics provided by the importer, the merchandise here is clearly not properly classifiable in this heading because the goods do not meet the terms of the heading.

Heading 8504, HTS, deals with the classification of various type of capacitors. The merchandise at issue here would be properly classified under this heading.

The relevant ENs to 85.04 read as follows:

(III) Inductors
These consist essentially of a single coil of wire, which, inserted in an AC circuit, limits or prevents by its self-induction the flow of the AC. They vary from small chokes used in wireless circuits, instruments, etc., to large coils often mounted in concrete, used in power circuits (e.g., for limiting the flow of current in the event of a short circuit).

According to the literature provided by the Protestant the inductors are used in a variety of applications, including telecommunications, measuring and medical equipment and computers and peripherals.

Although the merchandise meets the requirements to be classified under subheading 8504.50, HTSUS, nothing has been provided that these inductors are principally used in power supplies of ADP machines or in telecommunication apparatus. Since principal use has not been established, the proper classification for this merchandise should be subheading 8504.50.80, HTSUS, which provides for “Electrical transformers, static convertersand inductors: other inductors: other.”


The inductors are properly classified under subheading 8504.50.80, HTSUS, which provides for “electrical transformers, static converters (for example, rectifiers) and inductors; parts thereofother inductors.other.”

Since the rate of duty under the classification indicated above is more than the liquidated rate, you are instructed to DENY the protest in full.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to 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 in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


John Durant, Director

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