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HQ 965001

FEBRUARY 8, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965001 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 9405.10.60

Port Director of Customs
Newark Area
1210 Corbin Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201

RE: Protest 1001-00-104793; Dome Lights for Aircraft

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 1001-00-104793, filed against your classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of interior lighting for aircraft. The entries were liquidated on September 15 and 29 and on October 20, 2000, and this protest timely filed on November 6, 2000.


The merchandise at issue is dual mode dome lights, designated parts 2LA007586-30 and 2LA007519-30, comprising interior lighting for the C-130J tactical transport aircraft. The dome lights, in round and rectangular configuration, are lights mounted in the ceiling of the aircraft. They consist, in the main, of a facet reflector, halogen lamp and borosilicate glass lens, all in an aluminum housing, with appropriate base metal fasteners and rubber gaskets to secure the device in place.

Correspondence in the file also describes dual mode floor lights designated parts 2LA007585-40 and 2LA007585-30. These lights, also referred to as cargo lights, are installed in the floor of the aircraft. However, the Customs Form 19 describes only the dome lights, so that the classification of the floor lights is not at issue in this protest.

The dome lights were entered under subheading 9405.10.80, HTSUS, as chandeliers and other electric ceiling or wall lighting fittings, other (not of base metal). However, the entries were liquidated under another provision in heading 9405, for other electric lamps and lighting fittings, other (not of base metal). Protestant contests the classification of the dome lights only, claiming that goods classifiable in subheading 9405.10.80, HTSUS, are eligible for free entry under the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft (Civil Aircraft Agreement), provided they have the requisite certification. The Customs Form 19 contains no claim contesting the classification of the floor lights.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Lamps and lighting fittingsnot elsewhere specified or included:

Chandeliers and other electric ceiling or wall lighting fittings:

Of base metal:

9405.10.60 Other

9405.10.80 Other

9405.40 Other electric lamps and lighting fittings:

Of base metal

9405.40.60 Other

9405.40.80 Other


Whether the dual mode dome lights are electric ceiling or wall lighting “fittings” of heading 9405; whether they are “of” base metal under that heading.


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. GRI 3(a) states, in part, that the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. GRI 6 permits a comparison of subheadings within the same heading, applying Rules 1 through 5 with appropriate substitution of terms, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

Pursuant to General Note 6, HTSUS, imported articles may be eligible for duty-free treatment under the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft. Such articles must be entered under a HTSUS subheading providing a free rate of duty under the Agreement. In addition, the importer must certify that the article has been imported for use as original or replacement equipment in a “civil aircraft,” as the term is defined in Note 6; he must certify that the article will be so used, and there must otherwise be compliance with the terms of Note 6.

As to the first issue, the language in heading 9405, Lamps and lighting fittings, including searchlights and spotlights, strongly suggests the term “fittings” be interpreted with reference to the named exemplars, i.e., lamps, searchlights and spotlights. From this, we conclude the reference is not to accessory parts or components, as the term might otherwise suggest, but includes fixtures and other devices that actually produce light. The dome lights at issue here are lighting “fittings” under heading 9405.

While it is clear the dual mode dome lights are ceiling or wall lighting fittings of subheading 9405, the issue remains whether they are “of” base metal for purposes of subheading 9405.10.60, or other fittings of subheading 9405.10.80. The first subheading describes a specific type of electric ceiling or wall fitting, i.e., those visually identifiable by the aluminum housing as being of base metal, while the second subheading describes all remaining electric ceiling or wall fittings. Under GRI 3(a), applied at the subheading level through GRI 6, we find that subheading 9405.10.60 provides a more specific description for the dual mode dome lights than does subheading 9405.10.80. But for the fact that the classification of the dual mode floor lights was not protested, the same analysis would lead to classification of these articles as lighting fittings in subheading 9405.40.60.


Under the authority of GRI 1 the dual dome ceiling lights, parts 2LA007586-30 and 2LA007519-30, are provided for in heading 9405. They are classifiable in subheading 9405.10.60, HTSUS. The protest should be ALLOWED with respect to the goods so classified, upon compliance with the law and applicable Customs Regulations. With respect to the dual mode floor lights, the protest should be DENIED.

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 or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing 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
Commercial Rulings Division

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