United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2003 HQ Rulings > HQ 965939 - HQ 966020 > HQ 965968

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 965968

December 16, 2002

CLA-2 RR: CR: GC 965968 DBS


TARIFF NO.: 9405.40.60

Mr. Jack D. Mlawski
Galvin & Mlawski
470 Park Avenue South
Suite 200 – South Tower
New York, NY 10016-6819

RE: Reconsideration of NY I81051 and prospective ruling request; dental lamps

Dear Mr. Mlawski:

This is in response to your letter dated October 4, 2002, requesting reconsideration of NY I81051, issued on behalf of your client, Takara Belmont USA, on May 13, 2002, which classified a dental lamp in subheading 9405.40.60, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other lamps and lighting fittings. We have reviewed NY I81051, the supplemental information and arguments provided in your letters of October 30 and December 2, 2002, and the discussion from the teleconference conducted with you on December 6, 2002. We have found the ruling to be correct. In the letter of October 4, you also request the classification under the HTSUS of other dental lamps. Our ruling on those products is contained herein.


In NY I81051, the subject merchandise, the “X-Calibur-HLU” dental light was described as a dental halogen lamp that is designed for mounting onto a dentist chair. The lamp features a two-piece adjustable aluminum arm that measures approximately 43 inches long. One end of the arm is inserted into the aluminum housing of the transformer with a heavy gauge unfinished light cord and fitted bottom socket for accommodating the steel pole through its adapter. The other end of the arm is affixed to an adjustable aluminum bar, measuring approximately six inches in length with a U-shaped holder for the bulb’s housing. This housing measures approximately 10 1/2 inches wide. It has a plastic slotted body with lateral handles, a quartz halogen bulb with a cylinder-like metal protector, a concave glass reflector, plastic frontal lens and plastic on/off switch. The lamp is imported without the pole which attaches it to a dental delivery system.

The three lamps for which you request a binding ruling are “Clesta Dental Lights,” Models 501 (AL-501T), 2530 and 2535. Like the X-Calibur-HLU, the model 501 (AL-501T) is imported without a pole and it is designed to be attached, via the pole, to the delivery system. Clesta models 2530 and 2535 are imported with poles, which are designed to attach directly to the dental chair. While similar in most other respects to the X-Calibur-HLU, all three Clesta lights incorporate a touchless activation switch allowing the dentist to turn the light on and off without physically touching the lamp.


Whether dental lamps imported separately are classifiable in heading 9402, HTSUS, as parts of dental chairs, or in heading 9405, HTSUS, as lamps and lighting fittings.


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.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. ENs, though not dispositive or legally binding, provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

9402 Medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture (for example, operating tables, examination tables, hospital beds with mechanical fittings, dentists’ chairs); barbers’ chairs and similar chairs, having rotating as well as both reclining and elevating movements; parts of the foregoing articles:

9402.10.00 Dentists’, barbers’ or similar chairs and parts thereof.

9405 Lamps and lighting fittings including searchlights and spotlights and parts thereof, not elsewhere specified or included; illuminated signs, illuminated nameplates and the like, having a permanently fixed light source, and parts thereof not elsewhere specified or included:

9405.40 Other electrical lamps and lighting fittings:

9405.40.60 Other.

I. Reconsideration of NY I81051

U.S. Additional Rule of Interpretation 1(c), HTSUS (“U.S. Rule 1(c)”), provides, in part, that a provision for “parts” does not prevail over a more specific provision for such a part, absent “special language which otherwise requires.” Heading 9405, HTSUS, is a specific provision, providing eo nomine for lamps and lighting fittings including searchlights and spotlights. The EN’s to the heading describe spotlights, in pertinent part, as lights that “throw a concentrated beam of light . . . onto a given point or surface, by means of a reflector and lenses or with a reflector only.” The instant dental lamp throws a concentrated beam of light by means of a reflector. Thus, the instant lamp is specifically provided for in heading 9405, HTSUS.

A provision for an article “not elsewhere specified or included” is a specific provision for the named article. In fact, a provision is even more specific where certain types of that article are enumerated in the heading, as it is here (i.e., “including searchlights and spotlights”). Therefore, your reliance on U.S. Rule 1(c) for the proposition that classification in heading 9405, HTSUS, is precluded by virtue of the language “not elsewhere specified or included” is misplaced. As heading 9405, HTSUS, is a specific provision for the instant lamp, the X-Calibur-HUL is not classifiable as a part of a dental chair under heading 9402, HTSUS.

Further, the EN regarding parts of heading 9402, HTSUS, states, in part, the following:

Parts of the foregoing articles are classified in this heading provided they are recognisable as such parts.

These parts include :

(2) Certain clearly identifiable parts of dentists’ chairs (e.g., head-rests, back pieces, foot-rests, arm-rests, elbow-rests, etc.).

Dental lamps are not at all similar to the exemplars in the EN of “clearly identifiable” parts of dentist’s chairs. The language “clearly identifiable” limits parts of a dentist’s chair to those parts that contribute to the chair as a piece of furniture on which one reclines. Thus, a lamp, whether or not solely designed to be attached to a dental chair, is not within the scope of the parts provision for dental chairs of heading 9402, HTSUS.

An article is to be classified according to its condition as imported. See XTC Products, Inc. v. United States, 771 F.Supp. 401, 405 (1991). EN 94.02 (12) states, in pertinent part, that dental furniture includes, “Dentists’ chairs with mechanisms (usually telescopic) for raising as well as tilting and sometimes turning on a centre column, whether or not fitted with equipment such as lighting fittings.” Thus, whereas a dental chair equipped with a lighting fitting at importation would be provided for in heading 9402, HTSUS, see NY F84250, dated March 23, 2000 (classifying a chair, delivery system and dental light imported together in heading 9402, HTSUS), the ENs suggest a different result where a lamp is imported separately. The instant dental lamp is specifically provided for in heading 9405, HTSUS.

Heading 9018, HTSUS, which provides, in part, for instruments and appliances used in dental sciences, also provides for dentist’s chairs, but here they must incorporate dental equipment. EN 90.18(II) describes that the following, among other things, falls in the heading:

(ii) Complete dental equipment on its base (stationary or mobile unit). The main usual features are a frame carrying a compressor, a transformer, a control panel and other electrical apparatus; the following are also often mounted on the unit: swivel arm drill, spittoon and mouth rinser, electic heater, hot air insufflator, spray, cautery instrument tray, diffused lighting, shadowless lamp, fan, diathermic apparatus, X-ray apparatus, etc.

(iv) Dentist’s chairs incorporating dental equipment or any other dental appliances classifiable in this heading.

The EN states that heading 9018, HTSUS, does not include dental chairs not incorporating dental appliances of this heading, as they fall into heading 9402 whether or not fitted with equipment such as lighting fittings. Furhter, the EN provides, in part:
the heading excludes certain items of dental equipment mentioned in paragraph (ii) above, when they are presented separately.

Thus, the scope of heading 9018, HTSUS, does not include lamps, mentioned in paragraph (ii) of EN 90.18 (II), imported separately from the chair or stationary or mobile base. For this reason, and because the specific provision for the good prevails, according to U.S. Additional Rule of Interpretation 1(c), we need not address whether the good would constitute a part. The instant lamp is not classifiable in heading 9018 or heading 9402, HTSUS. Accordingly, we find NY I81051 to be correct.

II. Prospective Ruling for Clesta Dental Light Models 501 (AL-501T), 2530 and 2535

The three Clesta models at issue are substantially similar to the X-Calibur-HUL but for the touchless activation switch. As such, the law and analysis of the section above is hereby incorporated by reference. Accordingly, the Clesta dental lamps are classifiable in heading 9405, HTSUS.


The X-Calibur-HUL dental lamp, and the Clesta dental lamp models 501 (AL-501T), 2530 and 2535 are classifiable in subheading 9405.40.60, HTSUS, which provides for “Lamps and lighting fittings including searchlights and spotlights and parts thereof, not elsewhere specified or included; illuminated signs, illuminated nameplates and the like, having a permanently fixed light source, and parts thereof not elsewhere specified or included: other electrical lamps and lighting fittings: other.”


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: