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NY L82132

January 27, 2005

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:1:110 L82132


TARIFF NO.: 8536.69.4020

Mr. Michael J. Keegan
Schenker, Inc.
Alexander Court One
Bay 1-5
850 Calcon Hook Road
Sharon Hill, PA 19079

RE: The tariff classification of a shorting cap from Trinidad.

Dear Mr. Keegan:

In your letter dated December 29, 2004, on behalf of your client Tyco Electronics you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is the Shorting Cap, Model SC-10. A sample of the Shorting Cap was provided with your ruling request. The Shorting Cap is constructed of a high-impact polypropylene cover over a high-temperature polyester base. It is a round device measuring approximately 2½” in diameter and is 1½” high. The base has a three prong National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) locking-type configuration (Twistlock) 2-Pole 3-Wire Grounding plug. The NEMA locking-type configuration is cylindrical in shape, the three blades of the plug are curved to achieve a broken circle. The Shorting Cap, as its name implies, shorts or makes a connection between the load and neutral conductors of the device it is plugged into. This device is rated at 120-480 Volts, 1000Watts.

The Shorting Cap is used in place of a photocontrol unit. Utility companies use photocontrol units to control streetlights. The units are basically photoelectric switches. They fit into standard streetlights, and are light activated, rather than time-activated and turn on streetlights at dusk. The purpose of the Shorting Cap is to bypass a photocontrol switch by shorting or closing the street lamps circuit.

In HQ 963676 dated December 13, 2000, Customs considered the terms cylindrical and multicontact in its classification of cylindrical two-contact, and three-contact connectors, and found that cylindrical multicontact connectors were classifiable in subheading 8536.69.40, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Customs determined that plugs are cylindrical when they are “of, pertaining to, or having the form of a cylinder.” 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. We also note that EN 85.36 (III) provides in pertinent part that: “[a] plug may have one or more pins or side contacts which match corresponding holes or contacts in the socket.”

In your letter you suggest classification under 8536.30.8000. This subheading is for other apparatus for protecting electrical circuits. The Shorting Cap is not designed to protect an electrical circuit; it is designed to complete an electrical circuit.

The applicable subheading for the Shorting Cap, Model SC-110 will be 8536.69.4020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or in electrical circuitsfor a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: Lamp-holders, plugs and sockets: Other: Coaxial connectors; cylindrical multicontact connectors: Cylindrical multicontact connectors.” The general rate of duty will be free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Eileen S. Kaplan at 646-733-3016.


Robert B. Swierupski

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