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HQ 968152

AUGUST 29, 2006



TARIFF NO.: 8516.29.0090

Port Director
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
301 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1400
Long Beach, CA 90802

RE: Protest 2704-05-101472; Combination Ceiling Fan, Room Heater and Light

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 2704-05-101472, filed by counsel on behalf of Reiker Room Conditioners, LLC, against your classification of the Reiker Room Conditioner Ceiling Fan with Heater (the “Reiker Fan”) under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).

The goods were entered under subheading 8414.51.30, HTSUS, as ceiling fans for permanent installation, free of duty under heading 9902.84.14, HTSUS, if entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or before December 31, 2006. They were reclassified as electric space heating apparatus, under subheading 8516.29.00, HTSUS, and the entries liquidated on March 11, 2005, under this provision. This protest was timely filed on July 8, 2005.


The Reiker Fan, models RRC120002 and 0009, consists of a ceiling fan with rotating paddles, a ceramic heating module integrated into the fan’s housing and an electric light fixture. The device can function independently as a fan whereas the heating module can only be activated while the fan is running. The light fixture replaces the fixture that is lost when the item is installed. Whether it operates independently of the other two components is unclear from the facts presented by counsel for the protestant.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Air or vacuum pumps, air or other gas compressors and fans;; parts thereof:


Table, floor, wall, window, ceiling or roof fans, with a self-contained electric motor of an output not exceeding 125 W:

8414.51.30 Ceiling fans for permanent installation
electric space heating apparatus;other electrothermic appliances of a kind used for domestic purposes;; parts thereof: Electric space heating apparatus and electric soil heating apparatus:

8516.29.00 Other


Whether the Reiker Fan is a composite machine under Section XVI, Note 3, HTSUS, or a composite good under GRI 3(b), HTSUS, classifiable according to its essential character.


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.

Counsel for the protestant claims that the Reiker Fan is classifiable as a ceiling fan for permanent installation, in subheading 8414.51.30, HTSUS. He maintains it is a composite machine under Section XVI, Note 3, HTSUS, designed for the purpose of performing two or more complementary functions, i.e., fanning and heating, and is to be classified as consisting only of that component which performs the principal function.

Counsel concludes that the fan performs the principal function because it can be used independently of the heating element and the heating element can only be activated when the fan is in use. Thus, he concludes the heating element complements the function of the fan. Counsel notes that the Reiker Fan is marketed as a ceiling fan that also heats, and is displayed and sold in the ceiling fan department of retail stores. Finally, counsel cites NY A86501, dated August 28, 1996, which classified a ceiling fan with light kit containing a ceramic electric heater in subheading 8516.29.0090, HTSUSA. However, counsel attempts to distinguish this ruling because the heating element in the Reiker Fan is integrated into the fan’s housing, whereas the heating element in NY A86501 is detachable from the fan element. Further, the heating component in NY A86501 can be used independently of the fan component which is not the case with the Reiker Fan.

We disagree with counsel’s characterization of the Reiker Fan as a composite machine. It is a good consisting of a fan of heading 8414, a heating element of heading 8516 and a lighting fitting of heading 9405. Each heading, however, describes part only of the good.

GRI 3(b), HTSUS, states, in relevant part, that composite goods made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable. The Reiker Fan qualifies as a composite good made up of different components that are attached together to form a practically inseparable whole. GRI 3(b) requires that the Reiker Fan be classified as if consisting of the component which gives the good its essential character. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding and, therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the Harmonized System. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989). The ENs to GRI 3(b) state that the nature of a material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the good, may be relevant factors in determining essential character. Cost or value information is not available in this case but in terms of bulk and weight the fan component appears to predominate. However, recent court decisions on essential character have looked primarily to the role of the constituent material [or component] in relation to the use of the good. Better Home Plastics Corp. v. U.S., 916 F. Supp. 1265 (CIT 1996), aff’d 119 F. 3d 969 (Fed. Cir. 1997).

It is noted that catalogs, brochures and advertising literature are not dispositive in classifying goods under the HTSUS, but are probative of the way importers view the merchandise and of the market they are trying to reach. THK America, Inc. v. United, 17 C.I.T. 1169; 837 F. Supp. 427 (Ct. Intl. Trade, 1993), and HQ 953456, dated February 25, 1994.

In this regard, the following excerpt appears on protestant’s web site BuyReiker.com:
heated fan ENDS COLD SPOTSThe Room Conditioner is a ceiling fan with its own heat source. The heat comes from four elements located in the housing above the fan bladesAs the room temperature nears the desired level (as measured by a thermostat in the remote control), the elements will shut off one at a timeAir is drawn into the fan, heated, then distributed throughout the room.

Again, the following appears at www.refreshhome.com:
the Reiker Room Conditioner can lower your costly winter heating billsthe unit pulls cold air in, heats it, and pushes it to all 4 corners of the room. Imagine a room with no cold spots.

Finally, the following customer review appears on www.toolsandhardware.net in describing the Reiker Room Conditioner Ceiling Fan with Heater:
this fan is better than central heat, without warming the entire home.

The cited internet advertising clearly emphasizes the significance the company places on the heating element and leads us to conclude that it is this element that imparts the essential character to the Reiker Fan.


Under the authority of GRI 3(b), HTSUS, the Reiker Room Conditioner Ceiling Fan with Heater is provided for in heading 8516. It is classifiable in subheading 8516.29.0090, HTSUSA. The column one, general rate of duty under this provision in 2004 and 2005 is 3.7 percent ad valorem.

The protest should be DENIED. In accordance with the Protest/Petition Processing Handbook (CIS HB, January 2002, pp. 18 and 21), 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 CBP personnel, and to the public on the CBP Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.cbp.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


Gail A. Hamill
for Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division

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