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Carling Electric Co. v. United States

March 21, 1985

CARLING ELECTRIC CO., (CARLINGSWITCH, INC.), APPELLANT
v.
THE UNITED STATES, APPELLEE



Appealed from U.S. Court of International Trade.

Markey, Chief Judge, Bennett and Smith, Circuit Judges.

Markey

MARKEY, Chief Judge.

Appeal from a decision of the United States Court of International Trade (CIT) sustaining Customs' classification and dismissing Carling Electric Company's (Carling's) complaint. Carling Electric Co. (Carlingswitch, Inc.) v. United States, 592 F. Supp. 667 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1984). We affirm.

Background

Two articles of merchandise were imported from Mexico and entered at the Port of Brownsville, Texas in 1976. The first was a small light bulb in a socket with two wire conductors extending from the socket (light).*fn1 The second was a small housing containing a switch and a light that glowed when the switch actuator was moved to the "on" position (lighted switch).*fn2 Customs classified the former as electrical articles or electrical parts of articles under Item 688.40 of the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), dutiable at the rate of 5.5% ad valorem, and the latter as electrical switches under TSUS item 685.90, dutiable at the rate of 8.5% ad valorem.

Carling claimed that the light is properly classifiable as visual signalling apparatus or parts thereof pursuant to TSUS item 685.70, dutiable at the rate of 4% ad valorem, and that the lighted switch should be classified under TSUS item 688.40, dutiable at the rate of 5.5% ad valorem.

The pertinent statutes are:

Light:

Classified:

688.40 Electrical articles, and electrical parts of articles, not

specifically provided for . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5.5% ad val.

Claimed:

685.70 Bells, sirens, indicator panels, burglar and ...


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