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Guidance on the Classification of Decorative Light Fixtures

Below are guidelines on the classification of decorative light fixtures in accordance with the decision in Home Depot, USA v. United States, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 14704; 29 Int'l Trade Rep. (BNA) 1161, (CAFC, June 21, 2007) (aff'd Home Depot, U.S.A, Inc. v. United States, 427 F. Supp. 2d 1278, (CIT, 2006)).

Questions from the importing community concerning this notice should be referred to the National Commodity Specialist Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, at (646) 733-3016.

Definitions

  1. Arms: a usually thin metal piece connecting the back plate to the lamp holder which also serves to conceal the electrical components. It may contribute to the decorative appearance and scale of the structure.
  2. Back plate: affixes the fixture to the wall, holds the electrical components, and contributes to the fixture's scale.
  3. Lamp holder: the threaded utility holder that the lamp (light bulb) screws into.
  4. Shade: a part, usually of glass, which is held in place by a fitter or other metal device. It directs and softens light through diffusion, protects the lamp, and shields the lamp from view. A shade may also contribute to the decorative appearance and structure and define a fixture from design and marketability standpoints.
  5. Standard fitter: universal part which is used to support multiple glass shapes and is not specific to this lighting fixture.
  6. Surface mount: any fixture mounted on a wall or ceiling, as opposed to recessed into the wall or ceiling.

Guidelines

  1. Interior ceiling mounted fixtures consisting of a standard metal fitter and shade are classified by the material of the shade. These usually include, but are not limited to: globe (gumball), bubble, mushroom, dome, and drum.
    Left to Right: Exhibit 1.1: Globe; Exhibit 1.2: Bubble; Exhibit 1.3: Mushroom; Exhibit 1.4: Dome; Exhibit 1.5: Drum

    Left to right: Exhibit 1.1: Globe; Exhibit 1.2: Bubble; Exhibit 1.3: Mushroom; Exhibit 1.4: Dome; Exhibit 1.5: Drum

  2. Interior and exterior flush mounted ceiling fixtures are classified by the material of the shade, especially if the mount and shade create a weatherproof fixture. These include, but are not limited to: flush mount bound glass and lantern style fixtures.
    Left to right: Exhibit 2.1: Bound Glass (waterproof); Exhibit 2.2: Lantern (waterproof)

    Left to right: Exhibit 2.1: Bound Glass (waterproof); Exhibit 2.2: Lantern (waterproof)

  3. Interior and exterior surface mounted wall fixtures consisting of a shade mounted into a metal mounting cap or housing such that the shade appears flush with the wall, are classified by the material of the shade. This is especially so when an exterior wall mounted fixture is weatherproof.
    Left to right: Exhibit 3.1: Flower Petal Wall Sconce; Exhibit 3.2: Semi-Circular Wall Sconce; Exhibit 3.3: Semi-Circular Wall Sconce; Exhibit 3.4: Bulkhead (waterproof)

    Left to right: Exhibit 3.1: Flower Petal Wall Sconce; Exhibit 3.2: Semi-Circular Wall Sconce; Exhibit 3.3: Semi-Circular Wall Sconce; Exhibit 3.4: Bulkhead (waterproof)

  4. In general, interior and exterior ceiling mounted pendant (hanging) fixtures are classified in subheading 9405.10.80, HTSUS, providing for light fixtures other than metal. This is especially so when the non-metal component is highly stylized. Such is (often) the case in light fixtures including shades of Halophane, Tiffany, Victorian and Bound glass or prism styles.
    Left to right: Exhibit 4.1: Halophane Style; Exhibit 4.2: Kitchen Pendant Bound Glass; Exhibit 4.3: Glass Prism Fixture

    Left to right: Exhibit 4.1: Halophane Style; Exhibit 4.2: Kitchen Pendant Bound Glass; Exhibit 4.3: Glass Prism Fixture

    However, if the metal component is highly stylized or visually the most prominent component and provides the greatest visual appeal, the fixture is classified in subheading 9405.10.60, HTSUS, providing for light fixtures of base meta.

    Left to right: Exhibit 5.1 - 5.4: Pendants

    Left to right: Exhibit 5.1 - 5.4: Pendants

  5. In general, interior or exterior wall mounted fixtures (sconces), consisting of a back plate and one or more arms attached to a lamp holder, fitter and shade, are classified in subheading 9405.10.80, HTSUS, providing for light fixtures other than metal. This is especially so when the non-metal component is highly stylized. Such is (often) the case in light fixtures including shades of Halophane, Tiffany, Victorian and Jelly Jar styles.
    Left to right: Exhibit 6.1: Victorian Style; Exhibit 6.2: Halophane Style; Exhibit 6.3: Jelly Jar Exterior Fixture

    Left to right: Exhibit 6.1: Victorian Style; Exhibit 6.2: Halophane Style; Exhibit 6.3: Jelly Jar Exterior Fixture

    However, if the metal component is highly stylized or visually the most prominent component, and provides the greatest visual appeal, the fixture is classified in subheading 9405.10.60, HTSUS, providing for light fixtures of base metal.

    Exhibit 7.1: Restoration Bath Bar

    Exhibit 7.1: Restoration Bath Bar

  6. In general, bath bars consisting of a long back plate usually placed over the bathroom sink and mirror, containing multiple lamp holders, are classified in subheading 9405.10.80, HTSUS, providing for light fixtures other than metal.
    Exhibits 8.1 & 8.2: Bath Bars

    Exhibits 8.1 & 8.2: Bath Bars

    This is especially the case when the back plate is composed of a material other than metal, such as wood or mirrored glass, or is obscured by materials other than metal, such as an acrylic racetrack style shade.

    Top row, left to right: Exhibit 9.1: Bath Bar; Exhibit 9.2: Mirrored Bath Bar; Bottom row: Exhibits 10.1 & 10.2: Racetrack Bath Bars

    Top row, left to right: Exhibit 9.1: Bath Bar; Exhibit 9.2: Mirrored Bath Bar; Bottom row: Exhibits 10.1 & 10.2: Racetrack Bath Bars

    However, if the metal component is highly stylized or visually the most prominent component, and provides the greatest visual appeal, the fixture is classified in subheading 9405.10.60, HTSUS, the provision for light fixtures of base metal. Such is the case in restoration bath bars, brass-end bath bars and other bath bars containing stylized metal components.

    Top row, left to right: Exhibit 11.1: Restoration Bath Bar; Exhibit 11.2: Brass End Bath Bar; Bottom row, left to right: Exhibit 11.3: Brass End Bath Bar; Exhibit 11.4: Stylized Metal Bath Bar

    Top row, left to right: Exhibit 11.1: Restoration Bath Bar; Exhibit 11.2: Brass End Bath Bar; Bottom row, left to right: Exhibit 11.3: Brass End Bath Bar; Exhibit 11.4: Stylized Metal Bath Bar