Almost 2 1/2 years ago LawCustoms published an article dealing with classification of LED bulbs/lamps suggesting 8539.39.0000 classification based on N020620 (2007). The interpretative methodology with respect to LED bulbs/lamps classification has evolved since the post‘s publication. Since the LED lamp/bulb classification attracts the substantial amount of interest among LawCustoms guests, the author is revisiting the LED bulbs/lamps classification issue one more time.
The classification departure point primarily took place in H024874 (2010), which extended GRI 2(a) principle to LED lamps/bulbs because they are LED Modules and therefore “comprise the light source of complete lamps.” Id. CBP reasoned that GRI 2(a) applies to LED modules because “when installed into housings adequate for their intended purpose, and connected to a power source by a power supply unit, they emit light.” Id. In H024876 (2010) CBP clarified what LED module is, stating that LED module may contain (1) printed circuit board, (2) light emitting diode, and (3) pin clasp. In light of this development and the legal position that CBP is presumptively correct in classification determinations, trade community dealing with LED light bulbs/lamps will now have to extend the GRI 2(a) principle to the bulbs/lamps that contain the “module.” Today, CBP GRI 2(a) method leaves trade community with two headings for LED light bulbs/lamps: 9405 and 8513. For 8513 heading classification of lamps please see discussion in H171880 (2011).
The question that possibly remains open, at least at CBP headquarters level, is the classification of LED light bulbs/lamps without “LED modules,” if any exist today or commercially feasible. Then, one may argue, the GRI 2(a) principle does not apply and Note 1(f) to Chapter 94 prevents LED light bulb/lamp without “module” being classified there. And since CBP has a history of classifying LED products in chapter 85, then that chapter is probably appropriate. But the meaning of “module” is beyond the scope of today’s article. It should suffice for now to state that the LED light bulb/lamp incorporating a “module” that contains printed circuit board, light emitting diode, and pin clasp is classified under 9405.40.80 / 8513.10.40 HTSUS. H024876 (2010); H171880 (2011).