Tariff classification of LED lamps

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ledlampsNew developments in the tariff classification of LED Lamps. On 13 January 2015, the Advocate General to the Dutch High Court published an interesting opinion the tariff classification of a LED Lamps.  According to Dutch Customs, a LED lamp falls under heading 8543 as an electrical apparatus with individual functions, that is not specified elsewhere in chapter 85. The Advocate General first verifies if a LED lamp (bulp) could be classified under heading 8541 for ‘light emitting diodes”. The conclusion is that this heading doesn’t cover LED lamps, and then proceeds to test heading 8543.

For heading 8543 a ED lamp must have an individual function. With reference to the explanatory notes to heading 8497, a product is considered to have an “individual function” when
– a devices can perform a function distinctly from and independently of any other machine or appliance. (..)
– a devices that cannot perform their function, unless they are mounted on another machine or appliance, or are incorporated in a more complex entity , provided that this function :
(i) is distinct from that which is performed by the machine or appliance whereon they are to be mounted, or by the entity wherein they are to be incorporated, and
(ii) does not play an integral and inseparable part in the operation of such machine , appliance or entity.

According to the Advocate General a LED lamp does not match these criteria, as a result of which the LED lamp cannot be considered to have an individual function. More likely it is part of lighting equipment of 8512, or lamp holders of heading 8536 or perhaps LED Lamps have to be classified under the basket heading 8548. The Advocate General therefore recommends the High Court to refer the case back to the lower Courts to establish if the LED Lamps in the dispute are parts, or should be classified in the basket heading. The story continues. For more information on the tariff classification of LED lamps or other LED products, please feel free to contact us.

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