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HQ 085348

November 30, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085348 jlj 844155


TARIFF NO.: General Note 4(c)

Philip Yale Simon
Freeman, Wasserman & Schneider
90 John Street
New York, New York 10038

RE: Systems Studies (engineering studies)

Dear Mr. Simon:

On behalf of your client, Asea Brown Boveri, Inc., you request a ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) that certain System Studies imported from Sweden are not goods subject to the provisions of the tariff schedule under General Note 4(c), HTSUSA. You submitted a portion of a System Study as a sample.


The merchandise at issue is engineering studies called System Studies. They are commissioned when high voltage electrical equipment is purchased by public utilities for the generation, transmission or distribution of electricity.

The high voltage electrical equipment is connected to existing electrical networks. Utility companies want to know how the equipment to be installed will interact with the local electric network and what will happen to the network if it is disturbed by outside forces, such as lightning. They commission System Studies which calculate the results of events based on a mathematical model of the local electric network.

Almost all the System Studies consist of columns of computer-generated numbers printed on computer paper. These numbers represent solutions to mathematical equations.

In Customs Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084780 of August 1, 1989, we held that a set of such Systems Studies was an intangible under General Headnote 5(e) of the Tariff Schedules of the United States.


Are the Systems Studies exempted from the provisions of the tariff schedule under General Note 4(c) HTSUSA?


General Note 4(c), HTSUSA, reads as follows:

4. Exemptions. For the purposes of general note 1--

(c) records, diagrams and other data with regard to any business, engineering or exploration operation whether on paper, cards, photographs, blueprints, tapes or other media...
are not goods subject to the provisions of the tariff schedule.

Inasmuch as the instant merchandise does consist of data regarding an engineering operation, we find that it is an exemption under General Note 4(c), HTSUSA.


The System Studies described above are exemptions under General Note 4(c), HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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