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HQ 086179

March 12, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086179 CMS


TARIFF NO.: 9032.10.00

Ms. Rae Fawcett
Northeast Regional Manager
Harper Robinson & Co.
222 E. Redwood St., Ste. 600
Baltimore, MD 21202-3362

RE: NYRL 846026 modified. Temperature Regulating Modules For Coffee Makers; Thermostats

Dear Ms. Fawcett,

This responds to your December 11, 1989 request on behalf of Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc., for the reconsideration of NY Ruling 846026 (October 30, 1989) which classified certain parts of Black & Decker coffee makers. Your request is based on additional information which you have provided regarding the product. Our ruling follows.


The merchandise consists of electronic modules designed as parts for Black and Decker TCM401 and TCM402 thermal carafe coffee makers. The modules are circuit board assemblies which contain capacitors, diodes and other electronic components. The modules control the brew cycle of the coffee makers by (1) turning on the hot water generator, (2) monitoring the water temperature, (3) shutting off the hot water generator at a predetermined temperature and (4) energizing certain LED indicators such as "Brew", "Auto", and "Timer".

The manufacturer initially advised that the modules also shut off the carafe warmer as a function of time, two hours after the unit is turned on. NY Ruling 846026 classified the modules in subheading 9107.00.40 as time switches with clock or watch movements, or synchronous motors. The additional information provided with the request for reconsideration states that the manufacturer confused this product with another product in that thermal carafe coffee makers contain no carafe warmer. The coffee makers brew coffee directly into a thermal carafe which keeps coffee warm because of the carafe's thermal qualities.

Although the TCM402 coffee maker incorporates a 24 hour analog clock/timer for pre-set brewing, the electronic modules themselves do not contain time switches with clock or watch movements, or synchronous motors. The modules do contain a time function control in the form of a capacitor that takes 15 to 50 seconds to fully charge after the hot water generator is shut off, and then de-energizes the "Brew" LED to indicate the end of the brew cycle.

The modules use thermistors which are not imported with the modules to sense the temperature of the water. The thermistors' resistance is affected by increases in temperature. When the water temperature reaches 120 degrees centigrade, the voltage across the thermistor is equal to the reference voltage and a relay on the module automatically shuts down the coffee maker's hot water generator.


Is the electronic module a time switch or is it an apparatus for controlling a variable of a liquid, namely a thermostat?


Heading 9032 specifically describes automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 9032, p. 1533 provide that included in this description are "...[i]nstruments and apparatus for automatically controlling the flow, level, pressure or other variables of liquids or gases, or for automatically controlling temperature...". The Notes provide at p. 1534 that these apparatus essentially consist of:

1. a device for measuring the variable to be controlled, and

2. a control device for comparing measured value with desired value, and

3. a starting, stopping or operating device.

Heading 9032 apparatus which consist of these three devices are classified in Heading 9032 as functional units. (See Explanatory Notes to Heading 9032, p. 1534). Heading 9032 includes safety control systems which stop the operation of the apparatus or machine. (See Explanatory Notes, supra).

Of the three above-described devices which Heading 9032 apparatus essentially consist of, the electronic modules under consideration contain only two devices (i.e. the "control
device", and the "starting, stopping or operating device"). The "measuring" device, or sensor (i.e. thermistor) used by the modules is not imported with the modules. If imported with thermistors the modules would clearly be classifiable in Heading 9032. Although the modules perform some non-temperature control functions (e.g. energizing LED indicators), their essential function is to control water temperature by (1) turning on the hot water generator, (2) monitoring the water temperature, and (3) turning off the hot water generator when the water reaches a predetermined temperature.

Even without the thermistors the modules contain two of the three devices which Heading 9032 apparatus essentially consist of, and are dedicated to function as Heading 9032 apparatus. The modules are incomplete thermostats which have the essential character of complete Heading 9032 thermostats. Under GRI 2 (a), the modules are classifiable as complete Heading 9032 thermostats.

The modules are not classifiable in Heading 8537 as control boards incorporating Heading 9032 apparatus because their essential function is automatic temperature control; the Explanatory Notes to Heading 8537, p. 1391, exclude automatic controlling apparatus of Heading 9032 from Heading 8537.

The modules are classifiable in Heading 8516 as parts of coffee makers. However, Section XVI Note 1(m) provides that articles classifiable in Chapter 90 cannot be classified in Chapter 85. The modules are classified in 9032.10.00.


Based on the new information provided by the importer, the electronic modules are classified in 9032.10.00, HTSUSA. This Ruling supersedes NY Ruling 846026 (October 30, 1989).


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