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HQ 087694

November 14, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087694 MBR


TARIFF NO.: 8505.90.80

Mr. Scott A. Cohn
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, N.Y. 10017

RE: Magnetic Computer Diskette Manufacturing Equipment; Randomizer and Control Mechanism; Electromagnet

Dear Mr. Cohn:

This is in reply to your letter of June 11, 1990, on behalf of Kao Infosystems Co., requesting classification of a "Randomizer" electromagnet and its control mechanism, imported from Japan.


The Randomizer is one of the machines used in the manufacture of magnetic computer diskettes. The Randomizer generates a constantly changing electromagnetic field in order to randomize the magnetic field of the computer diskette, prior to the drying of the magnetic coating solution which has been applied to the plastic diskette. This process ensures that the finished diskette will be receptive to information for programming. The Randomizer and its control mechanism will be imported together from Japan.


What is the classification of an electromagnetic "Randomizer" and its control mechanism, used in the manufacture of magnetic computer diskettes, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

...classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...

Section XVI Legal Note 4., HTSUSA, provides:

Where a machine (including a combination of machines) consists of individual components (whether separate or interconnected by piping, by transmission devices, by electric cables or by other devices) intended to contribute together to a clearly defined function covered by one of the headings in chapter 84 or chapter 85, then the whole falls to be classified in the heading appropriate to that function.

The instant machine consists of a power source, a variable voltage regulator, a solenoid coil, and a control panel. All of these machines are either connected by electric cables or share a common housing. All of these machines are intended to contribute to the clearly defined function of an electromagnet. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN), page 1340, for heading 8505, states in pertinent part:

This heading covers electro-magnets, those electro-magnet operated appliances specially listed in the heading, permanent magnets and permanent magnet work holders.

(1) Electro-magnets

These are of various sizes and shapes according to the use for which they are intended. They consist essentially of a coil of wire wound around a core of soft iron, this core being either in one piece or laminated. The passing of electric current in the coil confers magnetic properties on the core, which can be used either for attraction or repulsion.

There is no dispute that the Randomizer is an electromagnet. The Randomizer utilizes a solenoid coil that generates a powerful magnetic field when electric current is passed through it. In fact, your literature states: "Keep metallic items like a watch and a tool away from the coil since a strong magnetic field will be applied during the operation." These machines (the Randomizer and control mechanism) are intended to accomplish only one purpose, which is the generation of a constantly changing magnetic field. The final product of these machines is an electromagnetic field. These machines accomplish no other purpose. They do not create images for medical diagnosis. They do not check or measure anything, nor do they electromagnetically propel a train, for instance. Therefore, although other electromagnets may be specifically provided for elsewhere in the HTSUSA, there is no other specific provision for the Randomizer.

Since the Randomizer is provided for in heading 8505, and there is no other specific provision in the HTSUSA for the Randomizer, Section XVI, Legal Note 4., HTSUSA, directs classification in heading 8505, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[e]lectromagnets."


The "Randomizer" and its control mechanism are properly classifiable in subheading 8505.90.80, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[e]lectromagnets: [o]ther, including parts: [o]ther." The rate of duty is 3.9% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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