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HQ 087791

February 1, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087791 MBR


TARIFF NO.: 8473.30.40

Mr. Makoto Shiohara
Epson America, Inc.
23530 Hawthorne Boulevard
P.O. Box 2842
Torrance, California 90505

RE: 1 megabyte SRAM (static random access memory) "memory module" for memory storage in automatic data processing machines; Parts and accessories of the machines of 8471; Revocation of HQ 086608

Dear Mr. Shiohara:

We have been asked to reconsider HQ 086608, dated May 31, 1990, regarding classification of a 1 megabyte SRAM (static random access memory) module (hereafter "memory module"), under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


New information and a sample have been provided since the issuance of HQ 086608, dated May 31, 1990. The memory module is used for memory storage in automatic data processing machines ("ADP" machines). The memory module consists of both active components (one CMOS decoder and four - 256K CMOS SRAM die form chips) and passive components (two capacitors), which are mounted on a "lead frame." The lead frame is neither a substrate nor a printed circuit board (PCB), although, it is similar to a substrate. No thick or thin film processes are utilized. All components are permanently mounted and cannot be removed without destroying the memory module. The memory module is not housed in a cabinet and has no base for mounting. The memory module's dimensions are 1 1/2" X 1/2" X 1/8". It contains 32 pin connectors to plug into a printed circuit board. However, it is not assembled on a board at the time of importation.


What is the classification of a 1 megabyte SRAM (static random access) memory module which is incorporated into ADP machines as a component part or an add on accessory, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated


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...

HQ 086608, dated May 31, 1990, held that the memory module was classifiable under heading 8471.93.50, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[a]utomatic data processing machines and units thereof...: [o]ther: [s]torage units, whether or not entered with the rest of a system: [o]ther storage units: [n]ot assembled in cabinets for placing on a table, desk, wall, floor or similar place."

However, upon submission of a sample and additional information as to the use and function of such memory modules, it has become clear that these are not classifiable as units of ADP machines.

The memory module contains approximately 1 megabyte of static random access memory. This is a significant amount of memory. It is utilized either as an original ADP operational system component part, or it can be added to a system as a memory add on accessory.

The memory module is in fact nothing more than a part or accessory of an ADP system that must be mounted on a printed circuit board or assembled into a unit. "It is a well- established rule that a 'part' of an article is something necessary to the completion of that article. It is an integral, constituent, or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined, could not function as such article." United States v. Willoughby Camera Stores, Inc., 21 CCPA 322, 324, T.D. 46,851 (1933). In determining whether an item is a part of an article, the courts look to the "nature, function, and purpose of an item in relation to the article to which it is attached or designed to serve...." Ideal Toy Corp. v. United States, 58 CCPA 9, 13, C.A.D. 996, 433 F.2d 801, 803 (1979). See Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 90-22 (March 13, 1990). If the memory module is utilized as an original component part of an ADP operational system it would then be considered a "part" because it would be necessary to the
completion of that article as an integral, constituent, component part. However, if the memory module is used as an accessory add on to expand the ADP systems capabilities, then it would be considered an accessory for classification purposes.

Rule 1.(a), of the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation, states:
a tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of the goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use.

It is Customs position that the 1 megabyte static random access memory modules are principally used as ADP parts or accessories, in the United States, at this time.


The 1 megabyte static random access memory module is properly classifiable under subheading 8473.30.40, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[p]arts and accessories (other than carrying cases and the like) suitable for use solely or principally with the machines of headings 8469 to 8472: [p]arts and accessories of the machines of 8471: [n]ot incorporating a cathode ray tube." The rate of duty is Free.


HQ 086608, dated May 31, 1990, is revoked under authority of Section 177.9(d), Customs Regulations.


John Durant, Director

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