United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1991 HQ Rulings > HQ 0087878 - HQ 0087958 > HQ 0087880

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 087880

January 28, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087880 CMS


TARIFF NO.: 8443.60.00

Ms. Lisa A. Anderson
International Department
Quad Tech International
N64 W23110 Main Street
Sussex, WI 53089

RE: Measuring, Checking, Analyzing and Automatically Regulating Or Controlling Apparatus For Printing Press; Register Guidance System; Cutoff Control System; Varying Electrical Phenomenon; Optical Scanners

Dear Ms. Anderson:

This is in response to your request dated September 4, 1990, for a classification ruling on certain printing press equipment. Our ruling follows.


The merchandise consists of two systems which measure, analyze and control certain aspects of the printing process.

The Register Guidance System IV controls color to color register (the imposition of successive colors as they are printed over each other). The main system components are a web scanner, master computer, output control computer and operator station. The scanner is an optical sensor which illuminates and views register marks printed on the web surface. The scanner produces an electrical signal output corresponding to the markings on the web. Signal amplitude increases as the amount of light reflected from the web decreases. The master computer analyzes the collected data for lateral and circumferential register error. The existence of error indicates that the colors are out of alignment. The master computer transmits signals to the
output control computer, which directs phaser motors to move the press plate cylinders and thus correct the register error. The system does not include the phaser motors.

The Cutoff Control System is a print to cut register system which controls where the pages of the web are cut. The main system components are an optical web scanner, encoder, control unit computer, operator keyboard and compensator motor. The scanner outputs electrical signals corresponding to the light reflected from the web, while the encoder outputs electrical signals corresponding to the rotation and positioning of the cutting cylinder. The control computer analyzes the collected data, compares it to a reference pattern and sends a corresponding signal to the compensator motor. The compensator motor adjusts the position of the compensator roller.


Is the merchandise classified as machines for uses ancillary to printing in Heading 8443, consoles and other bases for electric control in Heading 8537, other measuring or checking machines in Heading 9031, or automatic regulating or controlling apparatus in Heading 9032?


Headings 8443 and 8537 are Section XVI headings. Section XVI Note 1(m) provides that Section XVI does not cover articles of Chapter 90. Thus, if the systems under consideration are described by Headings 9031 or 9032, they cannot be classified in Heading 8443 or Heading 8537.

Heading 9031 in part describes other measuring or checking machines. Heading 9032 in part describes automatic regulating or controlling apparatus. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 9032, p. 1535, provide that some Heading 9032 apparatus measure and control. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 9031, p. 1529 at para. (ij), provide that Heading 9031 was not intended to cover articles described by Heading 9032. If the merchandise is described by Heading 9032, it is classified there and not in any of the other headings under consideration.

Chapter 90 Note 6(b) states that Heading 9032 applies to "...apparatus for automatically controlling non-electrical quantities the operation of which depends on an electrical phenomenon varying according to the factor to be controlled." The Explanatory Notes to Heading 9032, p. 1536, provide that the controlled non-electrical quantities may, for example, be revolutions per minute, torque, traction or force.

The Explanatory Notes at pp. 1535-1536 provide that certain Heading 9032 apparatus consist essentially of:

(A) A measuring device (sensing device...) which determines the actual value of the variable to be controlled and converts it into a proportional electrical signal.

(B) An electrical control device which compares the measured value with the desired value and gives a signal...

(C) A starting, stopping or operating device (generally contacts, switches...relay switches) which supplies current to an actuator in accordance with the signal received from the control device.

(emphasis in original)

The Register Guidance System IV is described by Heading 9032. Its operation depends on an electrical phenomenon which varies according to the factor to be controlled. The scanner which reads the color to color register on the web surface sends proportional electrical signals to the main computer. The main computer analyzes the data using programmed algorithms to detect errors, and transmits signals to the output control computer. The output control computer incorporates relay boards which activate the phaser motors. The movement of the phaser motors affects the color to color register.

Opinion No. 9032.89 (1) of the Compendium of Classification Opinions, Amending Supplement No. 1 (July, 1988), addressed the classification of a system for controlling and monitoring paper during manufacture. There, the system which included a scanner and a control computer which analyzed data and transmitted electric signals to the action devices to regulate technical specifications (e.g., paper thickness, moisture), was classified in 9032.89, HTS.

The Register Guidance System IV is classified in 9032.89.60, HTSUSA.

Unlike the Register Guidance System IV, the Cutoff Control System includes the Heading 9032 automatic control devices, and the actuators (compensator motors) which actually move the printing press rollers. The Cutoff Control System thus cannot be classified simply by the terms of Heading 9032. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 9032, p. 1536, provide that automatic regulators combined with actuators should be classified pursuant to GRI 1 or GRI 3(b). The functional unit provision of Section XVI Note 4,
applied to Chapter 90 by Chapter 90 Note 3, is an applicable GRI 1 provision. The system's Heading 9032 components and the compensator motor contribute together to the clearly defined function of automatic regulating and controlling covered by Heading 9032. The Cutoff Control System is classified in 9032.89.60, HTSUSA.


The Register Guidance System IV and Cutoff Control System, when imported into the United States, are classified as automatic regulating or controlling apparatus in 9032.89.60, HTSUSA.


Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: