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HQ 087932

July 8, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 087932 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 9009.90.0030

Mr. John Montoya
Import/Export Specialist
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
One Canon Plaza
Lake Success, NY 11042-1113

RE: Modification of HRL 083459; photocopier document feed belt; Note 7(b), Chapter 59; Notes 1(a), 2(b), Chapter 90; only textile articles of heading 5911 excluded from Chapter 90 by virtue of Note 1(a).

Dear Mr. Montoya:

This is further to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 083459 of March 23, 1990, on the classification of certain photocopier machinery parts and accessories from Japan under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have recently had occasion to review this ruling. Our decision follows below.


Three of the four articles at issue in HRL 083459, were classified in subheading 5911.90.0000, HTSUSA, and have no further relevance for the purpose of this letter. The fourth part at issue, a document feed belt (part no. FA2-3600), was classified in subheading 9009.90.0030, HTSUSA, and is the subject of this letter.

The belt is used in the automatic document feeder of a photocopying machine. It feeds paper to, and removes it from, the copying surface. Document feeders are normally mounted on the top of the copying machine and sold separately. The belt is constructed of tetron, a polyester fabric. A ridge or rib of urethane rubber one-eighth of an inch wide runs lengthwise along the belt.

In HRL 083459, it was held that the document feed belt was not a textile product for technical uses of heading 5911, HTSUSA, and was therefore classifiable in heading 9009, HTSUSA.


Whether document feed belts are classifiable as conveyor belts of heading 5910 or as textile products for technical uses of heading 5911.

If prima facie classifiable in heading 5910, whether Note 2, Chapter 90, prevails over the terms of heading 5910 such that the feed belt in question is classifiable as an accessory of heading 9009, HTSUSA.


Three headings are potentially applicable to the instant merchandise: heading 5911, HTSUSA, which provides for textile products and articles, for technical uses; heading 5910, HTSUSA, which provides for transmission or conveyor belts or belting of textile material; and heading 9009, HTSUSA, which provides for photocopying apparatus and parts and accessories thereof.

In HRL 083459 we stated that the document feed belt was not ejusdem generis with the articles of heading 5911, and on this basis, held that it was classifiable in heading 9009. Although Customs is still of the opinion that the document feed belt is classifiable in heading 9009, we no longer adhere to the rationale for this result as stated in HRL 083459.

Rather, the feed belt is excluded from heading 5911 purely by operation of the pertinent Chapter Notes. Note 7(b), Chapter 59, HTSUSA, confines heading 5911 to certain textile articles, other than those of headings 5908 to 5910. The document feed belt is made from textiles and is similar to a conveyor belt in that it feeds paper to, and removes it from, the copying surface of a photocopier. It is therefore prima facie classifiable as a conveyor belt of heading 5910, HTSUSA. Since it is classifiable, ceteris paribus, in heading 5910, it is excluded from the scope of heading 5911 by virtue of Note 7(b).

Thus the classification of the feed belt devolves to a choice between heading 5910 (belts) and heading 9009 (parts and accessories of photocopiers). Within Chapter 90, two notes are relevant for the purposes of this discussion. Note 1, Chapter 90, HTSUSA, is exclusionary, providing in pertinent part that the chapter does not cover:

(a) Articles of a kind used in machines, appliances or for other technical uses, of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber (heading No. 40.16), of leather or of composition leather (heading No. 42.04) or of textile material (heading No. 59.11)....

The view has been advanced that the parentheticals of Note 1(a) are merely illustrative in nature, and that the intent of the Note was not merely to exclude articles of heading 5911, but to exclude any article made from the referenced materials, including those made from textiles. Although the language preceding the parenthetical reference to heading 5911 does not mimic the terms of heading 5911 itself, we do not find this persuasive of any broad intent to exclude all textiles from Chapter 90. Having consulted the Harmonized System Committee, and construing the tariff as a whole, in Customs' opinion, Note 1(a) is limited in scope to the three headings cited therein and thus does not exclude articles of heading 5910 from classification as parts and accessories of Chapter 90. Except for certain exclusions referred to in Note 1, Chapter 90, the articles of the chapter, including parts and accessories, may be of any material. General Explanatory Note (I), Chapter 90. In addition, where the drafters of the Harmonized System intended to exclude conveyor and transmission belts from classification in a particular chapter, these articles were specifically referenced. Notes 1(a) and 1(e), Section XVI. Thus only certain textile articles are excluded by Note 1(a), i.e., those of heading 5911.

Accordingly, subject to Note 1, parts and accessories of the machines, apparatus, instruments and articles of Chapter 90 are classifiable pursuant Note 2 which provides in relevant part:

(b) Other parts and accessories, if suitable for use solely with a particular kind of machine, instrument or apparatus, or with a number of machines, instruments or apparatus of the same heading...are to be classified with the machines, instruments or apparatus of that kind....

Document feed belts are not integral components of photocopier machines but enhancement devices that allow copier machines to operate more efficiently; they are normally mounted on top of copiers and are usually sold separately from them. Accordingly, they are considered to be accessories. As the belt in question is an accessory for use solely with photocopiers, it is Customs' opinion that Note 2(b) prevails over the terms of heading 5910 and requires that the instant feed belt be classified in heading 9009.


This ruling does not alter the classification of the instant document feed belt (part no. FA2-3600). It remains classifiable in subheading 9009.90.0030, HTSUSA, under the provision for photocopying apparatus...; parts and accessories; parts and accessories of electrostatic photocopying apparatus operating by reproducing the original image via an intermediate onto the copy (indirect process). It is dutiable at the rate of 3.9 percent ad valorem. However, except for photoreceptors or assemblies containing photoreceptors, photocopier parts and accessories classifiable in this subheading are subject to a temporary modification in duty under Chapter 99, Subchapter II, HTSUSA. Heading 9902.90.90, HTSUSA, provides that parts and accessories of electrostatic copying machines which operate via an intermediate process are free of duty if entered on or before December 31, 1992.

Accordingly, pursuant to section 177.9, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9) HRL 083459 dated March 23, 1990, is modified in conformity with the foregoing.


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