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HQ 088646

May 3, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 088646 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 8543.80.9080

Mr. James A. Green, III
James A. Green, JR. & Co.
Custom House Brokers
1311 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, Kansas 66102

RE: Modules, musical

Dear Mr. Green:

In a letter dated January 18, 1991, you inquired as to the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a battery operated musical module produced in China. A sample was submitted for examination.


The sample submitted is a musical module comprised of a pre-programmed digital integrated circuit to produce sound, amplifier, switch and battery, which are housed in a plastic common module. This module plays the tune "Silent Night."

You suggest that the module is classifiable under subheading 9505.10.2500, HTSUSA, as festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, parts and accessories thereof, articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories, Christmas ornaments, other, other.


Can the musical module be considered an article for Christmas festivities?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that 'classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's taken in order]." In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

The module may not be considered a Christmas ornament because as imported it does not have a loop or any other device which would allow it to be hung on a Christmas tree for use as an ornament. Furthermore, it is not an "ornament."

The Explanatory Notes (EN's) are the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. EN 13 to Heading 85.43 provides that "[t]he heading includes, inter alia Electronic musical modules for incorporation in a wide variety of utilitarian or other goods, e.g. wrist watches, cups and greeting cards. These modules usually consist of an electronic integrated circuit, a resistor, a loudspeaker and a mercury cell. They contain fixed musical programmes.

It is our view that the cited EN compels the conclusion that the musical module is classifiable under subheading 8543.80.9080, HTSUSA, as electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter, other machines and apparatus, other, other.


The musical module which plays the tune "Silent Night" is dutiable at the rate of 3.9 percent ad valorem under subheading 8543.80.9080, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director

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