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HQ 089039

June 20, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089039 AJS


TARIFF NO.: 8517.30.30

Mr. William Apostolakis
McLean's World Enterprises
163 Clarke Street
Woodstock, Ontario
Canada N4S 7M6

RE: Facsimile/Telephone switching system; Heading 8517; Explanatory Note 85.17; Subheading 8517.30; HQ 085661; Subheading 8517.30.30.

Dear Mr. Apostolakis;

This is in reply to your letter of March 18, 1991, request- ing information on the importation of the FX-18 Facsimile/Tele- phone Switching System (FX).


The FX is a facsimile/telephone switching system. It is an automatic switching system that allows the user to operate both a facsimile (fax) and a telephone on a single telephone line. When the FX receives an incoming signal, it automatically decodes and assigns it to the proper unit (i.e., the fax or telephone set).


What is the proper tariff classification of the subject FX within the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Heading 8517, HTSUSA, provides for "electrical apparatus for line telephony or telegraphy." This term means "apparatus for the transmission between two points of speech or other sounds (or
of symbols representing written messages, images or other data), by variation of an electric current or of an optical wave flowing in a metallic or dielectric (copper, optical fibres, combination cable, etc.) circuit connecting the transmitting station to the receiving station." Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Note (EN) 85.17, p. 1360. The FX satisfies this description. It decodes and then transmits a signal representing speech or other sounds to a fax or telephone. Accordingly, the FX is properly classifiable within this heading.

Subheading 8517.30, HTSUSA, provides for telephonic switch- ing apparatus. Customs has previously stated that switching apparatus permit the connection of two or more terminals, and act to direct messages toward their ultimate destination. HQ 085661 (2/15/90). The FX satisfies this description. It connects two or more terminals and acts to direct fax (i.e., data signals) and telephone messages (i.e., voice signals) to their ultimate destination. Customs has previously ruled that equipment which involves both the transmission of voice and data signals is classifiable as telephonic apparatus. HQ 085661 (2/15/90). More specifically, the FX is provided for within subheading 8517.30.30, HTSUSA, as other telephonic switching apparatus.


The FX-18 Facsimile/Telephone Switching System is properly classifiable within subheading 8517.30.30, HTSUSA, which provides for other telephonic switching apparatus. This merchandise is dutiable at the General Column 1 rate of 8.5 percent ad valorem. If this merchandise is a good originating in the territory of Canada within the meaning of the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement it would be eligible for the Special Column 1 free rate.

You should write to the Federal Communications Commission regarding any questions involving state controls or other codes that must be complied with, as this is a matter within their jurisdiction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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