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HQ 089524

July 12, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089524 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 9002.20.80; 8529.90.35

Mr. Robert G. Wallen
Import Manager
Geo. S. Bush & Company, Inc.
590 Subway Terminal Building
417 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

RE: Classification of E Filter Screens

Dear Mr. Wallen:

This is in response to your letter of May 27, 1991, written on behalf of your client, Toray Marketing and Sales America Inc., concerning the classification of E Filter Screens imported from Japan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The E Filter is a screen that fits over the screen of a CRT to minimize glare and flicker to prevent eye strain. The filter also controls static electricity, keeping the computer screen shock free. A mounting bracket is attached so that the filter can fit onto various types of displays. It blocks out approximately 60 percent of visible light to prevent the eyes from becoming tired and sore. The filter also shields against harmful ultra-violet rays. The filter is principally made of silicon-coated plastic and it also contains an anti-reflective ceramic. The frame is made of PVC plastic.


What is the classification of the E Filter Screen under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

The broker for the importer claims that the filter is classifiable under subheading 8529.90.3580, HTSUSA, which provides for Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528: Other: Other: Other. However, the E Filter is an accessory (emphasis supplied), not a part, to a video monitor, which is included in heading 8528, HTSUSA. Whether an article is part of another article depends on the nature of the so-called "part" and its usefulness, function and purpose in relation to the article in which it is designed to serve. Kores Manufacturing Inc. v. United States, 3 CIT 178, 179 (1982), aff'd appeal No. 82-83 (C.A.F.C. 1983). Although the E Filter is certainly useful to viewing a video display, it is not essential to the operation of the display. In fact, the display will work just as effectively without the filter. Its use is merely for the prevention of strain to the display user's eyes. Furthermore, the broker for the importer stated in a letter that the filter "is not a part, but is an accessory . . ." Because the filter is an accessory, it is precluded from classification under subheading 8529.90.3580, HTSUSA.

The E Filter Screen is classifiable under subheading 9002.20.80, HTSUSA, which provides for Filters and parts and accessories thereof: Other. As is stated in the provided literature, the subject article is marketed as a filter and indeed blocks out both ultra-violet and visible light.

We note NY Ruling Letter 863130, dated May 20, 1991, in which a similar filter screen was classified under 9002.20.80, HTSUSA. Also, in Headquarters Ruling Letter 084653, dated September 13, 1989, a filter screen made of textile material was classified under 5911.90.00, HTSUSA, because textile articles of a kind used in machines, appliances or for other technical uses, of textile material are precluded from classification in chapter 90 based on Chapter Note 1(a).


The E Filter Screen is classifiable under subheading 9002.20.80, HTSUSA, which provides for Filters and parts and accessories thereof: Other. The general, column one rate of duty is 8.4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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