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HQ 089261

November 19, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089261 AJS


TARIFF NO.: 8542.20.00

Mr. W.J. Dolbeer
Avex Electronics Inc.
4807 Bradford Drive
Huntsville, Alabama 35805

RE: Optical transmitter; optical receiver; Heading 8517; Chapter 85, note 5(b)(ii); Chapter 85, note 5(b); GRI 1.

Dear Mr. Dolbeer;

You letter of May 1, 1991, requesting a classification ruling on optical transmitters and receivers has been forwarded to this office for reply.


The articles at issue are an optical transmitter and optical receiver. They are used to provide computer networking over a fiber optics transmission link. The transmitter receives electrical signals from a computer and converts these signals into optical signals for transmission over a fiber optic cable. The receiver accepts optical signals from a fiber optic cable link and converts these signals into electrical signals which can be used by the computer. The incorporation of a receiver and transmitter into a personal computer (PC) allows it to be connected with other similarly configured PCs in an optical local area network.


Whether the subject articles are properly classifiable within heading 8517, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for electrical
apparatus for line telephony or telegraphy; or classifiable within heading 8542, HTSUSA, which provides for electronic integrated circuits.


Heading 8542, HTSUSA, provides for electronic integrated circuits. These include "[h]ybrid integrated circuits in which passive elements (resistors, capacitors, interconnect- ions, etc.) obtained by thin- or thick-film technology and active elements (diodes, transistors, monolithic integrated circuits, etc.) obtained by semiconductor technology, are combined to all intents and purposes indivisibly, on a single insulating substrate (glass, ceramic, etc.) . . ." Chapter 85, note 5(b)(ii). After an examination of the samples provided, we have determined that they satisfy the above description. Accordingly, the subject transmitter and receiver satisfy the terms of heading 8542, HTSUSA. More specifically, they are described within subheading 8542.20.00, HTSUSA, which provides for hybrid integrated circuits.

For the classification of the articles defined in the above note, heading 8542 takes precedence over any other heading in the tariff schedule which might cover these articles by reference to, in particular, their function. Chapter 85, note 5(b). It is stated that the subject articles have been classified within heading 8517, HTSUSA, as telegraphic transmission apparatus for carrier-current line systems. While the subject merchandise performs this function, application of the above legal note precludes their classification within heading 8517, HTSUSA. General Rule of Interpretation 1 states that classification under the HTSUSA is to be determined according to any relative chapter notes. Therefore, the subject merchandise is not properly class- ifiable within heading 8517, HTSUSA.


The optical transmitter and receiver are classifiable within subheading 8542.20.00, HTSUSA, which provides for hybrid integrated circuits, duty-free under General Column 1.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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