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HQ 089927

October 10, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089927 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 8536.90.00

Mr. Karl Thompson
Communications Manufacturing Company
2234 Colby Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90064

RE: CMC Terminations; designed to temporarily terminate an electrical circuit; GRI 1

Dear Mr. Thompson:

This is in response to your letter dated May 22, 1991, to Customs in New York, regarding the tariff classification of Communications Manufacturing Company (CMC) Terminations under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Your letter and descriptive information were forwarded to this office for a response.


The merchandise at issue is CMC 7635, 7637, and 7638 Terminations. The Terminations are used by telephone companies to temporarily terminate a telephone line when performing return loss measurements, terminal balance tests or office balance tests. The Terminations are comprised of small encapsulated packages that incorporate an electrical circuitry that has a 135 (CMC 7635), 600 (CMC 7638), or 900 (CMC 7637) ohms resistor, and a capacitor that operates on 250 Vdc. Extending out of the terminator package are two flexible tinsel leads which are equipped with insulated alligator clips. The Terminations are imported into the U.S. from Canada.


What is the proper tariff classification of the CMC Terminations under the HTSUSA?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUSA, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes..."

Subheading 8536.90.00, HTSUSA, provides for electrical apparatus for making connections to or in electrical circuits for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V. Chapter 85, HTSUSA, is within Section XVI, HTSUSA, making the Section XVI notes applicable to this classification. Section XVI, Note 5, HTSUSA defines "machine" as "any machine, machinery, plant, equipment, apparatus or appliance cited in the headings of chapter 84 or 85." This note indicates that the term "apparatus" means a working unit, an article which is able to complete its purpose by itself. The Terminations satisfy the description of an "apparatus." The Terminations are articles which are capable in and of themselves to complete their intended function of temporarily terminating an electrical circuit.

Explanatory Note (EN) 85.36 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HCDCS) provides that the apparatus of heading 8536, HTSUSA, are "used to connect together the various parts of an electrical circuit." HCDCS, EN 85.36, Vol. 4, p. 1390. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be looked to for proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). The Terminations in question satisfy this description. They are used to temporarily terminate or close an electrical circuit in circuits under 1,000 V in order to perform return loss measurements and balance tests.


The CMC Terminations are properly classified under subheading 8536.90.00, HTSUSA, which provides for "Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or in electrical circuits (for example, switches, relays, fuses, surge suppressor, plugs, sockets, lamp- holders, junction boxes), for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V...Other apparatus."

Subheading 8536.90.00, HTSUSA, is an eligible tariff provision for preferential treatment under the United States- Canada Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). If the Terminations are deemed to be goods originating in the territory of Canada, pursuant to General Note 3(c)(vii), HTSUSA, they will be eligible for preferential tariff treatment.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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