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HQ 950060

November 6, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950060 AJS


TARIFF NO.: 9012.90.00

Mr. Byron Johnson
McClary, Swift & Co., Inc. - Blaine, Inc. P.O. Box 370
Blaine, WA 98230

RE: Optical memory subsystem; scanning electron microscope; heading 8471; subheading 8471.91.00; Chapter 84, note 5(A)(a); ENs 90.12 (A); Chapter 90, note 2(b); United States- Canada Free-Trade Agreement; General Note 3(c)(vii)(B).

Dear Mr. Johnson:

Your letter of July 10, 1991, regarding the classification of the "Scanning Electron Microscopy Image Management System" (System) has been forwarded to this office for reply.


The article under consideration is the Optical Memory Subsystem (OMS) of the System. It is a microcomputer based image archiving system designed for scanning electron microscopes. The OMS captures, digitizes, forms a database, enhances and archives images from a scanning electron microscope. These images are indexed in a master database by batch name or reference number and then stored on removable optical disks.


Whether the OMS is properly classifiable within heading 8471, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for automatic data processing (ADP) machines and units thereof; or classifiable within heading 9012, HTSUSA, which provides for "[m]icro- scopes . . . parts and accessories thereof."


Heading 8471, HTSUSA, provides for ADP machines and units thereof. It is claimed that the OMS is classifiable within subheading 8471.91.00, HTSUSA, which provides for digital processing units. ADP machines are digital machines capable of (1) storing the processing program or programs and at least the data immediately necessary for execution of the program; (2) being freely programmed in accordance with the requirements of the user; (3) performing arithmetical computations specified by the user; and (4) executing, without human intervention, a processing program which requires them to modify their execution, by logical decision during the processing run. Chapter 84, note 5(A)(a). After examining the submitted literature, the OMS does not appear capable of satisfying numbers (2) and (4) of the above legal note. Accordingly, it is not properly classifiable within subheading 8471.91.00, HTSUSA, as a digital processing unit.

Heading 9012, HTSUSA, provides for microscopes and parts and accessories thereof. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) state that this heading includes scanning electron microscopes. ENs 90.12 (A), p. 1478 (1991). Parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with scanning electron microscopes are to be classified within this heading. ENs 90.12, p. 1478; See also Chapter 90, note 2(b). The OMS satisfies this description. It is image archiving system designed for and used with scanning electron microscopes. Accordingly, the OMS is properly classifiable within this heading. More specifically, it is described within subheading 9012.90.00, HTSUSA, which provides for parts and accessories of a scanning electron microscope.

The United-States Canada Free-Trade Agreement ("CFTA") states in part:
goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for treatment as "goods originating in the territory of Canada" only if--

(1) they are goods wholly obtained or produced in the territory of Canada and/or the United States, or

(2) they have been transformed in the territory of Canada and/or the United States, so as to be subject--

(I) to a change in tariff classification as described in the rules of subdivision
(c)(vii)(R) of this note, or

(II) to such other requirements subdivision (c)(vii)(R) of this note may provide when no change in tariff classification occurs, and they meet the other conditions set out in subdivisions of this note.

General Note 3(c)(vii)(B), HTSUSA, as amended by Presidential Proclamation 6142 of May 25, 1990.

Information has not been provided to establish whether or not the OMS is a good originating in the territory of Canada. Accordingly, status under the CFTA cannot be determined at this time.


The Optical Memory Subsystem is classifiable within subheading 9012.90.00, HTSUSA, which provides for parts and accessories of microscopes, other than optical microscopes. Merchandise of this subheading is dutiable at the General Column 1 rate of 6.2 percent ad valorem, or 4.3 percent ad valorem if eligible for treatment under the CFTA.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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