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HQ 950241

November 21, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950241 MBR


TARIFF NO.: 8442.10.00; 8524.90.40

Ms. Nadine M. Silsbie
Brian A. Hill & Company, Inc.
Hill Cargo Facility
Logan Airport
E. Boston, MA 02128

RE: Color Scanner Systems; Raster Image Process; Analyse Unit; Scanner Data Terminal; Visual Display Unit; High Speed Printer; Floppy Disk Drive Unit; Typesetting Machinery, Apparatus And Equipment; Graphics and Lettering Composing System

Dear Ms. Silsbie:

This is in response to your letter dated July 26, 1991, requesting a classification ruling on behalf of E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, regarding "Scanners" for phototypesetting, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


You describe the merchandise as follows. The "Scanners" are a high-technology device used for the production of texts, forms, and illustrations that are used in professional printing. The basic "Scanner" system consists of an "analyse" unit, one or more "expose" units, and peripheral equipment such as a film punch and film loading table.

Transmission copy or reflection copy can be scanned/composed on the analyse unit to produce up to four separations in one scan (one for each color represented in the printing process).

The use of Electronic Dot Generation (EDG) or Raster Image Process (RIP) eliminates the need of expensive contact screens to produce half-tone separations. EDG/RIP gives perfect prediction and maximum light for exposure. The operator can choose from four dot shapes, positive or negative dots, a wide range of screen rulings and a wide range of enlargement values.

Some models include a "Scanner Data Terminal" (SDT), which enables an enhanced job set-up mode. As an option, it can include a 300 Mbyte removable (CDC) and/or Winchester-type disk drives for disk scanning modes. The SDT consists of several units: a dual floppy disk drive and controller, visual display unit (VDU) and keyboard, and a high speed printer.


Is the "Scanner" system classified as machinery, apparatus and equipment for typesetting in Heading 8442?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 provides, in pertinent part:

...classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...

Heading 8442, HTSUSA, in part describes machinery, equipment and apparatus for typesetting. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) to Heading 8442, HTSUSA, p. 1234, provide that the heading covers machines "...used to assemble (compose or set) it [(type)] for use in printing, whether by hand or mechanically..." and "...includes composing machines using a laser beam projected onto photographic film." The Explanatory Notes, p. 1237, provide that Heading 8442 "...covers only phototype-setting or composing machines which actually set type even if the type is photographed after it has been set" (emphasis in original).

The classification of the Purup graphics and lettering composing system, and all its system components entered separately, except the scanner and imagesetter, was determined in Headquarters Ruling Letter HQ 086122, dated January 17, 1991. The classification of a scanner and imagesetter entered separately was determined in HQ 088459, dated November 4, 1991. The Purup ImageMaker, consisting of a laser imagesetter with a dedicated computer control console and raster image processor (without ADP machine) was classified in HQ 089808, dated October 24, 1991.

It is clear that the instant "Scanner" system, like the Purup systems, perform the function of phototypesetting or composing. Chapter 84, Legal Note 5, provides in part, that machines incorporating or working in conjunction with automatic data processing machines and performing a specific function are classified in the heading appropriate to their respective functions. The Scanner system has no other utility than the performance of the specific function of phototypesetting or
composing, a function described by Heading 8442, HTSUSA.

GRI 2.(a) provides, in pertinent part, that: "[a]ny reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article."

The basic Scanner system with the analyse and expose units has the essential character of a complete phototypesetting and composing machine, even though other units may be added to expand the system's capabilities.

It should be noted that the use of the instant merchandise for phototypesetting clearly distinguishes it from the merchandise ruled upon in HQ 086082.


The basic Scanner system with the analyse and expose units has the essential character of the complete phototypesetting and composing machine, even though other units may be added to expand the system's capabilities. Therefore it is classifiable in subheading 8442.10.00, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[m]achinery, apparatus and equipment..., for type-founding or typesetting, for preparing or making printing blocks, plates, cylinders and other printing components: [p]hototypesetting and composing machines. The rate of duty is Free. Therefore, systems also including the Scanner Data Terminal and other additional VDU, printer, and disk drive units would be similarly classifiable in heading 8442.10.00, HTSUSA.

All software is classifiable under subheading 8524.90.40, HTSUSA, which provides for recorded media, whether or not entered with the rest of the system. The rate of duty is 9.7 cents/m2 of recording surface.


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