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HQ 085971

March 9, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085971 MBR


TARIFF NO.: 8527.11.60

Mr. Douglas W. Sirinek
Sharp Electronics Corp.
Sharp Plaza
P.O. Box 650
Mahwah, N.J. 07430

RE: Radio, tape recorder, compact disc player combination portable stereos (Models QT-CD25, QT-CD26 and GF-CD55)

Dear Mr. Sirinek:

This is in reply to your letter of November 9, 1989, on behalf of Sharp Electronics Corporation, requesting classification of portable stereo combinations, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


All three models are single cassette tape recorders (which have the capability to record), with AM/FM radios and compact disc players (Models QT-CD25, QT-CD26 and GF-CD55). All three models are portable and can operate on batteries or alternating current with the use of an adapter. The GF-CD55 has detachable speakers, while the other two do not.


What is the classification of portable tape recorder-AM/FM- compact disc player stereo combinations under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


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

...classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes... Heading 8527 clearly provides for all three models:

"[r]eception apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy or radiobrodcasting, whether or not combined, in the same housing, with sound recording or reproducing apparatus or a clock: [r]adiobroadcast receivers capable of operating without an external source of power, including apparatus capable of receiving also radiotelephony or radiotelegraphy: [c]ombined with sound recording or reproducing apparatus."

It has been suggested that the instant merchandise is prima facie classifiable under the following three subheadings:

8527.11.20 Radio-tape recorder combinations

8527.11.40 Radio-phonograph combinations

8527.11.60 Other

However, it is Customs position that the provisions for "radio- tape recorder combinations" and "radio-phonograph combinations" were intended to include only that which is specified, eo nomine, in these particular subheadings.

Therefore, the instant radio-tape recorder-compact disk player combinations are classifiable only under 8527.11.60, HTSUSA, by operation of GRI 1.

Further, it is important to note that audio laser disk players (i.e., compact disk or "CD") are not classifiable under the provisions for phonographs or record players. The very definition of a phonograph requires the reproduction of sound by means of the vibration of a stylus or needle. Whereas, audio laser disk players operate on laser technology that does not involve the use of a needle or stylus. Thus, these technologies are separate and distinct from each other.


Radio-tape recorder-compact disc player combination portable stereos (Sharp Electronics Corp. Models QT-CD25, QT-CD26 and GF- CD55) are classifiable under subheading 8527.11.60, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[r]adiobrodcast receivers capable of operating without an external source of power...: [c]ombined with sound recording or reproducing apparatus: [o]ther." The rate of duty is 3.7% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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