United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0087323 - HQ 0088099 > HQ 0087907

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 087907

July 26, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 087907 CMS


TARIFF NO.: 8471.99.30, 8471.99.60

District Director of Customs
909 First Ave., Rm. 2039
Seattle, WA 98174

RE: Protest No. 3001-89-01184; Power Supply Units; Physical Incorporation Into Units Of Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Machines; Rectification; Transformation

Dear District Director:

This protest was filed against your liquidations dated July 28, 1989, through September 29, 1989, in which certain power supply units were classified in subheading 8471.99.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise is described by the protestant on the CF 19 as "power supply units". The devices consist of a circuit board on which various electronic components are mounted. After importation, the boards are physically incorporated into Deskjet printers. The devices convert a low voltage AC source into regulated and unregulated DC voltages.

The devices also transform or change higher voltage into lower voltage, control electrical noise, store power in the event of a power disruption, and cause the computer to store data or shut the power supply down in the event of a malfunction. The protest attachment on p. 2 states that the boards also include a fan, but the protestant advised on July 17, 1991, that this statement was erroneous and that no fans were included in the power supply units under consideration.


Is the merchandise classified as ADP power supplies in 8471.99.30, HTSUSA, or as other ADP units in 8471.99.60, HTSUSA?


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

Heading 8471 in pertinent part describes automatic data processing (ADP) machines and units thereof. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 8471, p. 1300, provide that the heading covers "[p]ower supply units, whose main function is to supply continuously...the appropriate stabilised power level in response to the requirements of the various units making up that system" (emphasis in original).

The main function of the merchandise under consideration is to continuously supply the appropriate stabilised power level in response to the requirements of the system. Protestant's correspondence to Customs dated March 27, 1991, states that "...the subject power supply is used in the Deskjet family of printers for the purpose of converting a low voltage AC source...into regulated and unregulated DC voltages. These DC voltages are then used by the electronics in the Deskjet printer to run the logic, motors, keypad...".

Protestant argues on the CF 19 that the merchandise is not classified as power supplies, because they "...perform several important functions in addition to the 'supply of stabilised power'". Protestant cites Digital Equipment Corporation v. United States, 12 CIT 966, 710 F. Supp. 1381 (1988), aff'd., 889 F. 2d 267 (Fed. Cir. 1989), which held that a certain article was "more than" rectifying apparatus under the TSUS, and was classified as parts of ADP machines.

The conversion or rectification of power is but one of several operations which may be performed by power supplies in carrying out their main function of continuously supplying the appropriate stabilised power level. Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, 7th Ed. (1989), p. 2301, provides that in addition to rectification, power supplies may perform "voltage change", "voltage regulation", "change frequency", "regulate frequency", "filter" and "change and regulate voltage".

Digital Equipment Corporation, supra, which found that a certain apparatus was "more than" rectifying apparatus under the TSUS, is not instructive in determining whether a certain article is described as a power supply under the classification principles of the HTSUSA.

The merchandise was properly classified as a power supply in subheading 8471.99.30, HTSUSA.


The merchandise was properly classified as a power supply in subheading 8471.99.30, HTSUSA. The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Form 19 Notice of Action.


Previous Ruling Next Ruling