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 0088106 - HQ 0088463 > HQ 0088316

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 088316

July 12, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 088316 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 9009.90.0030; 9902.90.90

R. Brian Burke, Esq.
Rode & Qualey
295 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017

RE: Photocopier Machinery Belts; Parts of Photocopying Apparatus of Heading 9009, HTSUSA.

Dear Mr. Burke:

This ruling is in response to your letter of November 8, 1990, on behalf of your client, Konica Business Machines, USA, Inc., requesting the classification of various photocopier belts under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples were forwarded for our examination.


Sample No. 1 is a document conveyance belt, Part No. 190041020, used in the automatic feed unit of an electrostatic photocopying machine. It is an endless loop measuring 100 cm in length, 32 cm in width, and is composed of vulcanized urethane rubber without any textile or other components. It is used to convey documents through the automatic document feeder to the platen glass of the photocopier for scanning, then removes it from the platen glass and out the exit section of the automatic document feeder.

Sample No. 2 is a paper feed belt, Part No. 312041100, used in the paper feed unit of an electrostatic photocopying machine. It is a closed loop approximately 17 cm in length, 2 cm in width, and is composed of 85% vulcanized urethane rubber reinforced with 15% nylon fiber. This belt moves copy paper from the paper tray a short distance through the paper feed section of the machine in conjunction with sets of rollers.

Sample No. 3 is a timing (synchronous) belt, Part No. 167077710, used in the main drive unit of the large capacity tray of an electrostatic photocopying machine. It is a closed loop, toothed belt, 6.5 cm wide, consisting of 79% vulcanized urethane rubber reinforced with 8% nylon fiber.

This belt synchronizes the transmission of power from the main motor assembly through a timing pulley to the center conveyance clutch and the paper feed clutch which move the paper tray into the proper position.

Citing GRI 1, Legal Notes 1(a) and 2(b) to Chapter 90, and Headquarters Ruling Letter 083459 of March 23, 1990, you maintain that the above-described belts are classifiable in subheading 9009.90.0030, HTSUSA, the provision for photocopier parts and accessories. Subheading 9902.90.90, HTSUSA, accords duty free status to goods classifiable in subheading 9009.90.0030, HTSUSA, provided they are imported on or before December 31, 1992.


Whether the machinery belts in question are classifiable as photocopier parts in heading 9009, HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 9009, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part, for "[p]hotocopying apparatus...and parts and accessories thereof." Chapter 90, Legal Note 2(b), indicates, in pertinent part, that:

2. Subject to note 1 above, parts and accessories for machines, apparatus, instruments or articles of this chapter are to be classified according to the following rules:

(b) Other parts and accessories, if suitable for use solely with a particular kind of machine, instrument, or apparatus... are to be classified with that machine.

Chapter 90, Legal Note 1(a), indicates, that:

1. This chapter does not cover:

(a) Articles of a kind used in machines, appliances or for other technical uses, of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber (heading 4016)....

Thus, if any of the articles in question are covered by heading 4016, they cannot be classified as parts of photocopying apparatus in heading 9009.

Heading 4016, HTSUSA, provides for other articles of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber. The Explanatory Note to heading 4016 indicates that the heading includes:

(9) Pump rotors and moulds; other articles for technical uses (including parts and accessories of machines and appliances of Section XVI and of instruments and apparatus of Chapter 90). (Emphasis added.)

The Note cautions, however, that classification in heading 4016 is dependant upon a finding that the article in question is not covered by the preceding headings of that Chapter or by other Chapters.

Here, the belts in question are covered by heading 4010, HTSUSA, which provides for conveyor or transmission belts or belting, of vulcanized rubber or (as indicated by Chapter 40, Legal Note 8) of textile fabric impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with rubber. Consequently, they are not classifiable in heading 4016, HTSUSA, and Chapter 90, Legal Note 1(a), does not apply. As the articles represented by the samples are suitable for use solely with a particular kind of machine, a photocopier, they are classifiable in heading 9009 as parts of a photocopying apparatus.


Part Nos 190041020, 312041100, and 167077710 are classifiable in subheading 9009.90.0030, HTSUSA, which provides for photocopying apparatus incorporating an optical system or of the contact type and thermocopying apparatus; parts and accessories thereof: parts and accessories, parts and accessories of electrostatic photocopying apparatus operating by reproducing the original image via an intermediate onto the copy (indirect process). The General rate of duty is 3.9 percent ad valorem.

Articles classifiable in subheading 9009.90.00, HTSUSA, are subject to a temporary modification in duty under subchapter II, Chapter 99. Heading 9902.90.90, HTSUSA, provides that parts of electrostatic copying machines which operate via an intermediate process may enter the U.S. free of duty if entered on or before December 31, 1992.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling