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HQ 089595

October 31, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089595 MBR


TARIFF NO.: 8501.10.40

District Director
U.S. Customs
880 Front St., Room 5-S-9
San Diego, CA. 92188

RE: Internal Advice 30/91; Reconsideration of NY 857192; Systems Magnetic Company, Inc.; Voice Coil Motors; Parts Of Automatic Data Processing Machine Disk Drives; ADP;

Dear District Director:

This is in response to Internal Advice 30/91, requesting reconsideration of NY 857192 (November 8, 1990), regarding classification of voice coil motors under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA), has been forwarded to us for a reply.


The "voice coil motor" (VCM) performs positioning of the read/write head on a hard disk drive. Hard disk drives are magnetic disk storage units for automatic data processing systems (ADP). Positioning of the head is performed by electronic pulses transmitted to the VCM by the ADP's central processing unit

Coils are inserted in a moveable manner within the magnetic field of the voice coil motors. As the coil is moved through the magnetic field a current is induced throughout the coil. A signal is provided to a servo system which calculates the position of the coil and then calculates the desired position for the coil. This enables the positioning of the carriage on the media. The read/write head is mounted on the carriage.


Is the merchandise classified in Heading 8501, HTSUSA, which provides for motors, or in Heading 8473, HTSUSA, which provides for parts of ADP machines?


Internal Advice 30/91 seeks reconsideration of NY 857192, dated November 8, 1990, which held that voice coil motors are classifiable under subheading 8501.10.40, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[e]lectric motors and generators (excluding generator sets): [m]otors of an output not exceeding 37.5 W: [o]f under 18.65 W: [o]ther."

The requestor states that: "The VCM is an integral part of a computer's hard disk drive storage unit, and, it is specifically designed by SMC's customers for the sole and principal use on that particular customer's own products which are storage units." We do not differ with this representation of the VCM's use.

However, as we stated in HQ 088226, dated February 26, 1991, with regard to the coils for the voice coil motors:

Although the motors in which the coils are used are installed in computer hard disk drive units, the particular goods of which the coils are parts are the voice coil motors, not the disk drive units. The coils are suitable for use principally with the electric voice coil motors of Heading 8501. The coils are classified as parts of the electric motors of Heading 8501, in 8503.00.40, HTSUSA.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) to heading 8501, page 1334, state:

With the exception of starter motors for internal combustion engines (heading 85.11), the heading covers electric motors of all types from low power motors for use in instruments, clocks, time switches, sewing machines, toys, etc., up to large powerful motors for rolling mills, etc.

The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, should be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. See 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). As this EN states, heading 8501, HTSUSA, provides for "electric motors of all types." See HQ 087909, dated December 26, 1990.

The requestor argues that the voice coil motor is classifiable as a "part" of an ADP machine, even though it is specifically provided for under heading 8501, HTSUSA. Section XVI Legal Note 2(a) provides direction here. It states:

2. ...parts of machines...are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85
(other than headings 8485 and 8548) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings.

Therefore, although we agree that the voice coil motor is a "part" of an ADP disk drive unit, it is also a good included in heading 8501 (chapter 85), and is therefore classifiable "in all cases" in that respective heading. See HQ 086832, dated May 21, 1990, and HQ 083955, dated July 10, 1989.


The System Magnetic Company, Inc., voice coil motors for ADP disk drives, are classifiable as electric motors in subheading 8501.10.40, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[e]lectric motors and generators (excluding generator sets): [m]otors of an output not exceeding 37.5 W: [o]f under 18.65 W: [o]ther."

A copy of this decision should be provided to the Internal Advice applicant.


NY 857192, dated November 8, 1990, is affirmed for the above stated reasons.


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