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HQ 950126

November 15, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950126 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8537.10.00; 8424.90.05

District Director of Customs
511 N.W. Broadway
Federal Building
Portland, OR 97209

RE: Control Console and Input/Output Cards for Grecon Spark Extinguishing System; Section XVI, Note 2(a); GRI 2(a); Protest No. 2904-91-000109

Dear Sir:

This is our response on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 2904-91-000109, dated July 22, 1991, concerning your action in classifying and assessing duty on control consoles and input/output cards for Grecon spark extinguishing systems under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise is used in Grecon spark extinguishing systems. These systems are used in sawmills to detect and extinguish fires in sawdust piles. The control console receives and processes signals from sensors, and automatically activates countermeasures. The input and output cards are actually part of the control console. These cards allow data to be processed through the control console. The input card is a means of inserting information and the output card is a means of extracting information. The input/output cards are integral to the operation of the control console. It appears that, at the time of importation, the cards have not been installed into the control console. The above merchandise is imported separately from the rest of the spark extinguishing system.


What is the classification of the control console and input/output cards under the 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 chapter or section notes.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 8424.90.05, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[p]arts: [o]f fire extinguishers." However, the merchandise was liquidated under subheading 8537.10.00, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[b]oards, panels, consoles, desks, cabinets and other bases, equipped with two or more apparatus of heading 8535 or 8536, for electric control or the distribution of electricity: [f]or a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V."

For classification purposes, because the input/output cards have not been installed into the control console, the merchandise is deemed to be unassembled. In dealing with unassembled goods, GRI 2(a) must be examined. It provides 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. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.

Section XVI, Note 2(a), HTSUSA, provides that:

[p]arts 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.

The control console and the input/output cards, although unassembled at the time of importation, definitely have the essential character of a complete control console under GRI 2(a). Therefore, the merchandise together is specifically provided for as a "control console" in subheading 8537.10.00, HTSUSA. Accordingly, under Section XVI, Note 2(a), HTSUSA, the merchandise is excluded from classification under subheading 8424.90.05, HTSUSA.


The control console and input/output cards are classifiable under subheading 8537.10.00, HTSUSA. The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and mailed to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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