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HQ 951802

October 8, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 951802 AJS


TARIFF NO.: 8471.93.40

Mr. Jerrold E. Anderson
Katten Muchin & Zavis
525 West Monroe Street
Suite 1600
Chicago, Illinois 60661-3693

RE: Micro floppy disk drives; Heading 8471; Subheading 8471.93; Subheading 8471.93.30; HQ 951008; without attached external power supply; cabinet; Brookside Veneers, LTD v. United States.

Dear Mr. Anderson:

This is in reply to your letter of May 1, 1992, requesting the tariff classification of micro floppy disk drives from Japan under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The subject device is a micro floppy disk drive that is designed specifically for use with a notebook computer. Because of the limited internal space inherent in a notebook computer, the manufacturers of these computers have designed the floppy disk drives outside of the computer chassis. These floppy drives are able to accommodate 3 1/2 inch floppy disks, which are not included with the device. The drives are required to load original software onto the hard disk drive of the notebook computer. In addition, the floppy drives are required to save and back-up information stored on the hard disk drive.

The subject drives are connected to the motherboard through the parallel port interface on the back of the computer, while the hard drive is connected to the motherboard by ribbon cable from inside the chassis. The notebook computer passes data via the controller chips on the motherboard from the hard drive to the floppy disk drive and vice versa. These floppy drives are
externally mounted. The drives are housed in a plastic case with four feet type pads on the bottom of the case, and have no external power supply since they rely on the power of the computer. They consist of a such items as a printed circuit board assembly, spindle motor assembly, stepping motor assembly and head carriage assembly, and are claimed to be identical to the floppy drives found internally in desktop or laptop computers.


Whether the subject disk drives are classifiable within subheading 8471.93.30, HTSUS, which provides for other magnetic disk drive units which are "[n]ot assembled in cabinets, and without attached external power supply."; or within subheading 8471.93.40, HTSUS, which provides for "other" such disk drive units.


Heading 8471, HTSUS, provides for automatic data processing (ADP) machines and units thereof. The subject disk drives satisfy the terms of this heading. They are storage units of ADP machines. Subheading 8471.93, HTSUS, provides for storage units, whether or not entered with the rest of the system. Therefore, the subject units are properly classifiable within this subheading.

Subheading 8471.93.30, HTSUS, provides for magnetic disk drive units "[n]ot assembled in cabinets, and without attached external power supply." We have interpreted the phrase "without attached external power supply" to mean storage units without an attached power supply that operates on external power. HQ 951008 (May 14, 1992). The subject unit partially satisfies this description. It does not possess a power supply, and it operates on the external power of the computer. However, the unit is assembled in a cabinet. The term "cabinet" is not defined in the HTSUS. When this is the case, it is presumed that Congress intended to apply the term's common and commercial meaning. Brookside Veneers, LTD v. United States, 847 F.2d 789 (1988). A cabinet is described as an upright case housing a radio or television receiver. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, p. 309 (1986). The subject unit is enclosed in a case with feet which houses the unit in a manner similar to that of a small radio receiver. We do not interpret the term "cabinet" to encompass only a piece of furniture or housing for a television, but also an enclosure such as that which houses a small radio. Therefore, we are of the view that a unit housed in a manner similar to that of a radio, is assembled in a cabinet, and thus does not satisfy the terms of subheading 8471.93.30, HTSUS.

Subheading 8471.93.40, HTSUS, provides for "other" disk drive units without attached external power supply. The subject device satisfies the terms of this subheading. As discussed previously, it is a disk drive unit without an attached power supply. Therefore, the subject unit is classifiable within this subheading.


The micro floppy disk drive units are properly classifiable within subheading 8471.93.40, HTSUS, which provides for "other" magnetic disk drive units currently dutiable at the General Column 1 rate of 3.7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division?

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