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HQ 952100

September 15, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952100 AJS


TARIFF NO.: 8517.82.00

Mr. Paul J. Mila
Director of Operations
Online Resources & Communications Corp.
1313 Dolley Madison Blvd.
Mclean, VA 22101

RE: Online 120 Transaction and Communication Terminal; Subheading 8470.50.00; EN 84.70 (C); cash register; H. Conf. Rep. No. 576; EN 85.17; HQ 086253; NY 859016.

Dear Mr. Mila:

Your letter of May 8, 1992, requesting the tariff class- ification of the "ONLINE 120 Transaction and Communication Terminal" (Online) under subheading 8470.50.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), has been referred to this office for reply.


The Online is described as a transaction data-display, transmission terminal used primarily for bill paying and other debit applications such as banking, home shopping, off-track betting, catalog purchasing, health claims, and other transaction-based services delivered to homes, offices and other remote locations. It also has an auxiliary telephone function, incorporating menu dialing and inbound caller identification.

The Online has an LCD display, modem, numeric input pad, programmable keys, dedicated function keys, 8-bit micro- processor, 8K Ram, 512B EEprom, 64K Rom, and built-in pinpad for authorizing and initiating transaction debits, and K-type handset.


Whether the Online is properly classifiable within subheading 8470.50.00, HTSUS, which provides for cash registers; or within subheading 8517.82.00, HTSUS, which provides for other telegraphic apparatus.


Heading 8470, HTSUS, provides for cash registers. It is suggested that the Online is properly classifiable within this heading. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) state that cash registers are used in shops, offices, etc., to provide a record of all transactions (sales, services rendered, etc.) as they occur, of the amounts involved, the total of the amounts recorded and, in some cases, the code number of the article sold, quantity sold, time of transaction, etc. EN 84.70 (C), p. 1295 (1992). Usually, the result is visually displayed and printed, at the same time, on a ticket for the customer and on a tallyroll which is periodically removed from the machine for checking purposes. EN 84.70 (C). These machines are often combined with a till or drawer in which the cash is kept. EN 84.70 (C).

The Online does not satisfy these descriptions of a cash register. It is not used to provide a record of transactions, but principally for the transmission of information. While the ENs are not dispositive, they provide a commentary on the scope of each heading and offer guidance for interpretation of the HTSUS. H. Conf. Rep. No. 576, 100th Cong., 2d Sess., p. 550, reprinted in 1988 U.S. CODE CONG. ADMIN. NEWS p. 1582. Accord- ingly, we consider the above ENs instructive for determining that the Online does not satisfy the terms of heading 8470, HTSUS.

Heading 8517, HTSUS, provides for electrical apparatus for line telephony or telegraphy. These apparatus are for the transmission between two points of speech or other sounds (or of symbols representing written messages, images or other data) by variation of an electric current or of an optical wave flowing in a metallic or dielectric (copper, optical fibers, combination cable, etc.) circuit connecting the transmitting station to the receiving station. The Online satisfies this description. It is principally used for the transmission of data between two points. We view the above EN instructive for finding that the Online satisfies the terms of heading 8517, HTSUS. More specifically, the Online is described within subheading 8517.82.00, HTSUS, which provides for other telegraphic apparatus.

In HQ 086253 (May 15, 1990), Customs addressed the class- ification of an enhanced telephone which allowed the user to transmit banking information (e.g., accounts, transfer funds, pay bills, buy and sell securities, and have electronic mail communications with customer service). We found that the enhanced telephone was principally used for transmitting data between two points. Consequently, we ruled that this type of device was also classified as a telegraphic apparatus within subheading 8517.82.00, HTSUS. The subject Online performs similar functions. As discussed previously, it is principally used for the transmission of data. Therefore, we find this ruling instructive for classifying the Online within subheading 8517.82.00, HTSUS.

New York (NY) 859016 (January 4, 1991), is cited in support of the proposed classification. The merchandise in that ruling was used by businesses to record sales transactions as they occurred. The Online is not used for this type of operation. As discussed above, the Online is used principally to transmit data. Thus, we do not find this ruling instructive for determining the classification of the Online.


The Online is classifiable within subheading 8517.82.00, HTSUS, which provides for other telegraphic apparatus currently dutiable at the General Column 1 rate of 4.7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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