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HQ 952293

October 31, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952293 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8537.10.00

Ms. Ruth Maness
Burlington Air Imports
P.O. Box 59943
Oklahoma City, OK

RE: Revocation of HQ 088599, HQ 085355, and HQ 087108; Infrared Universal Remote Controller; Control Panel; Explanatory Note 85.37; Section XVI, Note 2(a); Heading 8529

Dear Ms. Maness:

This is in response to your letters of July 2, 1992, and of July 20, 1992, on behalf of Jasco Products, Inc., concerning the classification of universal remote controllers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise consists of infrared universal remote controllers, model nos. 8257, 8253, 8254, and 8263, for use with televisions, video cassette recorders (VCR's), cable boxes, and compact disc (CD) players. The controllers are pre-programmed for use with various brands of televisions, VCR's, and CD players. When a code number is entered into one of the controllers, it activates the necessary program to operate a particular apparatus. The controllers are intended to replace individual remotes which may have become lost or damaged, or to replace those which are capable of limited control of the above described devices.


Whether the controllers are classifiable under heading 8537, HTSUS, which provides for: "[b]oards, panels (including numerical control panels), consoles, desks, cabinets and other bases, equipped with two or more apparatus of heading 8535 or 8536, for electrical control or the distribution of electricity . . .", or under heading 8529, HTSUS, which provides for: "[p]arts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528"?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS 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.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). In part, Explanatory Note 85.37 (p. 1391), HTSUS, states that:

[t]hese consist of an assembly of apparatus of the kind referred to in the two preceding headings (e.g., switches and fuses) on a board, panel, console, etc., or mounted in a cabinet, desk, etc. They usually also incorporate meters, and sometimes also subsidiary apparatus such as transformers, valves, regulators, rheostats, or luminous circuit diagrams.

The goods of this heading vary from small switchboards with only a few switches, fuses, etc. (e.g., for lighting installations) to complex control panels for machine tools, rolling mills, power stations, radio stations, etc., including assemblies of several of the articles cited in the text of this heading.

It is our position that the subject controllers are classifiable under heading 8537, HTSUS. The controllers function in a manner similar to the control panel located within the receiver of a television, VCR, or CD player. The controllers can turn a receiver on or off, they can adjust volume, and they can switch channels. One of the only substantive differences in function between a control panel within a receiver and the subject controllers is that the controllers are operational from a remote area. Consequently, we find that the subject controllers are specifically described under heading 8537, HTSUS.

Section XVI, note 2(a), HTSUS, states 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.

Because the controllers are specifically described under heading 8537, HTSUS, under section XVI, note 2(a), HTSUS, they cannot be classifiable as parts under heading 8529, HTSUS.


The infrared universal remote controllers are classifiable under subheading 8537.10.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[b]oards, panels (including numerical control panels), consoles, desks, cabinets and other bases, equipped with two or more apparatus of heading 8535 or 8536, for electrical control or the distribution of electricity . . .: [f]or a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V." The general, column one rate of duty is 5.3 percent.


HQ 088599, dated May 2, 1991, HQ 085355, dated January 4, 1990, and HQ 087108, dated August 29, 1990, dealt with the classification of remote controllers similar to the models now under consideration. In those rulings, the controllers were held to be classifiable under heading 8529, HTSUS. Based upon the reasoning in this ruling, those three rulings will be revoked in full.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division?

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