United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0952280 - HQ 0952373 > HQ 0952350

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 952350

October 8, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952350 EJD


TARIFF NO: 8544.41.00

Ms. Linda Crockett
Import Manager
Porter International Incorporated
P.O. Box 81488
San Diego, California 92138

RE: Sensor Extension Cables; Subheading 9018.19.80; ENs to Chapters 85, 90; ENs to Section XVI; Heading 8544; EN 85.44; HQs 088124, 088997

Dear Ms. Crockett:

This is in response to your letter dated July 15, 1992, to the Area Director of Customs in New York, on behalf of Nellcor Incorporated, concerning the tariff classification of NELLCOR EC- 4, EC-8 and Siemens cables under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter together with the samples were forwarded to this office for a response.


All the items are made in Hong Kong. The NELLCOR EC-4 cable is 4 feet/1.2 m in length, the NELLCOR EC-8 cable is 8 feet/2.4 m in length, and the NELLCOR Siemens cable is 110 inches/3.5 m in length. They are insulated cables, not to exceed 5 volts. The cables are sensor extension cables which are to be used only to increase the cable length between a NELLCOR sensor and a NELLCOR oximeter, oximeter module or patient module.

You believe that these cables should be classified under subheading 9018.19.80, HTSUS, as parts and accessories of electro-diagnostic apparatus.


What is the tariff classification for the NELLCOR EC-4, EC- 8 and Siemens cables under the HTSUS?


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

You maintain that NELLCOR EC-4, EC-8 and the Siemens cables are parts or accessories designed for electro-diagnostic apparatus and should be classified under subheading 9018.19.80, HTSUS.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HCDCS) Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the notes should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80.

The ENs to Chapter 90, HTSUS, state, in pertinent part, that

2. * * * [P]arts and accessories for machines, apparatus, instruments or articles of this Chapter are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts and accessories which are goods included in any of the headings of this Chapter or of Chapter 84, 85 or 91 (other than heading No. 84.85, 85.48 or 90.33) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings;


* * * [P]arts or accessories identifiable as suitable for use solely or principally with the machines, appliances, instruments or apparatus of this Chapter are classified with those machines, appliances, etc.

This general rule does not, however, apply to:

(1) Parts or accessories which in themselves constitute articles falling in any particular heading of this Chapter or of Chapter 84, 85 or 91 ... transformers, electro-magnets, capacitors, resistors, relays, lamps or valves, etc., remain classified in Chapter 85....

HCDCS, p. 1455 and 1457 (1992). Thus, if NELLCOR EC-4, EC-8 and the Siemens cables are included in Chapter 85, they cannot be classified under subheading 9018.19.80, HTSUS.

Chapter 85, HTSUS, covers electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof. General EN (A) to Chapter 85, SCOPE AND STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER states, in pertinent part, that

This Chapter covers:

(7) Certain articles and materials which are used in electrical apparatus and equipment because of their conducting or insulating properties, such as insulated electric wire and assemblies thereof (heading 85.44), insulators (heading 85.46), insulating fittings and metal conduit tubing with an interior insulating lining (heading 85.47). (Emphasis Added.)

HCDCS, p. 1332 (1992).

Heading 8544, HTSUS, provides for insulated wire and cable fitted with connectors. EN 85.44 of the HCDCS states that "[p]rovided they are insulated, this heading covers electric wire, cable and other conductors (e.g., braids, strip, bars) used as conductors in electrical machinery, apparatus or installations." HCDCS, p. 1403 (1992). Furthermore, cables remain classified in this heading if cut to length or fitted with connectors (e.g., plugs, sockets, lugs, jacks, sleeves or terminals) at one or both ends. HCDCS, p. 1404 (1992).

The subject articles satisfy these descriptions. They are insulated cable fitted with connectors which are used to increase the cable length between a NELLCOR sensor and a NELLCOR oximeter, oximeter module or patient module.

Accordingly, we consider the above ENs instructive for determining that the subject articles satisfy the terms of heading 8544, HTSUS. More specifically, they are described within subheading 8544.41.00, HTSUS, which provides for

Insulated (including enamelled or anodized) wire, cable (including coaxial cable) and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fiber cables, made up of individually sheathed fibers, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors...[o]ther electric conductors, for a voltage not exceeding 80 V...[f]itted with connectors.

See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 088124, dated March 8, 1991, and HQ 088997, dated July 10, 1991.


The NELLCOR EC-4, EC-8 and Siemens cables are classifiable under subheading 8544.41.00, HTSUS, as insulated cable for a voltage not exceeding 80 V. The General Column 1 rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: