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HQ 952878

FEBRUARY 11, 1993

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 952878 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8548.00.00, HTSUS

Mr. David L. Mohn
International Electronic Products
Corporation of America
6-8 Williams Street
Whitehall, NY 12887-1119

RE: Piezoelectric Buzzer Element; Electric Sound or Visual Signaling Apparatus; Fire Alarm Part, Subheading 8531.90.00, HTSUS; Electrical Parts of Machinery; Principal Use

Dear Mr. Mohn:

In your letter of October 22, 1992, you inquire as to the tariff classification of a piezoelectric buzzer element, designated part DMX1029, that you propose to import from China. A sample was submitted.

In a letter to you, dated October 24, 1991 (HQ 950061), we ruled that a similar buzzer element, designated part AB-27T- 4.0A, was classifiable in subheading 8548.00.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), a provision for electrical parts of machinery or apparatus, not specified or included elsewhere in [chapter 85].


You state that the only difference between buzzer element AB-27T-4.0A and the one designated DMX1029 is a slightly larger diameter. For this reason, the physical description of buzzer element AB-27T-4.0A, outlined the HQ 950061, is incorporated by reference in this letter.

You enclose literature from an electronics company describing a series of smoke detectors that incorporate an "alarm horn." You state that this reference is to the buzzer element in issue. In you opinion, this reference establishes the buzzer elements represented by part DMX1029 are parts principally used in smoke detectors. You contend that the provision for parts of electric sound or visual signaling apparatus, in subheading 8531.90.00, HTSUS, represents the appropriate classification. - 2 -


Whether piezoelectric buzzer element DMX1029 is principally used with apparatus of heading 8531.


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.

Under the legal authority cited in HQ 950061, a provision for parts of an article covers products solely or principally used as a part of such article. Principal use in each case depends on the evidence presented, with the burden of proof falling on the one seeking to establish such use.

Whenever possible, Customs will view available evidence in the light most favorable to the importer. In this case, however, there is nothing in the character or appearance of part DMX1029 that permits any inference as to its principal use. In addition, the literature you have submitted does not identify the "alarm horn" used as part of the smoke detectors as being part DMX1029. Even if it did, this would be evidence of the buzzer element's actual use, but would not negate potential uses in other electrical signaling appliances or apparatus, such as those of heading 8512.

Subheading 8541.60.00 HTSUS, a provision not addressed in HQ 950061, provides for mounted piezoelectric crystals. This provision carries a 4.2 percent ad valorem rate of duty. Mounted piezoelectric crystals are mainly barium titanate, lead titanate zirconate or other crystals [of heading 3823]. They are classified in this provision only if mounted. These articles are generally in the form of plates, bars, discs, rings, etc., and must, at least, be equipped with electrodes or electric connections. They may be coated with graphite, varnish, etc., or arranged on supports and they are often inside an envelope (e.g., metal box, glass bulb). We are unable to determine from the available evidence whether the buzzer elements in issue are mounted for purposes of subheading 8541.60.00.


Buzzer elements not covered more specifically by a heading of any other chapter of the HTSUS, or for which no principal use can be established, as the case may be, are classifiable as electrical parts of machinery or apparatus, not specified or - 3 -
included elsewhere in [chapter 85], in subheading 8548.00.00, HTSUS. The rate of duty under this provision is 3.9 percent ad valorem.

Drawings, brochures and advertisements, as well as statements from manufacturers, users, buyers and sellers, or other persons having information as to the use or uses of these buzzer elements constitute viable sources of information as to their principal use. Customs will carefully consider any such evidence you may wish to present in the future as to the issue of principal use, or the possible applicability of subheading 8541.60.00, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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