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HQ 953168

March 31, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953168 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 8523.20.00

Mr. A.J. Spatarella
Kanematsu USA Inc.
114 West 47th Street-23rd Floor
New York, New York 10036

RE: Computer Hard Disks; heading 8473; EN 85.23; Section XVI, note 2(a); Chapter 85, note 6; HQ 086624

Dear Mr. Spatarella:

This is in response to your letter of January 4, 1993, requesting the classification of thin film computer hard disks under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The articles in question are aluminum base nickel plated disks for hard disk drives. The disks have a magnetic layer (sputtered) and are prepared to receive a program without further manufacture.


Whether the computer hard disks are classifiable as parts of automatic data processing (ADP) machines under heading 8473, HTSUS, or as prepared unrecorded magnetic disks under heading 8523, HTSUS.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ." - 2 -

The headings at issue are as follows:

8473 Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying cases and the like) suitable for use solely or principally with machines of headings 8469 to 8472

8523 Prepared unrecorded media for sound recording or similar recording of other phenomena, other than products of chapter 37

You argue that the articles in question, as the actual "hard disk" for a "hard disk drive," should be classified as parts and accessories of ADP machines under heading 8473, HTSUS. However, section XVI, note 2(a) provides that "[p]arts which are goods included in any of the headings of Chapters 84 and 85 . . . are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings." Moreover, note 6 to chapter 85 states that "media of heading 8523 or 8524 remain classified in those headings, whether or not they are entered with the apparatus for which they are intended." Thus, if the computer hard disks are classifiable as prepared unrecorded media under heading 8523, HTSUS, they cannot be classified as parts under heading 8473, HTSUS.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Co-operation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings.

EN 85.23, pg. 1372, states that heading 8523, HTSUS, covers media used for recording data for automatic data processing machines. The computer hard disks in question are media used for recording data for ADP machines, and are provided for, eo nomine, by heading 8523, HTSUS. See HQ 086624, dated May 4, 1990. Specifically, they are classifiable as magnetic disks under subheading 8523.20.00, HTSUS.


The computer hard disks are classifiable under subheading 8523.20.00, HTSUS, which provides for "[p]repared unrecorded media for sound recording or similar recording of other phenomena, other than products of chapter 37 . . . [m]agnetic - 3 -
discs." The corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading is 4.2% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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