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HQ 953217

July 2, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953217 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 8544.41.00, 7616.90.00

Ms. Kathleen Crawford
BDP International Inc.
1017 4th Avenue
Lester, PA 19029-1813

RE: Resistive Cables; Electrical Conductors; EN 85.44; Aluminum Reeling Frames

Dear Ms. Crawford:

In your letters of September 10, 1992, and December 8, 1992, to the Regional Commissioner of Customs in New York, you inquired as to the tariff classification of resistive cables and reeling frames under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letters were referred to this office for a direct response.


According to the information provided, there are two types of merchandise being imported, resistive cables and a reeling frame. The resistive cables are comprised of a filament of cloth material impregnated with carbon and insulated with a neoprene material and are fitted with connectors. The reeling frame is made of aluminum and is capable of lodging up to eight fiber optic cables up to a length of 150 meters.


I. Are the resistive cables classified as electrical conductors under the HTSUS?

II. What is the proper classification under the HTSUS for the reeling frames?


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 shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

I. In your letter, you indicate that the resistive cables are used in applications where electromagnetic interference may affect the electrical signals derived from various output devices. Electric cables are provided for in heading 8544, HTSUS. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the HTSUS. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. EN 85.44, page 1404, states in part:

[p]rovided they are insulated, this heading covers electric wire, cable and other conductors (e.g., braids, strips, bars) used as conductors in electrical machinery, apparatus or installations. . . .

The goods of this heading are made up of the following elements:

(A) A conductor- this may be single strand or multiple, and may be wholly of one metal or of different metals.

(B) One or more coverings of insulating material- the aim of these coverings is to prevent leakage of electric current from the conductor, and to protect it against damage. . . .

According to McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, Volume 8, page 195, carbon fibers are "flexible, lightweight, thermally and to a large extent chemically inert, and are good thermal and electrical conductors." The resistive cables, consisting of carbon as a conductor and the neoprene material as an insulating cover, meet the criteria set forth in EN 85.44. We find that the resistive cables are classifiable under subheading 8544.41.00, HTSUS, which provides for insulated electric conductors fitted with connectors.

II. The reeling frame, made of aluminum, is capable of lodging up to eight fiber optic cables up to a length of 150 meters. Articles of aluminum, not provided for elsewhere in the Nomenclature, are covered in heading 7616, HTSUS. The reeling frame is provided for in subheading 7616.90.00, HTSUS, as other articles of aluminum.


The resistive cables are classifiable under subheading 8544.41.00, HTSUS, which provides for:

"[i]nsulated (included enameled 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. . ."

The general, column one rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The reeling frame is classifiable under subheading 7616.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[o]ther articles of aluminum: [o]ther. . . " The general, column one rate of duty is 5.7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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