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HQ 952866

April 30, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952866 CMS


TARIFF NO.: 9017.20.80

District Director of Customs
300 South Ferry Street
Terminal Island, Room 2017
San Pedro, CA 90731

RE: PRD 2704-92-103706; Flat Bed Pen Plotter; Drawing; Drafting Table; Computer Aided Design; CAD; Automatic Data Processing Machine; Control Unit; 9017.10.00

Dear District Director:

The following is our decision regarding the request for further review of Protest No. 2704-92-103706 concerning your action in classifying and assessing duty on a flat bed pen plotter and control unit under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise is described by the protestant as an automatic drafting table, model number 1550. The "table" consists of a flat bed pen plotter and control unit. The merchandise is used in a computer aided design (CAD) system for the design of automobiles. No workstation components with which the designs are created are entered with the merchandise.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 9017.10.00, HTSUS, as drafting tables and machines. However, the entry was liquidated on September 11, 1992, under subheading 9017.20.80, HTSUS, as other drawing instruments. The protest was timely filed by the protestant on September 14, 1992.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

9017.10.00: Drawing...instruments (for example, drafting machines...: Drafting tables and machines, whether or not automatic.

Goods classifiable under this provision are subject to a Column 1 General rate of duty of 4.9%, ad valorem.

9017.20.80: Drawing...instruments (for example, drafting machines...: ...Other drawing...instruments: ...Other.

Goods classifiable under this provision are subject to a Column 1 General rate of duty of 5.8%, ad valorem.


Is the merchandise classified under subheading 9017.10.00, HTSUS, as drafting tables and machines, or under subheading 9017.20.80, HTSUS, as other drawing instruments?


The HTSUS provides that the classification of articles is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "...classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...".

Heading 9017 in part describes "Drawing...instruments (for example, drafting machines...)". Heading 9017 encompasses drawing instruments of the type used in CAD and for other high precision applications. It is not disputed that the merchandise under consideration is classified in heading 9017.

It is stated in the protest that the merchandise is an "Automatic Drawing Machine". The merchandise is more specifically described in the illustrated product literature as a "Flat Bed Pen Plotter". The illustration of the product depicts a large pen plotter with a pen holder mechanism that appears to move back and forth along a straight bar which at each end is fitted into guide channels which run the length of the drawing surface.

From the information provided, the merchandise is not the type of drafting machine such as that described in the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes to heading 9017, paragraph (A)(2), as generally using a system of parallelograms, which can be used in the actual designing of an image. The merchandise under consideration appears to be a type of pen plotter that merely draws a hard copy of an image which has already been created or designed on other CAD workstation components.

In the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Compendium of Classification Opinions, No. 9017.10 (1), a CAD system which included an automatic data processing machine, an interactive design console on which drawings are drafted, and a
digitizer/plotter, were classified in subheading 9017.10, HTS. In the instant protest, however, no interactive design console or similar apparatus for such drafting of drawings is entered with the plotter.

What is entered in the instant protest is not a CAD drafting system, but a pen plotter that draws on paper. The merchandise is not described as a drafting machine in subheading 9017.10.00, but is classified as an other drawing instrument in subheading 9017.20.80, HTSUS.

The control unit for the pen plotter is classified with the pen plotter as a Chapter 90 Note 3 functional unit.


For the foregoing reasons, we find that the merchandise is classified as other drawing instruments under subheading 9017.20.80, HTSUS.

The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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