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HQ 953549

July 16, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953549 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 8471.92.20

District Director of Customs
1717 East Loop
Portway Plaza Suite 400
Houston, TX 77029

RE: Protest No. 5301-92-100237; Keyboards for Computer Systems; 8471.91.00

Dear District Director:

The following is our decision regarding the request for further review of Protest No. 5301-92-100237, which concerns the classification of keyboards for computer systems under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The entry of the subject merchandise was liquidated on June 5, 1992. The protest was timely filed on June 26, 1992.


The subject merchandise are keyboards for computer systems. They were entered into the United States along with other computer components.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 8471.92.20, HTSUS, as keyboards for automatic data processing machines. The entry was liquidated under subheading 8471.91.00, HTSUS, as digital processing units.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

8471.91.00: Automatic data processing machines and units thereof. . .: [o]ther: [d]igital processing units, whether or not entered with the rest of the system, which may contain in the same housing one or two of the following types of units: . . . input units. . .

Goods classifiable under this provision have a general, column one rate of duty of 3.9 percent ad valorem.

8471.91.00: Automatic data processing machines and units thereof. . .: [o]ther: [i]nput or output units, whether or not entered with the rest of the system and whether or not containing storage units in the same housing: [o]ther: [k]eyboards . . .

Goods classifiable under this provision have a general, column one rate of duty of free.


Whether computer keyboards entered with computer systems should be classified separately or with the computer systems under the HTSUS?


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.

In Rico Import Co. v. United States, Slip Op. 92-146, dated August 27, 1992, the court stated that "[i]t is well settled that tariff acts must be construed to carry out the intent of the legislature." See Nippon Kogaku (USA), Inc. v. United States, 69 CCPA 89, 92, 673 F.2d 380, 382 (1982)(citing Sandoz Chem. Works, Inc. v. United States, 43 CCPA 152, 156, C.A.D. 623 (1956)). The first place to look to establish the intent of Congress is the language of the statute itself. Consumer Prod. Safety Comm'n v. GTE Sylvania, Inc., 447 U.S. 102, 108 (1980).

After examining the language of heading 8471, HTSUS, it is clear that under the HTSUS, keyboards for computers are intended to be classified separately "whether or not entered with the rest of the system". Based upon the language of the statute, we find that classification of computer keyboards does not change whether or not an equal number of keyboards are entered with an equal number of computer systems. Computer keyboards are separately classified under subheading 8471.92.20, HTSUS.


For the foregoing reasons, we find that the subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 8471.92.20, HTSUS, as computer keyboards whether or not presented with the rest of a system.

You should allow the protest 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

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