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HQ 955834

April 4, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955834 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 9006.59.40

Ms. Martha J. Waldner
Unitrans International Corporation
709 S. Hindry Avenue
Inglewood, CA 90301-3005

RE: Photo Booths; Photographic Cameras; Automatic Goods-Vending Machines; Section XVI, Note 1(m); Heading 8476; EN 84.76

Dear Ms. Waldner:

In a letter dated November 9, 1993, to the Regional Commissioner of Customs in New York, you inquired on behalf of Auto Photo Systems, as to the tariff classification of photo booths under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter was referred to this office for a response.


The photo booths, models 17 and 22, produce individual photographs on a vertical strip in either color or black and white. The photo booths use a fixed focus camera and non- negative, direct positive film for photo-taking. Model 17 delivers completed black and white photographs in 3 minutes. Model 22 delivers completed color photographs in 4.5 minutes. The four photographs produced by the photo booths are on a strip 1-9/16 inch by 8 inches in size. Each photograph measures 1- 9/16 inch by 2 inches. The photo booths accept coins and tokens and can be outfitted with an automatic bill acceptor. The photo booth cabinets are available in various formats and can be supplied in any color to suit the user's location requirements.


Are photo booths classifiable as automatic goods-vending machines or as other photographic cameras 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 your letter, you indicate that the photo booths are vending machines which supply a set of pictures for money. Heading 8476, HTSUS, provides for automatic goods-vending machines.

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. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed.Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 84.76, page 1311, states as follows:

This heading covers the various kinds of machines which supply some kind of merchandise when one or more coins, tokens or a magnetic card are put in a slot (other than those machines covered more specifically by other headings of the Nomenclature or excluded from the Chapter by a Chapter or Section Note).

The heading includes coin-operated machines for selling postage stamps, railway tickets, chocolate, sweets, ice cream, cigarettes, cigars, beverages. . . , toilet products (including scent spraying machines), stockings, photographic films, newspapers, etc.; also machines on which name plates can be stamped out on a strip of metal.

The following coin-operated machines or appliances are not covered by the heading: [t]elescopes, cameras, cinematograph projectors (Chapter 90).

Although the photo booths are vending machines which supply a product for money, classification under heading 8476, HTSUS, is precluded by application of EN 84.76 because the subject merchandise contains a fixed focus camera. Furthermore, Section XVI, note 1(m) states as follows: "[t]his section does not cover: [a]rticles of chapter 90." Fixed focus cameras are provided for in chapter 90. Therefore, we find that the photo booths are classifiable under subheading 9006.59.40, HTSUS, which provides for: "[p]hotographic (other than cinematographic) cameras . . . : [o]ther cameras: [o]ther: [f]ixed focus".


The photo booths are classifiable under subheading 9006.59.40, HTSUS, which provides for: "[p]hotographic (other than cinematographic) cameras . . . : [o]ther cameras: [o]ther: [f]ixed focus". The general, column one rate of duty is 4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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