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NY 886440

JUNE 15, 1993

CLA-2-85:S:N:N3:102 886440


TARIFF NO.: 8537.10.0070

Martin H. Barrera
Harper Robinson & Co.
300 North Oak Street
Inglewood, CA 90301

RE: The tariff classification of the "Power Manager" from New Zealand

Dear Mr. Barrera:

In your letter dated May 18. 1993, on behalf of your client, Southpower, NZ, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The Power Manager is an electrical control device that utilizes a pre-paid credit card to allow the user to purchase a fixed amount of electricity. The system consists of three main components: the Powerstat, an LED based readout unit that contains a magnetic card reader and keypad; a controller, which contains a microprocessor and an 80 amp latching contactor; and a infrared pulse initiator. The unit functions by having the pulse initiator optically scan two black markers placed on the rotating disc of an existing electrical supply meter. This signal is then sent to the controller to indicate the amount of electricity being consumed. The controller is mounted underneath the electric meter and has the main power lines routed through it. The user "swipes" a pre- paid magnetic card through the card reader on the Powerstat. The unit records the amount of credit on the card and transmits this data to the controller. The controller then closes an internal contact and allows electricity to flow to the house or apartment. By monitoring the amount of electricity used, times the cost per kilowatt/hour, and continuously subtracting this from the amount of credit remaining, the Power Manager is able to discontinue electric flow once all credit has been used up.

In your letter you stated that it was your belief that the Power Manager should be classified under heading 9028, Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States (HTS), which provided for electric supply meters, parts and accessories thereof. It was also the exporter's contention that the system belongs under 9032.89, a subheading covering automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus. It is our opinion that this unit would not qualify for classification under either of these provisions. First off, it is not a replacement for the existing electrical supply meter. That unit remains. Without it the power manager would not have any way of monitoring the amount of electricity consumed. Neither is the Power Manager an accessory to a meter. It does not provide any metering function, nor does it enhance or improve on that function. The item is not a "controlling apparatus" as defined in the HTS. There is no variable factor that this system is measuring and attempting to maintain. The only control being initiated here is the making or breaking of an electrical contact to allow, or shut off, the flow of electrical power.

Although this Power Manager does appear capable of performing calculating functions, such as keeping the amount of credit and computing the hourly cost of present electric usage, it is our opinion that this device would be precluded from consideration as a "calculating machine" under HTS heading 8470.

The applicable subheading for the power manager will be 8537.10.0070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other bases, equipped with two or more apparatus of heading 8535 or 8536, for electrical control or the distribution of electricity: for voltage not exceeding 1000 V.. other: other. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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