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NY 895318

March 11, 1994



TARIFF NO.: 8471.99.9000

Mr. John M. Peterson
Neville, Peterson & Williams
80 Broad Street
Suite 3400
New York, N.Y. 10004

RE: The tariff classification of "The Reading Edge" Scanner/Voice Synthesizer Reading Machine from Mexico.

Dear Mr. Peterson:

In your letter dated February 28, 1994, on behalf of Xerox Imaging Systems, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration involves a fully integrated reading machine which combines a bookedge scanner, state of the art intelligent character recognition software, synthetic speech reproduction capability, and a customized key pad. The entire unit is packed in a single ergonomically-designed case measuring about the size of a briefcase. The Reading Edge is specially designed to allow blind or visually handicapped persons to enjoy written material without needing to find another person to read the materials aloud to them.

A specially designed scanner allows the Reading Edge to scan the pages of books without bending or flattening the bindings. The outer case of the unit slopes at a 15 degree angle from front to back and has ridges to help hold books in place during scanning. Proprietary Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) software allows the Reading Edge to read and translate virtually any printed or typeset document,including business materials, textbooks, encyclopedias, typeset or typewritten correspondence, homework assignments or even paperback novels.

The Reading Edge also features a voice synthesizer unit which reproduces nine different reading voices. It permits a choice of reading speeds from 10 to 550 words per minute, and will repeat words and sentences at the push of a button. It can read French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish or Swedish, by operating language-dedicated memory cards.

The essential character of this composite machine appears to be exemplified by its scanning/reading function, which in effect transcribes data onto data media in coded form and processes such data.

The applicable subheading for the "Reading Edge" machine will be 8471.99.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data. The general rate of duty will be 3.7 percent ad valorem.

The question of classification for the "Reading Edge" under HTS number 9817.00.94 is being referred to the Office of Regulations and Rulings, U.S. Customs Service Headquarters, 1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. 20229. A ruling will be issued to you from that office.

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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