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HQ 954775

October 7, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954775 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 9029.10.00

Ms. Gail T. Cumins
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. Sixty-seven Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Combination Programmable Pedometer/Calorie Counter and AM/FM Radio/Cassette Player; GRI 3; HQ 086765; Explanatory 3(b)(VIII); GRI 3(c); 8527.11.11

Dear Ms. Cumins:

This is in response to your letter of July 29, 1993, on behalf of Sanyo Fisher (U.S.A.) Corp., concerning the classification of a combination programmable pedometer/calorie counter and AM/FM radio/cassette player under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). A sample was furnished for our examination.


The merchandise consists of a combination programmable pedometer calorie/counter and AM/FM radio/cassette player (model no. SPT-1500). The unit also contains a set of yellow headphones and a yellow adjustable belt. The SPT-1500 allows its user to custom design a fitness program based upon the user's data, which is entered into the unit prior to a workout. The pedometer measures three types of activity: walking, jogging, and speed- walking. First, the user chooses one of the aforementioned activities and sets the pedometer accordingly. Then, the user enters his or her stride length, distance goal (1 - 50 miles), pace, and weight. After entering the input data, the user hooks the SPT-1500 to the adjustable belt, which is worn around the waist. It is necessary that the unit be worn in this fashion in order to get an accurate reading. With the belt and unit in place, the user pushes the unit's "start" button.

The program begins by sending a "pace tone" through the stereo system for 30 seconds. These metered beeps assist the user in establishing the target pace necessary to realize the workout goal. Using the personalized data which has been entered into the unit, the pedometer's micro-computer calculates the energy output which is measured in calories. The calorie display tells the user how many calories have been burned during any segment of the workout. This number appears on the "cal" display for 30 seconds before returning to the "dist" (distance) display. Once the user reaches the target distance goal, the "beep" tone sounds for three seconds to alert the user that the workout goal has been attained.

The value of the SPT-1500 is $33.00 per unit. Of this amount, $12.00 is for the cassette player, $8.20 is for the radio apparatus, $10.50 is for the pedometer/calorie counter, and $2.30 is for the headphones.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

8527.11.11: [r]eception apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy or radiobroadcasting, whether or not combined, in the same housing, with sound recording or reproducing apparatus or a clock: [r]adiobroadcast receivers capable of operating without an external source of power, including apparatus capable of receiving also radiotelephony or radiotelegraphy: [c]ombined with sound recording or reproducing apparatus: [c]ombinations incorporating tape players which are incapable of recording.

The general, column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 3.7 percent ad valorem.

9029.10.80: [r]evolution counters, production counters, taximeters, odometers, pedometers and the like: [o]ther.

Goods classifiable under this provision receive duty-free treatment.


Whether the SPT-1500 is classifiable under subheading 8527.11.11, HTSUS, as a radiobroadcast receiver incorporating a sound reproducing apparatus, or under subheading 9029.10.80, HTSUS, as a pedometer.


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 is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Because the SPT-1500 is a composite good consisting of two different components, GRI 3 must be consulted. It states that:

[w]hen, by application of 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to a part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

(c) When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

Because headings 8527 and 9029, HTSUS, each describe part only of the components contained within the SPT-1500, according to GRI 3(a), they are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to the classification of the SPT-1500. See HQ 086765, dated July 18, 1990, which held that a calorie counter incorporating a pedometer is classifiable under subheading 9029.10.80, HTSUS.

Consequently, we must next consult GRI 3(b). In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). Explanatory Note 3(b)(VIII) (p. 4) states that:

[t]he factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

It is our position that neither the AM/FM radio/cassette player nor the programmable pedometer/calorie counter imparts the essential character of the SPT-1500. Both components interact with each other in such a way that neither one imparts the principal role in relation to the use of the SPT-1500. The user may listen to music while exercising and simultaneously keep track of his or her workout through the use of the pedometer/calorie counter and the signal "beeps" the user hears through the headphones. It appears to us that if someone wanted to only listen to music, then that person would want to purchase a less expensive product incorporating only the AM/FM radio/cassette player. Similarly, if someone wanted to only keep track of his or her workout pace, then that person would want to purchase an inexpensive pedometer/calorie counter. The SPT-1500 appears to be designed for use by people who want to both listen to music and keep track of their pace while exercising. Consequently, both components play an equal role in relation to the use of the SPT-1500.

Inasmuch as we have determined that neither component imparts the essential character of the SPT-1500, GRI 3(c) must be consulted. Because heading 9029, HTSUS, occurs last in numerical order between it and heading 8527, HTSUS, we find that the SPT-1500 is classifiable under subheading 9029.10.80, HTSUS.


The SPT-1500 combination programmable pedometer/calorie counter and AM/FM radio/cassette player is classifiable under subheading 9029.10.80, HTSUS, as a pedometer.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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