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HQ 955019

NOVEMBER 19 1993

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 955019 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8529.90.50

Mr. Jack Flynn
Rudolph Miles & Sons
P.O. Box 11057
El Paso, TX 79983-1057

RE: Crystal Filter; Electronic Component for Controlling Radio Frequencies; Control Oven, Electronic Device for Reducing Frequency Drift by Controlling Temperature; Parts Principally Used in Ground-to-Air Radio Transmission and Reception Apparatus, Section XVI, Note 1(m) and Note 2; HQ 087025

Dear Sir:

Your letter dated August 4, 1993, to the District Director at El Paso, has been referred to this office for reply. Your inquiry, on behalf of McCoy Electronics, concerns the tariff status of crystal filters, and temperature control elements. Both articles are assembled in Mexico with components of U.S. origin. Descriptive literature was submitted.


The crystal filter consists of a quartz crystal substrate onto which are mounted capacitors, thermistors, leads and coils. You state that the filter is an electronic component used in a circuit to pass radio signals at or within a desired frequency range and to impede or reject other frequencies above or below the pre-set band width. The temperature control element - referred to in the literature as a miniature control oven - consists of a thermally sensitive resistor or posistor and a micron heating wire. It is designed to reduce frequency drift and thus hold the crystal filter at a pre-set temperature. It does this by increasing or decreasing resistance to the flow of current in direct relation to increases or decreases in temperature. You state that both the crystal filter and the temperature control element are principally used with ground-to- air radio transmission apparatus of heading 8529. - 2 -

You cite a Headquarters ruling in which substantially similar band pass filters for cellular telephones were held to be parts principally used with machines or apparatus of chapter 85.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8525 Transmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus

8529.90.50 Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528: Other: Other...5.9 percent

9032 Automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus; parts and accessories thereof

9032.89.60 Other instruments and apparatus; Other: Other...4.9 percent

9032.90.60 Parts and accessories: Other...4.9 percent


Whether the crystal filter and temperature control element are "parts" for tariff purposes; whether the heat control element automatically controls temperature for purposes of heading 9032 and is thus precluded from classification in chapter 85


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. - 3 -

While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the notes should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80.

Parts which are not themselves goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 or 85 are to be classified with the machine or machines of those headings with which they are solely or principally used. Section XVI, Note 2, HTSUS. For tariff purposes, goods may be considered parts if they are integral, constituent or component parts of a larger article, without which the larger article will not function as that article. From the evidence of record, it is unclear whether either the crystal filter or temperature control element meets this test. However, we have also ruled that goods may be considered to be parts if they promote the safe or efficient operation of the article with which they are used. By function and design with respect to their use with radio transmission and reception apparatus, both the crystal filter and temperature control element meet this criteria. Both articles qualify as parts for tariff purposes.

Articles of chapter 90 are precluded from classification in chapters 84 and 85. Section XVI, Note 1(m), HTSUS. Concerning the temperature control element, relevant ENs at p. 1534 state that apparatus of heading 9032 for automatically controlling temperature consist of (1) a device for measuring the temperature or a simple device that is sensitive to a change in temperature, (2) an optional control device which compares the measured value with the desired value, which activates (3) a starting or stopping device. The notes state that instruments and apparatus for automatically controlling temperature are connected to an appliance which restores the variable to the prescribed value, or which, in the case of a safety system, stops the operation of the machine or apparatus controlled. From the information available to us, neither the crystal circuit nor the temperature control element meet this description. Neither is apparatus of chapter 90 nor a part of such apparatus. They are not precluded from classification in chapters 84 or 85.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the crystal circuit and temperature control element in issue here are goods of heading 8529, parts suitable for use solely or principally with apparatus of heading 8525. They are classifiable in subheading 8529.90.50, other parts. HQ 087025, dated May 7, 1991, which you cite, is in accord.

The literature indicates that crystal filters and temperature control elements are used with navigation equipment, - 4 -
in computer systems, paging equipment, and thermal imagers, among other uses. This classification is based on evidence of principal use available to us at this time. As additional information on the use or uses of this merchandise becomes available, we may have cause to reconsider our position.

At your request, our Special Classification Branch will rule separately on whether the assembly operations in Mexico qualify the imported merchandise for a partial allowance under subheading 9802.00.80.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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