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HQ 956694

February 9, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 956694 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 8471.99.15

Mary E. Gill, Esq.
Guilford Center 1 - 3A10
P.O. Box 25000
Greensboro, North Carolina 27420

RE: 370C1, 353-Type balun, 372A, 365A adapters; Note 5(B), Chapter 84; EN 84.71; automatic data processing control or adapter unit; HRL 953921; HRL 953205

Dear Ms. Gill:

This is in regards to your letters dated June 10, 1994, concerning the tariff classification of the 370C1, 353-Type balun, 372A, 365A balun adapters under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Additional information contained in a letter dated February 2, 1995, was considered in rendering this decision.


The adapters under consideration are the 370C1, 353-Type balun, 372A, 365-A adapters which are designed for use with Local Area Networks (LANs). They perform impedance matching between automatic data processing machines and unshielded, twisted-pair wiring to eliminate the need for coaxial cable between several pieces of automatic data processing equipment in a building. Each adapter is designed to be used with specific types of automatic data processing equipment.


Are the adapters classified as automatic data processing "control or adapter units" under subheading 8471.99.15, HTSUS?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, 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...."

Subheading 8471.99.15, HTSUS, provides for:

Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, not elsewhere specified or included...Other...Other...Control or adapter units.

Note 5(B), Chapter 84, HTSUS, provides guidance regarding the classification of units of automatic data processing machines, and states:

Automatic data processing machines may be in the form of systems consisting of a variable number of separately housed units. A unit is to be regarded as being a part of the complete system if it meets all of the following conditions:

(a) It is connectable to the central processing unit either directly or through one or more other units; and

(b) It is specifically designed as part of such a system (it must, in particular, unless it is a power supply unit, be able to accept or deliver data in a form (code or signals) which can be used by the system).

We are of the opinion that the adapters under consideration are connectable to the central processing unit either directly or through one or more units. Furthermore, the adapters are designed to be a constituent unit of an automatic data processing system, and they are able to accept and deliver data.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See, T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 84.71 (pgs. 1296-1302), in pertinent part, describes separately presented automatic data processing units as follows:

This heading also covers separately presented constituent units of data processing systems. Constituent units are those defined in Parts (A) ["digital machines"] and (B) ["analogue machines"] above as being parts of a complete system.

Apart from central processing units and input and output units, examples of such units include:...

(4) Control and adapter units such as those to effect interconnection of the central processing unit to other digital data processing machines, or to groups of input or output units which may comprise visual display units, remote terminals, etc (emphasis in original).

We are of the opinion that the principal function of the adapters is, in fact, to effectuate interconnection of the central processing unit to other units or automatic data processing machines, thereby serving "control" and "adaption" functions. See also, Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 953205 dated April 26, 1993, which classified LAN Transceivers, and HRL 953921 dated April 26, 1993, which classified 10 Base-T MAU Adapter - Transceiver under subheading 8471.99.15, HTSUS, as control or adapter units.


The 370C1, 353-Type balun, 372A, 365A balun adapters are classified under subheading 8471.99.15, HTSUS, as control or adapter units. The corresponding duty rate for goods classified in this provision in General Column 1 is free.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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