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HQ 957023

September 27, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 957023 DWS


TARIFF NO.: 8525.20.60

Mr. Robert Persily
Brokers International Inc.
1200 Brunswick Avenue
Far Rockaway, NY 11691

RE: Mobile Telecommunication System; Section XVI, Note 4; Functional Unit; Explanatory Note 85.25 (A); HQ 085404

Dear Mr. Persily:

This is in response to your letters of August 23 and September 8, 1994, on behalf of Power Spectrum Inc., to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, concerning the classification of a mobile telecommunication system under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letters were referred to this office for a response.


The merchandise consists of a mobile telecommunication system (MTS) manufactured in Israel. The MTS is a fully integrated, fleet dispatch-oriented, mobile wireless communication system. The MTS will provide a wide range of services, including the following: two-way radio service allowing communication among multiple users in a business when in broadcast mode, as well as private (one-to-one) communication between users; mobile telephone service allowing communication with any telephone connected to the public network; message receipt and transmission allowing alphanumeric information to be transmitted to or from the mobile radio unit; data communication, through the use of a mobile data device; and vehicle location services through the use of an adjunct GPS service allowing information at the location of the mobile radio unit to be provided to the central customer location. Various mobile work forces will use the merchandise, including taxi services, police, firemen, ambulance services, etc.

The MTS consists of the following: a power amplifier cabinet, a sector transceiver, common equipment, a micro sector controller, a micro sector, and an antenna box. The power amplifier cabinet is comprised of multiple power amplifiers which provide for both system redundancy and the amplification of an outward bound signal. The sector transceiver provides for call handling and handoff, and communications handling between the system components and mobile services, serving as the interface to the common equipment. The common equipment is comprised of the administrative computer and the central controller. The administrative computer is responsible for system administration, network management, data management, and maintenance and system initialization and termination. The central controller is responsible for call management, dispatch management, interface to the PBX and voice mail systems, and subscriber management and billing functions. The micro sector controller is responsible for controlling communications between the common equipment and the micro sector. The micro sector is a unit which transmits and receives radio signals between the mobile radio and the micro sector. The antenna box serves as the mechanism responsible for controlling the transmission of radio signals between the send and receive antennas.

The subheading under consideration is as follows:

8525.20.60: [t]ransmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras: [t]ransmission apparatus incorporating reception apparatus: [o]ther: [o]ther.

The general, column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 6 percent ad valorem.


Whether the MTS is classifiable under subheading 8525.20.60, HTSUS, as other transmission apparatus incorporating reception apparatus.


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.

Section XVI, note 4, HTSUS, states that:

[w]here a machine (including a combination of machines) consists of individual components (whether separate or interconnected by piping, by transmission devices, by electric cables or by other devices) intended to contribute together to a clearly defined function covered by one of the headings in chapter 84 or chapter 85, then the whole falls to be classified in the heading appropriate to that function.

It is our position that the MTS is a functional unit, as it consists of individual components intended to contribute together. We must now determine the clearly defined function of the MTS covered by one the headings in chapters 84 or 85, HTSUS. We find that the function of the MTS is that of transmission apparatus for radiotelegraphy described under heading 8525, HTSUS.

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 or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). In part, Explanatory Note 85.25(A) (p. 1374) states:


This apparatus is used for the transmission of signals (representing speech, messages or still pictures) by means of electro-magnetic waves which are transmitted through the ether without any line connection.

As the function of the MTS is clearly described under heading 8525, HTSUS, it is our position that it is classifiable under subheading 8525.20.60, HTSUS. See HQ 085404, dated July 20, 1990, which held similar merchandise to be classifiable under subheading 8525.20.60, HTSUS.


The mobile telecommunication system is classifiable under subheading 8525.20.60, HTSUS, as other transmission apparatus incorporating reception apparatus.

Goods classifiable under this provision and originating in Israel, upon meeting certain requirements (general note 8, HTSUS), are eligible for duty-free treatment under the U.S.- Israel Free Trade Area Implementation Act of 1985.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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