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HQ 957403

March 29, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 957403 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 8529.90.85

Mr. Michael A. Hertzberg
Ms. Maria Tan Pederson
Howery & Simon
1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004-2402

RE: L-C Filters; headings 8504, 8534, 8542; EN 85.04; EN 85.34; Chapter 85, note 4; HQ 087025

Dear Mr. Hertzberg and Ms. Pederson:

This is in response to your letter of November 14, 1994, to Customs in New York, requesting, on behalf of Hitachi Metals America, Ltd., the classification of L-C Filters under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter was referred to this office for a response.


The articles in question are L-C Filters, which consist of an inductor and chip capacitor mounted onto a small circuit board covered with plastic. The filters act as band pass filters for passing certain ranges, or bands, of frequencies and rejecting all frequencies outside the band. The term "L-C" stands for inductor (L) and capacitor (C). You state that the filters are used by the manufacturer in conjunction with customized integrated circuits, which are incorporated into the receiver of a two-way or mobile radio.


Whether the L-C Filters are classifiable as other inductors under heading 8504, HTSUS, printed circuits under heading 8534, HTSUS, parts of radiotelephonic reception apparatus under heading 8529, HTSUS, or as parts of electronic integrated circuits under heading 8542, HTSUS.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part, that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ."

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the Customs Co-operation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The headings at issue are as follows:

8504 Electrical transformers, static converters (for example, rectifiers) and inductors; parts thereof

8529 Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528

8534 Printed circuits

8542 Electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies; parts thereof

EN 85.04, pg. 1339, states that heading 8504, HTSUS, covers inductors, which "consist essentially of a single coil of wire which, inserted in an AC circuit, limits or prevents by its self- induction the flow of the AC. They vary from small chokes used in wireless circuits, instruments, etc., to large coils often mounted in concrete, used in power circuits (e.g., for limiting the flow of current in the event of a short circuit." The L-C Filters consist of an inductor and chip capacitor on a small circuit board. As the filters are devices that incorporate an inductor, they are not merely "inductors," and cannot be classified under heading 8504, HTSUS.

Note 4 to chapter 85, HTSUS, states that for the purposes of heading 8534, HTSUS, "'printed circuits' are circuits obtained by forming on an insulated base, by any printing process (for example, embossing, plating-up, etching) or by the 'film circuit' technique, conductor elements, contacts or other printed components (for example inductances, resistors, capacitors) alone or interconnected according to a pre-established pattern, other than elements which can produce, rectify, modulate or amplify an electrical signal (for example, semiconductor elements)." The - 3 -
note further states that "[t]he term 'printed circuits' does not cover circuits combined with elements other than those obtained during the printing process. Printed circuits may, however, be fitted with non-printed connecting elements." See EN 85.34, pg. 1386.

Because the L-C Filters are combined with elements other than those obtained during the printing process, specifically inductors and capacitors, they are excluded from classification under heading 8534, HTSUS.

Heading 8542, HTSUS, provides for parts of electronic integrated circuits and microassemblies. EN 85.42, pg. 1400, states that electronic circuits and microassemblies "are devices having a high passive and active element or component density, which are regarded as single units." After importation, the L-C Filters are, in this instance, used in conjunction with customized integrated circuits. However, band pass filters, such as the L-C Filters, are not necessarily used with (and are not solely or principally used with) integrated circuits. Therefore, they are not, in our opinion, classifiable as a part of an integrated circuit under heading 8542, HTSUS.

In HQ 087025, dated May 7, 1991, Customs considered the classification of ceramic resonators and ceramic substrates used in the manufacture of band pass filters for cellular mobile telephones (CMTs). We held that the resonators and substrates were suitable for use solely or principally with the transmission apparatus incorporating reception apparatus of heading 8527, HTSUS. Accordingly, the merchandise was classified as parts of transmission apparatus incorporating reception apparatus under subheading 8529.90.50, HTSUS (now, subheading 8529.90.85, HTSUS).

The L-C Filters act as band pass filters for passing certain ranges, or bands, of frequencies and rejecting all frequencies outside the band. It is our opinion that the filters are suitable for use principally with the apparatus of heading 8527, HTSUS, and are therefore classifiable under subheading 8529.90.85, HTSUS.


The L-C Filters are classifiable under subheading 8529.90.85, HTSUS, which provides for other parts of articles of - 4 -
headings 8527, HTSUS. The corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading is 4.7% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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