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HQ 957962

August 7, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:M 957962 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 8471.99.15

Mr. Dennis R. Mueller
Quantum Consulting Associates
1375 Florida Avenue, Suite B
Longmont, Colorado 80501

RE: Parallel Port Assembly; Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Units; Control and Adapter Units; Insulated Electrical Conductors, Whether Or Not Fitted With Connectors; Legal Note 5(B) to Chapter 84; Headings 8473, 8544; HQs 954695, 952554; NY 806816, modified

Dear Mr. Mueller:

This is in regards to New York (NY) 806816 issued to you on March 2, 1995, on behalf of Datasonix Corporation, by the Area Director, New York Seaport, which classified a parallel port assembly under subheading 8544.41.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other insulated electrical conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors, for a voltage not exceeding 80 V. In a letter, dated May 4, 1995, you requested that we review that ruling along with the additional information submitted. Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057)(1993), notice of the proposed modification of NY 806816 was published on July 5, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 27.


The subject merchandise is a parallel port assembly ("PPA"), model number 000022-22, which consists of the following components: data cable with an attached parallel port 25-pin connector; printed circuit board ("PCB") that contains resistors, capacitors, integrated circuit (IC) chips, two connector ports for the attachment to an automatic data processing (ADP) printer and the Datasonix Pereos tape storage unit; and two plastic covers for the PCB assembly. The Pereos tape storage unit is a small, compact and lightweight (approximately 10 ounces) ADP storage unit which stores data on a miniature tape cartridge with a capacity of 1.25 gigabytes.

The PPA allows a user to connect the Pereos tape storage unit to a printer and the parallel port connection of a computer. In addition to forming the connection between the three automatic data processing (ADP) units (computer, printer, and tape storage), the PPA directs and helps control the electronic signals between the three units, allowing for the almost simultaneous operations of data retrieval and printing.


Is the parallel port assembly classifiable as an insulated cable with connectors, or as an ADP unit under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

In NY 806816, dated March 2, 1995, Customs determined that the PPA was classifiable under subheading 8544.41.00, HTSUS, which provides for other insulated electrical conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors, for a voltage not exceeding 80 V.

You claim that the PPA is properly classifiable under heading 8473, HTSUS, as parts and accessories of ADP machines. To be classified as an ADP machine, merchandise must meet the criteria in Legal Note 5(B) to Chapter 84, HTSUS, which defines units of ADP machines as follows:

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 the following conditions:

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

(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).

The PPA meets the definition of Legal Note 5(B) because it connects to a computer's central processing unit (CPU), a printer and the Pereos tape storage unit, and it is able to accept or deliver data in a form which can be used by the system. See HQ 954695 (November 18, 1993) and HQ 952554 (January 4, 1993).

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the HTSUS. While not legally binding, the ENs 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 FR 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 84.71(I)(D), page 1299, describes separately presented ADP units as follows:

This heading also covers separately presented constituent units of data processing systems. Constituent units are those defined in Parts (A) and (B) 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.

We believe that the PPA acts as a control and adapter unit to effect interconnection of the computer's CPU to the printer and the data storage unit and is therefore, classifiable under subheading 8471.99.15, HTSUS, as control and adapter units for ADP machines. Because the PPA is classifiable as an ADP control unit under heading 8471, HTSUS, classification under heading 8473, HTSUS, as a part of an ADP unit is precluded.


The parallel port assembly, model number 000022-22, is classifiable under subheading 8471.99.15, HTSUS, which provides for: "[a]utomatic data processing machines and units thereof: [o]ther: [o]ther: [c]ontrol or adapter units. . . ." The general, column one rate of duty is free.


NY 806816, dated March 2, 1995, is modified as to the classification of the PPA. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)].


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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