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NY 813537

August 11, 1995

CLA-2-84:S:N:N1:110 813537


TARIFF NO.: 8473.30.5000

Mr. Carl R. Spoeth
Opedia Corporation
15 Barbados Avenue
Davis Islands
Tampa, Florida 33606

RE: The tariff classification of unfinished notebook computers from Taiwan

Dear Mr. Spoeth:

In your letter dated August 1, 1995, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration involves five models of notebook computers, some of which will include CD-ROM and multimedia sound capability.

The models shipped are as follows: NS-9540; NS-9550; NS- 7600; NS-600; and NS-700. All of these models will be imported as assembled units, but all will be missing the following components: 1. 486 or Pentium CPU chip 2. Hard disc drive 3. various options, such as sound systems, etc. 4. Operating system software and applications software.

These notebook computers in their imported state include either 10.4" or 9.4" DSTN LCD or TFT LCD flat panel displays, 86- key membrane keyboards, power supplies, and in most cases installed floppy disc drives. The motherboard contained in the units will be without a CPU chip. The modular design enables you to use a CD-ROM, floppy disk drive, floppy disk drive with PCMCIA type III slot, 3.5 inch hard drive, TV tuner, and a second battery. The weight of the models ranges from a low of 5.2 pounds to a high of 8.2 pounds, and all are approximately 11.5 inches in length.

Noting LN 5 (A) to Chapter 84 of HTS, the issue before us is whether this notebook computer subassembly meets the definition of a digital processing machine. Customs has consistently held that the CPU is the heart of an ADP system because it performs the critical processing functions of a computer. Because the subject subassembly configurations do not possess CPU chips, they do not impart the essential character of finished ADP machines. Also, we find that, in their imported state as subassemblies, the various models do not impart the essential character of any of their constituent components.

Please note HQ ruling letters 954411, 957178, and 955695, which also ruled on lap-top and notebook computers imported without their CPU chips.

The applicable subheading for the five models of notebook computers without their CPU chip will be 8473.30.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other parts and accessories of the machines of heading 8471, not incorporating a cathode ray tube. The rate of duty will be free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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