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HQ 956781

December 7, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 956781 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 9032.89.60

District Director of Customs
1000 Second Avenue
Room 2200
Seattle, WA 98104

RE: Protest 3001-94-100118; Digital 3-phase power monitor; heading 9030; Legal Note 6 to Chapter 90; EN 90.32

Dear District Director:

The following is our decision regarding the request for further review of Protest 3001-94-100118, which concerns the classification of the 3710 ACM digital 3-phase power monitor under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The subject entry was liquidated on November 5, 1993. The protest was timely filed on January 31, 1994.


The subject merchandise is the 3710 ACM digital 3-phase power monitor ["3710 ACM"], which is a 16-bit microprocessor-based digital instrumentation package for 3-phase industrial, commercial, and utility power systems. An advanced field-configurable communication interface allow the 3710 ACM to be used as either a stand-alone power monitoring and control station, or as one element in a large energy monitoring network. The 3710 ACM has a large array of measurements, waveform capture for harmonic analysis, setpoint controlled relays, and communication capabilities. The merchandise offers 38 high accuracy real-time measured parameters, minima and maxima for 21 parameters, and 25 status parameters. Measured parameters are quickly accessible via the front panel display.

The 3710 ACM front panel features a large, high-visibility, 20-character vacuum fluorescent display. Volts, Amps and Power Functions can all be displayed together for the selected phase. Very large measured values with up to 9 digits of resolution (ex. KWH) are presented using the entire display. The 3710 ACM uses 4 stainless steel membrane switches for parameter selection and programming functions. Phase voltage and current readings are selected using the PHASE button, while a list of common power functions is available via the FUNCTION button. The MAX and MIN buttons are used to display the maximum and minimum value for each measured parameter. All device programming can be performed from the front panel, or via the communications port using a portable or remotely located computer. Setup parameters include volts and amps scales, volts mode, baud rate, setpoint/relay setup, etc. Setup and other critical information is saved when power is turned off.

According to the literature submitted, setpoints provide independently programmable high and low trigger limits (for operate/release [O/R] hysteresis), and time delays on both the operate and release functions for the assigned relay. Each setpoint can trigger the operation of any selected relay, and multiple setpoints can be to a single relay (O/R function). Relays can perform operations ranging from simple alarm activations to fully automated demand, power factor, or load control. All setpoint activity is recorded automatically in the on-board Event log. Log entries include the date, time, setpoint condition, and relay status.

The merchandise was entered under subheading 9032.89.60, HTSUS, as other process control equipment, eligible for CFTA (Canadian Free Trade Agreement) treatment. The entry was liquidated under subheading 9030.81.00, HTSUS, as other measuring instruments with a recording device, eligible for CFTA treatment. For the basis of this ruling, we will assume that the subject merchandise meets CFTA eligibility requirements.

Classification of the merchandise under subheading 9030.31.00, HTSUS, as a multimeter, is also under consideration.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

9030: Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers and other instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking electrical quantities, excluding meters of heading 9028; . . . :

9030.31.00 Other instruments and apparatus, for measuring or checking voltage, current, resistance or power, without a recording device: [m]ultimeters. . . .

Goods classifiable under this provision have a general, column one rate of duty of 4.9 percent ad valorem, eligible for duty-free treatment under CFTA.

9030.81.00 Other instruments and apparatus: [w]ith a recording device . . . .

Goods classifiable under this provision have a general, column one rate of duty of 4.9 percent ad valorem, eligible for duty-free treatment under CFTA.

9032.89.60 Automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus; parts and accessories thereof: [o]ther instruments and apparatus: [o]ther: [o]ther. . . .

Goods classifiable under this provision have a general, column one rate of duty of 4.9 percent ad valorem, eligible for duty-free treatment under CFTA.


Does the 3710 ACM meet the definition of automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus under heading 9032, HTSUS?


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 shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Legal Note 6 to Chapter 90, HTSUS, states that heading 9032, HTSUS, applies only to:

(a) Instruments and apparatus for automatically controlling the flow, level, pressure or other variables of liquids or gases, or for automatically controlling temperature, whether or not their operation depends on an electrical phenomenon which varies according to the factor to be automatically controlled; and

(b) Automatic regulators of electrical quantities, and instruments or apparatus for automatically controlling non-electrical quantities the operation of which depends on an electrical phenomenon varying according to the factor to be controlled.

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 90.32(II), pages 1535-1536, states as follows:

The automatic regulators of this heading are intended for use in complete automatic control systems which are designed to bring a quantity, electrical or non-electrical, to, and maintain it at, a desired value, stabilized against any disturbances, by constantly measuring its actual value. They consist essentially of the following devices:

(A) A measuring device . . . which determines the actual value of the variable to be controlled and converts it into a proportional electrical signal.

(B) An electrical control device which compares the measured value with the desired value and gives a signal (generally in the form of a modulated current).

(C) A starting, stopping or operating device (generally contacts, switches or circuit breakers, reversing switches or, sometimes, relay switches) which supplies current to an actuator in accordance with the signal received from the control device.

According to the information provided, the 3710 ACM measures electrical signals and compares it to previous readings and if necessary activates one of the setpoints (relays). The relays can perform operations ranging from simple alarm activations to fully automated demand, power factor, or load control. Based upon this information, we find that the 3710 ACM meets the definition of an automatic regulator. Because the 3710 ACM performs more than just a measuring function, we find that classification under heading 9030, HTSUS, is precluded. Therefore, the merchandise is classifiable under heading 9032, HTSUS, as an automatic regulating or controlling instrument and apparatus.


For the foregoing reasons, the 3710 ACM is classifiable under heading 9032, HTSUS. It is classifiable under subheading 9032.89.60, HTSUS, as other automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus.

The protest should be GRANTED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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