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HQ 958632

January 25, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 958632 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 8525.30.90

Mr. Stanley E. Howard, Jr.
Howard Enterprises, Inc.
545 Calle San Pablo
Camarillo, CA 93012-8550

RE: TeleCameras; CCD Cameras; Television Cameras; Videoconferencing; Headings 8471 and 8525; Legal Note 5(B) to Chapter 84; EN 85.25; HQs 958082 and 957743

Dear Mr. Howard:

In letters dated August 16 and 31, 1995, to the Customs office in New York, you requested the tariff classification of TeleCameras under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letters were referred to this office for a response.


The merchandise, labeled as the TeleCameras 4000 series, 5000 series and 6000 series, are charged coupled device (CCD) cameras used for desktop videoconferencing, video mail, document imaging, multimedia, ID systems and some security requirements. Power is supplied externally with an included AC power adapter.

The TeleCamera 4000 series uses a 1/3 inch CCD advanced imager, automatic gain control, electronic auto iris, and 6.1 mm fixed focus glass lens. The TeleCamera 5000 series uses Picture Enhancement Technology [PET], 6.1 mm fixed focus glass lens and allows the user to fine-tune the picture quality while maintaining a fast frame rate in video-conferencing situations through the manual white balance and manual iris. The TeleCamera 6000 series has the following capabilities: 450 lines resolution; switchable automatic or manual white balance; switchable automatic or manual iris; composite and S-video output; PET; and built-in microphone with switch-selectable audio input levels.


Are the TeleCameras classifiable as peripherals for multimedia computer systems or as television cameras, 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.

You indicate that the TeleCameras should be classified under heading 8471, HTSUS, which provides for automatic data processing (ADP) units because the TeleCameras can be used as peripherals with multimedia computer systems. To be classified as an ADP unit, the merchandise must meet the criteria of Legal Note 5(B) to chapter 84, HTSUS, which provides that:

Automatic data processing machines may be in the form of systems consisting of a variable number of separate units. Subject to paragraph (E) below, a unit is to be regarded as being a part of a complete system if it meets all the following conditions:

(a) It is of a kind solely or principally used in an automatic data processing system;

(b) It is connectable to the central processing unit either directly or through one or more other units; and

(c) It is able to accept or deliver data in a form (codes or signals) which can be used by the system.

We find that the TeleCamera series are not ADP units because they are not of a kind solely or principally used in ADP units. According to the literature, the TeleCameras will be used mainly for videoconferencing. Other suggested uses are: video mail, document imaging, multimedia, ID systems and some security requirements. Because the TeleCameras do not meet the terms of Legal Note 5(B) to chapter 84, HTSUS, classification as an ADP peripheral unit is precluded.

Heading 8525, HTSUS, provides for television cameras, still image video cameras or other video camera recorders. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUS. While not legally binding or dispositive, 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 85.25(C) describes the scope of heading 8525, HTSUS, as it relates to television cameras, as follows:

This heading covers television cameras, whether or not with an incorporated device for remote control of lens and diaphragm as well as for remote control of the horizontal and vertical movement of the camera (e.g., television cameras for television studios or for reporting, those used for industrial or scientific purposes or for supervising traffic). Cameras for underwater work and portable cameras with or without a built-in video recorder are also classified here.

We find that the TeleCameras are provided for eo nomine as television cameras of heading 8525, HTSUS. They are classifiable under subheading 8525.30.90, HTSUS, which provides for other television cameras. [See HQ 957743, dated September 6, 1995, in which Customs determined that a CCD camera when entered separately from a video door phone surveillance monitoring system, was classifiable under subheading 8525.30.90, HTSUS. See also HQ 958082, dated September 6, 1995, for a similar holding on other video cameras used in security systems].


The TeleCameras are classifiable under subheading 8525.30.90, HTSUS, which provides for: "[t]ransmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radio-telegraphy, radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras or other video camera recorders: [t]elevision cameras: [o]ther. . . ." The general, column one rate of duty is 3.4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals Division

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