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NY 816654

December 12, 1995

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:MA: 112 816654


TARIFF NO.: 8544.51.8000; 8524.90.4050

Mr. Michael Skidmore
Tower Group International
115 Broad Street
P.O. Box 192
Boston, MA 02101-3022

RE: The tariff classification of the "Computer Athlete" from Taiwan

Dear Mr. Skidmore:

In your letter dated November 9, 1995, on behalf of C.S.A., Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

As indicated by the submitted sample, which we are returning with this reply, the "Computer Athlete" is an interactive unit which is designed to interface with a personal computer and various types of exercise equipment, such as exercise bicycles, rowing machines, treadmills, etc. It enables the user to participate in a number of different games while exercising, as well as well as providing practical information such as the number of calories burned in relation to previous workouts.

The "Computer Athlete" consists of eighteen different components, including electrical apparatus such as an AC adaptor, interface cable, and control wires, and other plastic and metal items. In addition, one 3 1/2 inch and one 5 1/4 inch computer diskette are included.

In your request, you indicate that C.S.A., Inc. believes that the "Computer Athlete" is a game and, as such, should be classified under subheading 9504.30, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). This office does not agree with this conclusion. Subheading 9504.30, HTS, provides for coin or token operated games, which the "Computer Athlete" is not. Furthermore, the primary goal of this device is to make exercising fun and enjoyable. The concept of adapting a home exercise machine so that it can interface with game software on a personal computer is beyond the scope of heading 9504, HTS, which is intended to cover articles for arcade, table or parlor games, including pinball machines, bagatelle, billiards, and special tables for casino games.

Since the "Computer Athlete" is comprised of many individual components which are intended to be joined together to form a complete unit, it is considered a composite article. In accordance with General Rule of Interpretation 3(b), HTS, classification of a composite article is dependent on the material or component which imparts the essential character to the article. In the case of the "Computer Athlete", we do not believe that any one component imparts the essential character. Therefore, in accordance with General Rule of Interpretation 3(c), classification shall be under the heading which appears last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. In this case, the heading which applies to the interface cable appears last.

The applicable subheading for the "Computer Athlete" will be 8544.51.8000, HTS, which provides for other electric conductors, for a voltage exceeding 80 V but not exceeding 1000 V, fitted with other connectors. The rate of duty will be 4.8 percent ad valorem.

The computer diskettes are separately classifiable since they are subject to the requirements of Chapter Note 6, Chapter 85, HTS. The applicable subheading for the 3 1/2 and 5 1/4 inch diskettes will be 8524.90.4050, HTS, which provides for other recorded media; prepackaged software; recorded on magnetic media. The rate of duty will be $0.078 per square meter of recording surface.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist David Curran at 212-466-5680.


Roger J. Silvestri

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