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NY A 86345

August 15, 1996

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:MA:110 A 86345


TARIFF NO.: 8472.90.9000; 9612.10.1020

Mr. John Hanson
Epson America Inc.
20770 Madrona Avenue
Mail Stop B1-02
Torrance, CA 90503-3777

RE: The tariff classification of a Label machine and a tape cartridge from Japan.

Dear Mr. Hanson:

In your letter dated July 25, 1996, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration involves a model 2001xl label machine and the tape cartridge for these machines. The label machine is a compact desktop machine with a base, that allows the user to create labels that will be used as name tags and shelf labels. The labeler incorporates a standard format 63-key keyboard, two-line 24-character display, adjustable fonts, compact tape ribbon cartridges, and a 2,000 character memory. The machine is approximately 6.7 inches in width, 8.5 inches in length, 2.1 inches in height and weighs 1.4 pounds without the batteries and tape.

The tape cartridge comes in various widths (1/4", 3/8", «", and 1") and various color combinations. The tape is constructed of a tear-resistant polyester base with a pressure sensitive acrylic adhesive system. The tape is inside of a plastic cartridge and is comparable to a ribbon that is inked or otherwise prepared for giving impressions.

Consideration has been given to classifying the label machine in subheading 8442.20.00, HTS, which provides for machinery, apparatus and equipment for typesetting or composing by other processes, with or without founding device, or in subheading 8443.59.50, HTS, which provides for other printing machinery: other: other. However, you state in your letter of July 25, 1996 that this article is not primarily used for typesetting layout. While it contains an LCD display which allows for editing of manually keyed text, it is principally used to print out the composed text onto pressure sensitive adhesive tape, and is not a cold composing machine. Thus 8442.20.00 does not apply. It is akin to automatic typewriters and thermal fax machines, which may be said to "print" but do not utilize type, printing blocks, plates, or cylinders and are not considered to be printing machinery. Thus the labeler is not a printing machine encompassed by subheading 8443.59.50.

Noting the principles cited in HQ Ruling 958899 of February 14, 1996, the tape cartridge for the labeling machine, would meet the definition of a ribbon permanently put up in plastic or metal cartridges, of a kind used in typewriters, ADP machines or other machines.

The applicable subheading for the model 2001xl label machine will be 8472.90.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other office machines duplicating machines, addressing machines, automatic banknote dispensers, coin-sorting machines, coin-counting or wrapping machines, pencil-sharpening, and perforating or stapling machines. The rate of duty will be 2.9 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the tape cassette cartridge will be 9612.10.1020, HTS, which provides for typewriter or similar ribbons, measuring less than 30mm in width, permanently put up in plastic or metal cartridges of a kind used in typewriters, ADP machines or other machines. The rate of duty will be 2.9 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 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 Art Brodbeck at 212-466-5490.


Roger J. Silvestri

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