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HQ 953116

October 6, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953116 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 8525.30.00

Mr. James F. Trubits
Customs Brokers
434 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202

RE: MicroImager Digital Camera; CCD Camera; Optical Measuring or Checking Instruments; Electronic Still Image Video Cameras; Note 2 to Chapter 90; HQ 954727; HQ 088025; HQ 952164, Revoked

Dear Mr. Trubits:

This is in response to your letter of December 8, 1992, requesting reconsideration of HQ 952164 (September 1, 1992) which classified the MicroImager Digital Camera under subheading 9011.90.00, of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The subject merchandise, labeled the MicroImager, is a high resolution solid state imaging device which is designed to be attached to various devices such as microscopes, telescopes, x- ray image converters, as well as other devices to check or measure. According to the information provided, the MicroImager is a charged couple device (CCD) camera which samples the image by using the attached device's optics and digitizes the picture. The image itself is viewed on a monitor.


Is the MicroImager classifiable as parts and accessories to compound optical microscopes or as parts and accessories to optical measuring or checking instruments or as a television camera under the 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.

In HQ 952164, we determined that the MicroImager appeared to be principally used with optical microscopes to transform the microscope into a digital image analysis system. Based upon that information we held that the subject merchandise was classifiable under subheading 9011.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for parts and accessories of compound optical microscopes.

In your request for reconsideration, you indicate that the MicroImager has many applications beyond that of optical microscopy. For example, the subject merchandise can be used in ballistic studies which involve high-speed shuttering or pulsed stroboscopic illumination of projectiles in motion. Another application is the inspection of bare or populated boards to detect errors in the board's wiring pattern or whether there are wrong or missing electronic components.

You argue that the MicroImager is the same as the CCD camera incorporated into the Leco 2001 Image Analysis System (LIAS) which Customs classified as other optical measuring and checking instruments in HQ 088025, dated January 17, 1991. In HQ 088025, Customs held that the LIAS was classifiable as a measuring instrument because it was a functional unit, consisting of an image analysis processor housed in a 386 computer, hard drive, floppy disc drivers, a high resolution (CCD) camera, keyboard, printer and high resolution monitors.

The classification of the LIAS as a measuring instrument is based upon the fact that the LIAS is imported as a functional unit. In the present case, the MicroImager is a CCD camera, which you claim is a part of a functional unit like the LIAS. Note 2 to Chapter 90 provides as follows:

[p]arts and accessories for machines, apparatus, instruments or articles of this Chapter are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts and accessories which are goods included in any of the headings of this Chapter or of Chapter 84, 85 or 91 (other than headings No. 84.85, 85.48 or 90.33) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings;

According to Note 2 to Chapter 90, if the Microimager is more specifically provided for in another heading other than a parts heading, it should be classified there. Customs recently held in HQ 954727, dated August 17, 1993, that

CCD cameras known as still video cameras, or electronic still image cameras, are within a class or kind of merchandise classified, under the current language of the HTSUS, as "[T]elevision cameras: . . . Television cameras", in subheading 8525.30.00, HTSUS.

Based upon HQ 954727, we find that the MicroImager which is a CCD camera and, therefore, is classifiable under subheading 8525.30.00, HTSUS.


The MicroImager is classifiable under subheading 8525.30.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[T]elevision cameras: . . . Television cameras. . . ." The general, column one rate of duty is 4.2 percent ad valorem.


HQ 952164, dated September 1, 1992, no longer reflects the position of Customs Service and is hereby revoked pursuant to section 177.9(d) of the Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.9(d)].


John Durant, Director

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