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HQ 956884

November 18, 1994

CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 956884 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.95

Mr. Robert Slomovitz
Chief, Machinery Branch, NIS Division
United States Customs Service
6 World Trade Center, Rm. 450
New York, NY 10048

RE: Magazine, Plastic Storage Case for PC Boards, Heading 3926; Article of Plastic, Chapter 39, Note 2(o); Accessory, HQ 955987; Machinery Part, Heading 8479, 14 CIT 146

Dear Mr. Slomovitz:

This is in response to the electronic 6431 inquiry initiated by Customs at Chicago concerning the classification of pc board magazine racks from Japan.


The merchandise in issue is a plastic magazine or rack described in accompanying literature as a case for storing printed circuit (pc) boards, both bare and mounted with electronic components. The racks are generally rectangular in shape and function to hold pc boards. The racks are equipped with slots mounted at a 10 mm pitch and are resistant to static electricity and heat. The slots keep the boards from making contact with each other and damaging the electronic components.

The local import specialist maintains that the racks are parts used with machines that produce printed circuit boards. Submitted literature depicts these racks with board feeder and stocking units and with buffer units that are placed between machines in the production line to receive boards when a machine stops. The import specialist proposes to classify the plastic racks as parts of machines and mechanical appliances, in subheading 8479.90.80 (now 95), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Section XVI, Note 2(b), HTSUS.

The National Import Specialist maintains the plastic racks are not parts of any machine but function as storage containers or holders; as such, they are accessories whose use with board- making machines is optional. The NIS proposes to classify these racks in subheading 3926.90.95, HTSUS, as other articles of plastics. It is noted that chapter 39 does not cover articles of section XVI. Chapter 39, Note 2(o), HTSUS.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

3926 Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914:

3926.90 Other:

3926.90.95 Other...5.3 percent

8479 Machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in [chapter 84]; parts thereof:

8479.90 Parts:

8479.90.95 Other...3.7 percent


Whether the plastic pc board magazine or rack is a part or an accessory for tariff purposes.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

For tariff purposes a part is an article that is necessary to the completion and proper functioning of the article with which it is used. It is an integral, constituent or component part without which the parent article cannot function as intended. Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States, 14 CIT 146 (1990). An accessory, on the other hand, though identifiable as being intended for use solely or principally with a specific
article, is generally not necessary to enable the good with which it is used to fulfill its intended function. Accessories are of secondary importance, not essential in and of themselves. However, they must somehow contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article, they must facilitate its use or handling, widen its range of uses, or improve its operation. HQ 955987, dated June 30, 1994.

In our opinion, the pc board racks in issue conform to the description of accessories rather than parts. Submitted literature depicts their use with a number of machines used to make printed circuit boards. These include stacker-feeders that feed boards one at a time, board stockers, machines that automatically stock mounted pc boards in the magazine racks, inverter-feeders that flip boards for working the reverse side, buffer-stockers to receive boards in case of machine malfunction or system shutdown, and assorted conveyors. Although they can be used to transport pc boards between work stations they do not function independently as they have no mechanical capability. The magazine racks function primarily to hold or store pc boards. The various processing machines do not require use of the magazine racks as they are capable of handling/feeding the pc boards themselves. Therefore, the magazine racks are not parts of machines of heading 8479.


The plastic magazine racks in issue are accessories for tariff purposes, provided for in heading 3926 as articles of plastic. They are classifiable in subheading 3926.90.95, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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