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NY B84808

May 21, 1997

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:MM:109 B84808


TARIFF NO.: 8517.80.2000

Mr. Kevin M. Diran
Armen Customs Brokers
839 Mitten Road, Suite 129
Burlingame, CA 94010

RE: The tariff classification of a network communication device from Malaysia, Taiwan or Thailand

Dear Mr. Diran:

In your letter dated April 17, 1997 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Navitel Communications, Inc., Menlo Park, California.

The merchandise is described in your letter as a network communication device. It will be marketed to the general public as a tool which will make regular, interactive use of the Web a reality. A sample was submitted. The device incorporates a telephone/speaker phone with keypad and answering capability, a 28.8 kbps high speed modem for data communication, R3000 based RISC microprocessor, a 640x480 VGA LCD screen, a QWERTY pull-out keyboard, 8 Mbits ROM, 4 Mbits RAM, PCMCIA type II slot, etc. It provides Internet access, E-mail, home shopping and banking, as well as personal information management (PIM) such as note pad, address book, calendar, clock, calculator. The RISC processor is said to be freely programmable. It can download software from a server, or through the PCMCIA slot.

This device is a composite machine pursuant to Note 3, Section XVI, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). It performs at least two alternative functions: data processing and telecommunications (both voice and data communications), and it will be marketed based on both functions. However, it is difficult to separate the data processing functions from the telecommunications functions in this device, since both are supported in many instances by common hardware. Neither the data processing nor the telecommunications function can be determined to be the principal function of this device. Pursuant to GRI 3(c) this device "...shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration." Therefore, the applicable heading for this network communication device is 8517, HTS.

At the subheading level this device performs the alternative functions of voice communications (telephonic), and data communications (telegraphic). Again, because of the design of this device, neither function can be determined to be the principal function. Therefore, pursuant to GRI 6 and GRI 3(c) this network communication device is classified as telegraphic apparatus, the subheading which occurs last in numerical order.

The applicable subheading for the network communication device will be 8517.80.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "[o]ther apparatus: [t]elegraphic." The rate of duty will be 4.7 %.

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 Eileen S. Kaplan at 212-466-5673.


Robert B. Swierupski
Chief, Metals & Machinery

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