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May 10, 1999

CLA-2-84: RR:NC:1:110 E81686


TARIFF NO: 8471.90.0000; 8471.60.5500

Mr. Billy J. Gwin, LCB
Trade Management Services (TMS)
1201 C Street NW
Auburn, WA 98001-3937

RE: The tariff classification of a wireless mobile terminal and printer from Australia

Dear Mr. Gwin:

In your letter dated May 3, 1999, on behalf of Akyman USA Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration involves a MTEC handheld portable wireless mobile data terminal that captures and processes business transactions, accepts and processes payments by check or card, and utilizes two-way digital messaging.

The MTEC terminal is thus a handheld point-of- sale terminal that reads credit cards, debit cards and smart cards and can scan barcodes or data keyed in on the keypad. It can act as a two-way pager and text messenger. This device allows mobile merchants to obtain electronic credit card and check approvals virtually anywhere in the country, and can read smart cards for loyalty programs, price lists and the like. It can also scan bar codes and perform wireless data transactions with the corporate network, such as inventory queries, sales orders and invoices. The MTEC terminal, which will be described as model AFS-805, comes with a compatible thermal printer which can be attached through the serial port or by infrared wireless connection. It will be imported with the terminal at times, or can be shipped separately.

The terminal consists essentially of a molded plastic housing, printed circuit boards, wireless telephone communications modem, transmitters, receivers, microphone, antenna, a 128 x 64 dot LCD screen, keypad, magnetic stripe reader, smart card reader, ports and power cord. Nickel cadmium batteries and chip cards may be included, or may be purchased in the U.S. after importation. It can hold up to 1mb of memory and has the ability to perform calculating functions much like a cash register, and can make a record of a transaction. It can establish a dial-up connection to a computer via radio based public cellular networks, and can be directly connected to a computer through the serial port.

The AFS-09 thermal printer is a standard thermal printer for use with POS terminal-type or adding machine-type thermal transfer paper. It is powered by nickel cadmium batteries and operates via an infrared or serial port connection to the Akyman MTEC terminal. It is capable of connection to any computer with an RS 232 serial port or infrared connectivity. Please note Legal Note 5 (D) to Chapter 84 of the HTS.

Since this device performs not only data reading / scanning functions, POS entry functions, and messaging functions, it would meet the definition of a composite machine as per Legal Note 3 to Section XVI to the HTS. The principal function of this terminal appears to be its card reading ability, and would thus fall under the part 2 provision of Heading 8471 as magnetic or optical readers.

The applicable subheading for the MTEC terminal will be 8471.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for magnetic or optical readers, and machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the AFS-09 thermal printer will be 8471.60.5500, HTS, which provides for thermal transfer printer units. The rate of duty will be free.

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 212-637-7019.


Robert B. Swierupski

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