United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2000 HQ Rulings > HQ 961053 - HQ 962103 > HQ 961830

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 961830

OCTOBER 2, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961830 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8544.20.00

Mr. Rudy A. Pina
Joffroy Customs Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 698
Nogales, Arizona 85628-0698

RE: NY A89005 Revoked; Wiring Harness for Use With Ultrasonic Scanning Apparatus; Teflon-Coated Stranded Copper Surrounded by Outside Conductor; Coaxial Electric Conductor; Other Electric Conductors Fitted With Connectors, Subheading 8544.51.90; Chapter 90, Note 2, HTSUS; GRI 6; HQ 088496

Dear Mr. Pina:

In a letter, dated April 28, 1998, on behalf of North American Manufacturing Corporation (NAMCO), you request reconsideration of NY A89005, which the Director, Customs Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued to NAMCO on December 11, 1996. This ruling held that an insulated electrical cable with several connectors attached at one end and a single connector attached at the other end was classifiable in subheading 8544.51.80 (now 90), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other electric conductors for a voltage exceeding 80 V but not exceeding 1,000 V, fitted with connectors. Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY A89005 was published on August 26, 1998, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 32, Number 34. No comments were received in response to that notice.


The article in issue, referred to as a wiring harness, was described as consisting of an insulated electrical cable with several connectors attached at one end and a single connector attached at the other end. The ruling requester stated it was solely for use with ultrasonic scanning apparatus of the type provided for in HTS heading 9018.

A submitted sample, designated 171-0614-00/13155, is a 7-foot cable consisting of multiple Teflon-coated copper wires surrounded by a braided outside metallic conductor called a “serve.” The entire cable is further encased in rubber. The copper wires at each end, with tips bared, are evenly spaced in plastic ferrules which you refer to as programmable integrated circuits.

You cite several lexicographic sources in support of the contention that this article is in fact a coaxial cable or coaxial electric conductor of heading 8544. Notwithstanding its special construction, which you state dedicates it solely for use with apparatus of heading 9018, in your opinion it is still classifiable as a coaxial cable, in subheading 8544.20.00, HTSUS.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

8544 Insulated wire, cable (including coaxial cable) and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors;...:

8544.20.00 Coaxial cable and other coaxial electric conductors

Other electric conductors, for a voltage exceeding 80 V but not exceeding 1,000 V:

8544.51 Fitted with connectors:

8544.51.80 (now 90) Other

9018 Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences..., other electro-medical apparatus and sight- testing instruments; parts and accessories thereof:

9018.12.00 Ultrasonic scanning apparatus

Other instruments and appliances and parts and accessories thereof:

9018.90.80 Other


Whether the electric cable in issue is a coaxial cable of heading 8544.


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. GRI 3(a) states, in part, that goods which are, prima facie, provided for under two or more headings, shall be classified in the heading which provides the most specific description. GRI 6 states, in part, that in considering subheadings within the same heading, only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

In accordance with Chapter 90, Note 2, HTSUS, parts and accessories which are goods included in any of the headings of this chapter or of chapter 84, 85 or 91 are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings. See Note 2(a). Other parts and accessories are to be classified with the machines, instruments or apparatus with which they are solely or principally used. See Note 2(b).

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System
and Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Relevant ENs at p. 1521 state, in part, that provided they are insulated, heading 8544 covers electric wire, cable and other conductors used as conductors in electrical machinery, apparatus or installations. Goods of heading 8544 may be in the form of single or multiple strand insulated wire or two or more insulated wires assembled together in a common insulating sheath. Such goods are made up of a single or multiple-strand conductor, one or more coverings of insulating material, and in certain cases a metal sheath (e.g., lead, brass, aluminum or steel) which serves, among other things, as a supplementary conductor in certain co-axial cables. The cable, designated 171-0614-00/13155, conforms to this description. Coaxial security system sensor cables of substantially similar construction were held to be classifiable as coaxial cable in subheading 8544.20.00, HTSUS. See HQ 088496, dated April 12, 1991, and lexicographic authorities cited.


In accordance with Chapter 90, Note 2(a), HTSUS, the cable designated 171-0614-00/13155, is a good included in heading 8544. This precludes any parts claim in heading 9018 from consideration.

Under the authority of GRI 3(a), applied at the subheading level by GRI 6, the cable is classifiable in subheading 8544.20.00, HTSUS, as the provision for coaxial cable and other coaxial electric conductors provides a more specific description for this cable than does the provision for other electric conductors, for a voltage exceeding 80 V but not exceeding 1,000 V, fitted with connectors.

NY A89005, dated December 11, 1996, is revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1) does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: