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 962429 - HQ 962648 > HQ 962601

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 962601

October 25, 1999

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962601 gah


TARIFF NO.: 8524.31.00, 8524.39.00. 8524.91.00, 8524.99.40

Area Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
9901 Pacific Highway
Blaine, Washington 98230

RE: Protest 3004-99-100022; recorded media

Dear Port Director:

This is a decision on protest 3004-99-100022 timely filed, on behalf of Ingram Micro Inc., on December 30, 1998, against your decision regarding the classification of recorded media. The entry, dated October 10, 1996, was liquidated on October 6, 1998.


The merchandise is recorded media, invoiced as computer software, apparently some on CD-ROMs and some on floppy disks. There is no description as to whether the media has recorded on it sound, images, data or some combination thereof.

Customs classified the subject merchandise at entry in subheadings 8524.31.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for records, tapes, and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded phenomena... , discs for laser reading systems, for reproducing phenomena other than sound or image; subheading 8524.39.00, HTSUS, discs, other; subheading 8524.91.00, HTSUS, other recorded media, for reproducing phenomena other than sound or image; and subheading 8524.99.40, HTSUS, other recorded media, other.

In the opinion of the protestant those classification determinations were incorrect. The protestant advocates classification of the subject merchandise in subheading 8524.31.0070, HTSUS, which provides for discs for laser reading systems, for reproducing phenomena other than sound or image, other; and subheading 8524.91.0070, HTSUS, which provides for other recorded media, for reproducing phenomena other than sound or image, other .


Whether the computer software in laser disc and floppy disc forms are for reproducing only data or data and sound or image?


The protestant protests Customs classification of computer software it has imported, claiming that the recorded phenomena are for reproducing phenomena other than sound or image, but fails to provide samples or descriptions of the content of the media. Instead, protestant claims that Customs should follow a series of notations on invoices and entries which are keyed to Ingram Micro=s Reseller Reference and Price Guide descriptions in its index and there determine the exact nature of the contents of the media. Assuming Customs would be able to follow these notations without undue effort, this Price Guide does not describe whether the media contents include only data or data with sound and images, nor whether the software is for automatic data processing (ADP) machines, prepackages and of a kind sold at retail. In short, the protestant has failed to provide descriptions of the goods that were entered in sufficient detail so that they might be accurately classified in the HTSUS.

Section 174.13(a)(5) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 174.13(a)(5)) require that a protest contain a specific description of the merchandise affected by the decision as to which protest is made and, 19 CFR. 174.13(a)(6), the nature of, and justification for, the objection set forth distinctly and specifically with respect to each category, payment, claim, decision, or refusal. Customs has and will continue to fully consider any relevant allegation in a protest supported by competent evidence. However, in acting on a protest, Customs cannot and will not assume facts that are not presented. Without samples of the merchandise entered, nor the above information supplied, there is no way to determine the merit of the protest.

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the rules of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI.

For your information, we are briefly considering the classification principles that would govern the merchandise under consideration in this case. The provisions at issue from the HTSUS for 1996, the year the merchandise was entered, are as follows:

Discs for laser reading systems:
8524.31.00 For reproducing phenomena other than sound or image 8524.32.00 For reproducing sound only
8524.39.00 Other

8524.91.00 For reproducing phenomena other than sound or image 8524.99 Other:

The protestant indicates that the goods are in disc and Aother@ form, and claims that both media is only for reproducing phenomena other than sound or image. Protestant describes the goods only as computer software. While the goods may indeed be recorded with data, there is no indication that the goods contain only data. The claimed classifications of subheadings 8524.31.00 and 8524.91.00 would be correct if only data were on the media, but as stated above, Customs will not assume facts. Indeed, if the media contain data and sound or image, other classifications would pertain. Thus, the descriptions of the merchandise and the reasons Customs classifications are claimed incorrect are critical, and without them, the protest fails.


The protest should be DENIED. In accordance with Section 3(A)(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision.

Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: