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HQ 964018

June 7, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964018 GOB


TARIFF NO.: 8544.20.00

Ken Xi
Manager of Import/Export Operations
Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.
2801 Telecom Parkway
Richardson, Texas 75082

RE: Cable; Coaxial cable; Coaxial flat cable; Subheading 8544.20.00, HTSUS

Dear Mr. Xi:

This is in response to your ruling request of March 1, 2000 to the Binding Ruling Clerk, U.S. Customs Service, New York on behalf of Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.


You request a tariff classification ruling with respect to goods described by you as “coaxial flat cable.” The purchase specifications submitted also refer to the cable as “coaxial flat cable.” The part numbers are FC9608CAB1; FC9607CAB2; FC9607CAB3; and FC9607CAB4.

You have submitted a sample. You state that: “The sample cable represents the same type of cable as all of the above part numbers. The only differences could be from the length of the cable to size of the connector.”

You state that the cable is used with telecommunications equipment in that it connects different systems.


The tariff classification of the subject cable: is it classified in subheading 8544.20.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) or in subheading 8544.51.70, HTSUS?


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRI’s”). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“EN’s”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the EN’s provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80.

Legal Note 2 to Section XVI, HTSUS, provides, in pertinent part:

Subject to note 1 to this section, note 1 to chapter 84 and to note 1 to chapter 85, parts of machines (not being parts of the articles of heading 8484, 8544, 8545, 8546 or 8547) are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85 (other than headings 8409, 8431, 8448, 8466, 8473, 8485, 8503, 8522, 8529, 8538 and 8548) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings;

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Insulated (including enameled or anodized) wire, cable (including coaxial cable) and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors 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:
8544.51.40 Fitted with modular telephone connectors Other:
8544.51.70 Of a kind used for telecommunications 8544.51.90 Other[.]

The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (1992) defines coaxial cable as:

An electrical transmission line comprising an inner, central conductor surrounded by a tubular outer conductor. The two conductors are separated by an electrically insulating medium which supports the inner conductor and keeps it concentric with the outer conductor.

The IBM Dictionary of Computing (10th ed., 1993) defines coaxial cable as:

A cable consisting of one conductor, usually a small copper tube or wire, within and insulated from another conductor of larger diameter, usually copper tubing or copper braid.

The Microsoft Press Computer Dictionary (3rd ed., 1997) defines coaxial cable as:

A two-conductor cable consisting of a center wire inside a grounded cylindrical shield, typically made of braided wire, that is insulated from the center wire.

In HQ 088496 dated April 12, 1991, we held certain “instant sensor” cable to be coaxial cable “since it consists of a solid copper center (conductor), surrounded by polyethylene (insulating medium), which, in turn, is surrounded by copper braid (outside conductor), and is used for sending or receiving RF impulses.”

The subject cable consists of the following: an inner conductor of wire, surrounded by an insulator, surrounded by a second wire (drain wire; of copper) and foil (combination aluminum and plastic), surrounded by additional insulation, surrounded by cloth tape, surrounded in part by spiral tubing, and surrounded by a shield sleeve. The cable is fitted with connectors and is used with telecommunications systems.

It is our determination that the subject cable is coaxial cable because it meets the above definitions of coaxial cable, i.e., there is an inner conductor and an outer conductor which are separated by an insulating medium. In the course of making this determination we have spoken with certain industry officials who believe the subject cable to be coaxial cable.

Accordingly, we find that the cable is classified in subheading 8544.20.00, HTSUS, as “Coaxial cable and other coaxial electric conductors.”


The subject cable is classified in subheading 8544.20.00, HTSUS, as “Coaxial cable and other coaxial electric conductors.”


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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