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NY G82062

October 3, 2000

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:105 G82062


TARIFF NO.: 9025.80.4000

Mr. Peter Toome
Agrilink Holdings
7A/69 Burbridge Rd
Hilton, South Australia 5033

RE: The tariff classification of soil moisture sensors and printed circuit boards from Australia

Dear Mr. Toome :

In your letter, dated August 29, 2000, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

No samples were submitted, only the 25 page C-Probe User Manual. Per the manual, the C-probe has sensors which measure the moisture level of the soil at various depths chosen by the user and telemetry equipment to send that data to a device at a central location, which can produce graphs showing the moisture level at close intervals of time over a week or more. The information and graphs are used primarily in making decisions regarding the timing and extent of irrigation. The specialized software to run the system is apparently included.

You propose classification for the C-Probe in HTS 9031.49. However, there is no indication that it is an “optical” instrument, and, due to the provision for “hygrometers... recording or not” in HTS 9025, it is excluded from 9031 since it is “specified or included elsewhere” in Chapter 90.

The applicable subheading for the C-Probe will be 9025.80.4000 , Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for, inter alia, hygrographs. The general rate of duty will be 1 percent ad valorem.

Note that any dedicated software will be separately classifiable due to Note 6 to Chapter 85 of the HTS, and its value for Customs purposes will be only the value of the medium, not the value of the content. NYRL B86452, 6-19-97, noted.

Regarding the possible secondary classification of the C-Probe in HTS 9817.00.50, machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes are provided for under the special classification provision of subheading 9817.00.5000, HTS. Upon compliance with the actual use requirements of Section 10.131-.139 of the Customs Regulations, the “C-Probe” soil moisture sensor would be classifiable in subheading 9817.00.5000, HTS, and would be free of duty.

Regarding the “populated” Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs), which will be used in the C-probe, you state that you have been notified in writing by Import Specialist S. McCarthy of Customs at LAX that they are not classified in 8534.00.0095, which is the HTS they “have previously been declared under.”

Note that this office is precluded from ruling on the classification of merchandise which is the subject of a current or completed Customs transaction. If the transaction is current and you want to have your arguments considered and ruled upon, you should ask the Port Director having jurisdiction over the entry of your merchandise to seek advice from Customs Headquarters through the Internal Advice procedure. A copy of this notice should be included. If the transaction is completed and the entry has been liquidated, you should file a protest and seek further review of that protest by our Headquarters office.

If your request, in fact, relates only to prospective transactions, we will not be able to classify the PCBs without a detailed description of what they consist of and what they do within the C-probe. In particular, do they contain discrete elements or integrated circuits, do they perform one or multiple functions (and which function(s) are they), what are the inputs and outputs of the PCB, and, in what way, if any, are they identifiable as parts of hygrographs? When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request regarding the primary classification of the PCBs. If you decide to resubmit your request, please include all of the material that we have returned to you and mail your request to U.S. Customs, Customs Information Exchange, Room 437, 6 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10048, attn: Binding Rulings Section.

Regarding the possible secondary classification of the PCBs in 9817.00.6000, HTS, it describes the following: parts to be used in articles provided for in headings 8432, 8433, 8434, and 8436, whether or not such parts are principally used as parts of such articles and whether or not covered by a specific provision within the meaning of additional U.S. rule of interpretation 1(c). Headings 8432, 8433, 8434 and 8436 refer to specific types of agricultural and horticultural machinery. Since the PCBs for the “C-Probe” soil moisture sensor are not parts of machinery of one of the four named headings above, they cannot be classified in HTS 9817.00.6000.

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 concerning the status of this merchandise under 9817.00.50-.60, contact NIS Patrick Wholey at 212-637-7036. If you have any other questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist James Sheridan at 212-637-7037.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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