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NY G82341

October 18, 2000

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:MM:110 G82341


TARIFF NO.: 8473.30.5000; 8524.39.4000

Mr. Thomas W. Phalen, V.P.
345 Encinal Street
P.O. Box 635
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

RE: The tariff classification of the DSP-100 Computer Headset from China.

Dear Mr. Phalen:

In your letter dated September 7, 2000 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is the Plantronics DSP-100 Computer Headset which comes with a Universal Serial Bus (USB) that interfaces to the USB connector used in Personal Computers (PC's). The DSP-100 is a stereo headband digital headset with an adjustable headband and a boom mounted directional electret condenser microphone (ECM). A single cable exits from the lower side of the capsule portion. The opposite end of the cable is provided with a type "A" USB plug that interfaces to a USB connector used in PC's. There is an inline control module integrated into the cable with momentary switches for speaker volume control and microphone mute, allowing users to increase or decrease the volume and turn off the mic. This in-line module utilizes three separate chipsets; a streaming controller which pulls the audio information from the USB bus and puts it back again; CODEC, that takes audio data and converts it from an analog stream to a digital one, and vice-versa; and a dedicated audio Digital Signal Processor (DSP), to modify the signal. A clothing clip is integrated into the inline control module. This clip may be used to secure the cable to the user's garments, removing most of the cable weight and improving the stability of the headset. Plantronics digital USB interface provides optimal audio fidelity for the headset. All DSP-100 headsets come with PC Audio Control Center software in the form of a CD-ROM that contains a program created by Plantronics, which allows control of the USB headset. This program provides an interface for setting parameters like volume, speaker balance, bass, treble, and some equalization presets for both the microphone and speaker settings.

This device/machine is a composite good made up of different components, which are described under different provisions of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). Noting Section XVI, Note 3, "Unless the context otherwise requires, composite machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a whole and other machines adapted for the purpose of performing two or more complementary or alternative functions are to be classified as if consisting only of that component or as being that machine which performs the principal function."

A Universal Serial Bus is a direct high-speed digital connection into a Personal Computer. Connecting a headset via a PC's USB port allows one to bypass the sound card entirely and allows plug and play simplicity. The Plantronics USB interface is similar in function to a sound card. Digital signals (not analog) are received and transmitted to the computer. This eliminates electromagnetic (EMI) interference noise providing optimal audio fidelity for the headset. The USB electronics represent approximately 70% of the value of the DSP-100. This enhanced USB interface with its CODEC and DSP chipsets provides the principal function of this device.

The applicable subheading for the DSP-100 Computer Headset will be 8473.30.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with machines of headings 8469 to 8472: Parts and accessories of the machines of heading 8471: Not incorporating a cathode ray tube: Other." The rate of duty will be free.

As per Legal Note 6 of Chapter 85, records, tapes and other media of heading 8523 or 8524 remain classified in those headings, whether or not they are entered with the apparatus for which they are intended.

The applicable subheading for the CD-Rom software will be 8524.39.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Records, tapes and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded phenomenaDiscs for laser reading systems: Other: For reproducing representations of instructions, data, sound, and image, recorded in a machine readable binary form, and capable of being manipulated or providing interactivity to a user, by means of an automatic data processing machine; proprietary format recorded discs." 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 Eileen S. Kaplan at 212-637-7019.


Robert B. Swierupski

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