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NY G86928

February 9, 2001

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:1:108 G86928


TARIFF NO.: 8525.40.4040, 8524.39.8000

Ms. Maurine Cecil
American Shipping Company Inc.
400 Oceangate, Suite 1106
Long Beach, CA 90802

RE: The tariff classification of digital cameras from China and Taiwan.

Dear Ms. Cecil:

In your letter dated January 31, 2001 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The items in question are denoted as AOL’s digiCam, Digital Camera and AOL’s PhotoCam plus, LCD Digital Camera. Each is packaged for retail sale to the consumer as a set (samples enclosed).

The digiCam model is packaged with a PC serial cable, CD-ROM software, a user manual and a 9-volt battery. The camera is a digital still image camera with a 320 x 240 resolution, a built-in internal flash memory with an 18-24-picture storage capacity, optical viewfinder, self-timer and quantity indicator.

The PhotoCam plus model is packaged with CD-ROM software, USB and PC serial cables, TV/VCR cable, AC adapter, 4 batteries, users manual and a vinyl camera case. The camera is a digital still image camera with a 640 x 480 resolution, an 8MB built-in internal memory with a 128 picture storage capability, optical viewfinder, 3-way flash, 1.8 inch color LCD display a memory expansion slot and an image sensor PS CCD with 350K pixels.

Each of the cameras is a digital still image camera with storage capability. They are designed to take still pictures and with the aid of the software, transmit such pictures over the Internet via your personal computer. These cameras do operate independently and do not require the computer for their picture taking capability. The PhotoCam model also enables the user to view the stored still images on either a TV or VCR.

Explanatory Note X to GRI 3b provides that for the purpose of this rule, the terms “goods put up in sets for retail sale” shall be taken to mean goods which:

A. Consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings.

B. Consist of products or articles put up together to meet a specific activity; and

C. Are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repackaging (e.g. in boxes or cases or on boards).

It is the opinion of this office that the above specified model cameras, packaged for sale with their accessories do meet the three-part test and are considered a set. Each configured model is composed of articles, which a prima facie classified in different headings. Together the products perform the activity of taking digital pictures and transmitting them over the Internet via a computer and the items are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repackaging (retail packaging furnished). Since the articles constitute a set and classification cannot be made in accordance with GRI 3(a), the essential character of the set must be determined in accordance with GRI 3(b). EN VIII to GRI 3(b) states that:

The factor, which determines essential character, will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. After consideration it is the opinion of this office that the digital cameras impart the essential character to each of their respective sets. They each perform the dominant function and are the reason a consumer would purchase such a set.

In accordance with Legal Note 6 to 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 AOL digiCam Digital Camera set and the AOL PhotoCam plus LCD Digital camera set will be 8525.40.4040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Transmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras or other video camera recorders: Still image video cameras and other video camera recorders: Digital still image video cameras. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for each CD-ROM software application will be 8524.39.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for records, tapes and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded phenomena, including matrices and masters for the production of records, but excluding products of chapter 37: Discs for laser reading systems: Other: Other. The rate of duty will be 2.7 percent ad valorem. In accordance with TD 85-124 the duty will be assessed only upon the cost of the carrier medium.

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 Michael Contino at 212-637-7039.


Robert B. Swierupski

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