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NY H81441

June 25, 2001

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:110 H81441


TARIFF NO.: 8471.50.0085

Ms. Peggy Nguyen
Apple Computer, Inc.
1 Infinite Loop
M/S 3-IE
Cupertino, CA 95014-2084

RE: The tariff classification of a “MAIN LOGIC BOARD FOR A PERSONAL COMPUTER, WITHOUT RAM DIMM (DIMM), WITH PROCESSOR (MPU), WITH ROM” from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Mexico.

Dear Ms. Nguyen:

In your letter dated May 23, 2001, on behalf of Apple Computer, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is a main logic board for a personal computer (PC), commonly known as a motherboard. Upon importation, this motherboard will contain a “Micro Processor Unit “(MPU) (same as a microprocessor (CPU)) and “Read Only Memory” (ROM), but would lack the “Random Access Memory” (RAM) “Dual In-line Memory Module (DIMM). It is noted that the processor has imbedded level 2 cache memory.

The definitions for “motherboard”, “CPU”, “microprocessor”, “ROM” and “DIMM” can be found in The Computer Glossary, Ninth Edition, © 2001 by Alan Freedman. The term “motherboard” is defined as “The main printed circuit board in an electronic device, which contains sockets that accept additional boards.” The term “CPU” is defined as “The computing part of the computer. Also called the “processor,” it is made up of the control unit and ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit).” The ALU is the high-speed CPU circuit that does the calculating and computing. The term “microprocessor” is defined as “A CPU on a single chip.” In a personal computer, the motherboard contains the bus, the CPU and coprocessor sockets, memory sockets, keyboard controller and supporting chips. Chips that control the video display, serial and parallel ports, mouse and disk drives may or may not be present on the motherboard. The term “ROM” (Read Only Memory) is defined as “A memory chip that permanently stores instructions and data.” The ROM memory chip is the part of an operating system that contains the machine instructions necessary to activate the peripheral devices. The ROM indicates that it is permanently stored in a read only memory chip. By definition, then, the motherboard contains all the devices necessary for controlling the peripherals with the system. The ROM is responsible for activating the peripheral devices. Therefore, the ROM is essential to the operation of the motherboard. The term “DIMM” (Dual In-line Memory Module) is defined as “A narrow printed circuit board that holds memory chips.” DIMM modules can be added one at a time. They plug into a DIMM socket on the motherboard and use a 168-pin connector.

Note 5(A) to Chapter 84, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), states:

For purposes of heading 8471, the expression “automatic data processing machines” means:

Digital machines, capable of (1) storing the processing program or programs and at least the data immediately necessary for execution of the program; (2) being freely programmed in accordance with the requirements of the user; (3) performing arithmetical computations specified by the user; and, (4) executing, without human intervention, a processing program which requires them to modify their execution, by logical decision during the processing run.

GRI 2(a) provides direction regarding unfinished and incomplete articles. It states that: Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled. Complete ADP “motherboards” with central processing unit (CPU) chips have been consistently deemed to possess the essential character of an ADP processing unit. We find that the subject motherboard containing a CPU chip, BIOS ROM, and level 2 cache memory meets the criteria of Legal Note 5(A)(a) to chapter 84, HTS. The presence of the cache gives the capability of storing the processing program or programs and at least the data immediately necessary for execution of a program. Therefore, we find that the subject merchandise is classifiable as an unfinished ADP machine under heading 8471, HTS, based upon GRI 2(a). Note Headquarters Letter 957489, which was the subject of a main processor board, also without its main memory, and classified as a digital processing unit.

The applicable subheading for the “MAIN LOGIC BOARD FOR A PERSONAL COMPUTER, WITHOUT RAM DIMM (DIMM), WITH PROCESSOR (MPU), WITH ROM” will be 8471.50.0085, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Automatic data processing machines and units thereofDigital processing units other than those of subheading 8471.41 and 8471.49, whether or not containing in the same housing one or two of the following types of unitOther.” 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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