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NY H81450

July 2, 2001

CLA-2-92:RR:NC:2:227 H81450


TARIFF NO.: 9207.90.0040; 9801.00.10

Mr. Dennis Heck
Yamaha Corporation of America
6600 Orangethorpe Avenue
P.O. Box 6600
Buena Park, CA 90622-6600

RE: The tariff classification of an electric guitar set from Indonesia.

Dear Mr. Heck:

In your letter dated May 30, 2001, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The subject merchandise, based on the information submitted, consists of the following articles comprising a guitar set known as the Yamaha ERG121GP GigMaker Electric Guitar Kit:
the ERG 121 electric guitar (prestrung), the guitar gigbag, the GA10 guitar amplifier, the YT-120 electronic guitar tuner, and a plastic accessory bag, all produced in Indonesia;
the strings (backup set) of US origin;
the guitar strap and picks, the cable connecting the guitar to the amplifier, the string winder, and the packing box for the guitar, amplifier and accessories, all of Korean origin.

It is claimed that this kit which will be made in Indonesia from where it will be exported to the United States for retail sale should be classified as a set as other similarly composed guitar kits.

You state that since the entire kit is not a “product of” a Beneficiary Developing Country (Indonesia), it would not normally be entitled to duty-free treatment. However, you note that Customs has granted a de minimis exception for determining the “product of” requirement under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) with respect to certain components in regard to both value (the value of the component is very small as compared to the total value of the entire article) and function (the component does not constitute an integral component of the entire article without which the entire article is rendered inoperable).

You state that the instant guitar kit meets both of these requirements of the GSP de minimis provision. You substantiate this assertion in noting that the various accessories of this kit, originating from Korea and the United States, play a de minimis role both in value (noting the Korean accessories amount to a very small percentage of the total cost of the kit) and in function (stating the accessories do not render the kit inoperable because the essential character is imparted by the guitar and amplifier).

This office does concur that the components of this guitar kit meet the definition of a set for tariff purposes with the essential character being imparted by the electric guitar and that most of the cited non-Indonesian accessories do play a de minimis role in value and function. However, it has been determined that the cable connecting the guitar to the amplifier, representing a very small value as compared to the total value of the guitar set, is not de minimis in regard to “function.” In the instant case the cable, being a product of a non-Beneficiary Developing Country (Korea), serves to supply the power from the guitar to the amplifier which produces the electrically amplified sound. This function has been found to be indispensable in the performance of the electric guitar. In this respect, the guitar/amplifier cable is deemed to be an integral component of the guitar set, thereby precluding the de minimis exception with respect to GSP eligibility.

It should be noted, based on previous rulings, that there will be a classification allowance for the value of the US-originating component (the set of backup strings) on the contingency of satisfying the “conditions and requirements” of subheading 9801.00.10, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS).

The applicable subheading for the components of this guitar set, excluding the US component (the set of backup strings), will be 9207.90.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for musical instruments, the sound of which is produced, or must be amplified, electrically (for example, organs, guitars, accordions): other, fretted stringed instruments. The rate of duty will be 5 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the US-originating component, the set of backup strings, will be 9801.00.10, HTS, which provides for products of the United States when returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad. The rate of duty will be free providing that the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.1 are met.

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 George Kalkines at 212-637-7073.


Robert B. Swierupski

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