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HQ 965092

APRIL 11, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965092 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8537.10.90

John M. Peterson, Esq.
Neville, Peterson & Williams
80 Broad Street, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10004

RE: User Control Panel

Dear Mr. Peterson:

In a letter to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, dated May 11, 2001 (file 2401-01), on behalf of Xerox Corporation, you inquire as to the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a control panel for a copy machine. Your request has been forwarded to this office for reply. A sample, together with drawings and specifications, were submitted. In preparing this ruling, consideration was given to your supplemental submission of February 28, 2002, as well as the additional facts and legal arguments you presented in a teleconference with members of my staff on March 22, 2002.


The User Control Panel (control panel), identified as part 101K20460, is described as the user interface dedicated for use exclusively with the Xerox 5126 Copier. It consists of a printed circuit board containing, on one end, numerous switches that control copy quality, reduction/enlargement and paper supply, among other variables, relays and other electronic components. On the other end is a numbered keypad with stop, start and interrupt switches. Positioned in the middle of the Control Panel is a liquid crystal display (LCD) touchscreen pad that displays copy count plus diagnostic information. The reduction/enlargement panel also features an LCD numerical indicator. The device connects to the electrical systems of the 5126 Copier to permit a user to initiate all of the commands which control the operation of the copier.

The argument is that the Xerox 5126 Copier is a light-lens photocopying system that reproduces an original image by means of an intermediate onto the copy (indirect process) of the type described in subheading 9009.12.00, HTSUS. The control panel allows the user to control and command the Copier by two types of user interface, a keyboard and liquid crystal display panel. You conclude that the control panel is dedicated to and capable of use only with the 5126 Copier and is integral and essential to the Copier’s operation. As such, it is described by subheading 9009.99 as parts and accessories of photocopying apparatus. You cite HQ 963672, dated June 20, 2000, as authority for classifying a substantially similar control panel as parts of photocopiers, in subheading 9009.90.10, HTSUS. As you are aware, Customs considers heading 8537, HTSUS, boards, panels and other bases for electric control or the distribution of electricity, as meriting consideration.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Boards, panels, consolesequipped with two or more apparatus of heading 8535 or 8536, for electric control or the distribution of electricity

For a voltage not exceeding 1,000V:

8537.10.90 Other

Photocopying apparatus incorporating an optical system or of the contact type and thermocopying apparatus; parts and accessories thereof:

Parts and accessories


Parts of photocopying apparatus of subheading 9009.12 specified in additional U.S. note 5 to this chapter

9009.99.80 Other


Whether the control panel is a good of heading 8537.


Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

Chapter 90, Note 2(a), HTSUS, states in part that parts and accessories which are goods included in any of the headings of [chapter 90] or of chapter 84, 85 or 91 are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings. Note 2(b) states in part that other parts and accessories are to be classified with the machines or apparatus with which they are solely or principally used.

The ruling you cite, HQ 963672, sanctioned the use of Chapter 90, Note 2, HTSUS, as the controlling authority in classifying merchandise substantially similar to the control panel at issue here. It also discussed the applicability of heading 8537. But the ruling classified the merchandise as parts and accessories of photocopying apparatus only after concluding that “the documentation does not reflect that the subject articles are goods within the scope of heading 8537.” The clear instruction is that if the control panel at issue here is within the scope of heading 8537, Chapter 90, Note 2(a) would require that it be classified in that heading. In this regard, HQ 961727, dated May 22, 1998,considered the classification of the Touch Screen graphic liquid crystal display (LCD) module. This ruling contains an extensive discussion of the requirements for classification in heading 8537 and why that heading prevails over subheading 9009.90, HTSUS, parts and accessories for photocopying apparatus. The LCD feature was found to be integral to the operation of the Touch Screen’s control features covered by heading 8537. We deem HQ 961727 dispositive of the issues raised in this ruling request. Suffice it to say that the control panel here, which incorporates on a board or panel multiple switches of heading 8536, plus relays of the same heading, and the LCD touchscreen pad, whose principal use is for electric control or the distribution of electricity is a good included in heading 8537.


Under the authority of GRI 1 and Chapter 90, Note 2, HTSUS, the User Control Panel for the Xerox Copier model 5126, part 101K20460, is provided for in heading 8537. It is classifiable in subheading 8537.10.90, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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