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HQ 965368

MARCH 6, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965368 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8512.30.00

Mr. Robert Resetar
Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
980 Hammond Drive
Atlanta, GA 30328

RE: NY F87653 Revoked; Parking Assistant

Dear Mr. Resetar:

In NY F87653, which the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued to you on June 21, 2000, the Parking Assistant, a device to assist drivers when backing vehicles into parking spaces, was found to be classifiable in subheading 8531.80.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as other electric sound signaling apparatus.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY F87653 was published on January 30, 2002, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 36, Number 5. No comments were received in response to that notice.


The Parking Assistant was described in NY F87653 as consisting of four sensors located on the rear bumper, and a control unit mounted under the driver’s seat, the apparatus powered by the vehicle’s electrical system. The sensors emit and receive ultrasonic waves at regular intervals. These waves are transmitted back to the control unit which triangulates the distance
between the vehicle and an object behind it. The control unit emits an audible beep, presumably for the benefit of the driver, with the signal increasing to a continuous sound as the vehicle gets closer to an object. The actual distance from the object, however, is not displayed numerically.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8512 Electrical lighting or signaling equipment (excluding articles of heading 8539), windshield wipers, defrosters and demisters, of a kind used for cycles or motor vehicles; parts thereof:

8512.30.00 Sound signaling equipment

Electric sound or visual signaling apparatus (for example, bells, sirens, indicator panels, burglar or fire alarms), other than those of heading 8512 or 8530; parts thereof:

8531.80 Other apparatus:

8531.80.90 Other


Whether the Parking Assistant is a good of heading 8512.


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.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

By its terms, heading 8531 excludes electric sound signaling apparatus of heading 8512. The qualifying language in heading 8512 “of a kind used for cycles or motor vehicles” denotes a provision governed by principal use, i.e., the use at or immediately prior to the date of importation of the goods of that class or kind to which an article belongs. The ENs on p. 1461 list horns, sirens and other electrical sound signaling appliances as being within the scope of heading 8512. It is reasonable and logical to conclude that the audible “beep“ emitted by the control unit in the Parking Assistant qualifies as a type of sound signaling substantially similar to that produced by horns and sirens. Moreover, while a sample of the Parking Assistant is not currently available, our examination of substantially similar devices, their packaging and accompanying literature, leads us to conclude that the Parking Assistant belongs to a class or kind of sound signaling equipment principally used with motor vehicles. See HQ 964660 and HQ 964661, both dated January 4, 2001, motor vehicle alarm systems believed to be substantially similar to the Parking Assistant.


Under the authority of GRI 1 the Parking Assistant is provided for in heading 8512. It is classifiable in subheading 8512.30.00, HTSUS.


NY F87653, dated June 21, 2000, is revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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