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NY H88162

March 5, 2002

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:103 H88162


TARIFF NO.: 8477.80.0000

Mr. Joseph P. Cox
Stein Shostak Shostak & O’Hara
Suite 1200
515 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071-3329

RE: The tariff classification of the model CT-304 flatbed cutter from Japan

Dear Mr. Cox:

In your letter dated January 29, 2002 on behalf of Roland DGA Corporation you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Literature submitted with your inquiry indicates the model CT-304 flatbed cutter is intended to be used in conjunction with a separate personal computer or workstation (not imported with the model CT-304) to cut computer generated graphic designs into various materials up to .98 inch in thickness. The machine basically consists of a flat work table supported on four roller legs, a movable beam incorporating sliding cutter heads, a vacuum system connected to the table by ducting, a control panel, software, and a servo-controlled DC motor. The unit contains three standard cutting heads (two tangential and one pen/swivel-drag), and utilizes a vacuum material hold down system as well as a stainless steel belt drive for precision movement of the cutting heads. It features a maximum down-force of 5000 grams and a maximum work area of 47.24 inches by 35.4 inches. Its maximum plotting (cutting) speed is 19.7 inches per second with an accuracy of .004 inch. The model CT-304 is 69.1 inches wide, 62.8 inches deep, and 43.3 inches high, and weighs 308 pounds.

The model CT-304 is intended for use in the signmaking industry to cut reflective vinyl for highway signs, sand blast masks for monuments and wood displays, PVC vinyl for letters and graphics, and rubylith for film positives. It will be also be used in the clothing and textile industries to cut leather and cloth, wetsuit rubber, twill fabric for athletic jerseys, and paper for textile patterns, and in the packaging industry to cut and crease paperboard for boxes. In addition, it can be used in other industries for cutting felt, cork, and carbon sheets, and can even engrave brass using a diamond scriber.

In your letter you contended that the model CT-304 should be classified in subheading 8471.60.9070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), as an “output device” of an automatic data processing machine. You based this contention on the decision of the United States Court of Appeals concerning an ink jet printer/plotter in Hewlett-Packard v .United States, No. 98-1537, dated Aug. 28, 1999, as well as Note 5(B) to chapter 84, HTS. You also argued that Note 5(E) to Chapter 84, HTS, was not applicable to the model CT-304.

The CT-304 flatbed cutter performs a production/manufacturing function, not a data processing function. Note 5(E) to chapter 84 states:

Machines performing a specific function other than data processing and incorporating Or working in conjunction with an automatic data processing machine are to be Classified in the headings appropriate to their respective functions or, failing that, In residual headings.

In our opinion the CT-304 flatbed cutter is precluded from classification in heading 8471 by virtue of this note.

In a telephone conversation with a member of my staff on February 11, 2002, you advised that the model CT-304 is principally used on plastic materials. Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the model CT-304 flatbed cutter, including its software, will be 8477.80.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for machinery for working rubber or plastics of for the manufacture of products from these materials, not specified or included elsewhere (in chapter 84): other machinery. The rate of duty will be 3.1 percent ad valorem.

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 Alan Horowitz at 646-733-3010.


Robert B. Swierupski

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