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NY I81018

May 7, 2002

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:1:108 I81018


TARIFF NO.: 8520.90.0080

Mr. Daniel Shapiro
Tompkins & Davidson, LLP
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: The tariff classification of a recording device from China.

Dear Mr. Shapiro:

In your letter dated May 2, 2002, on behalf of your client Avon Products, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The item in question is denoted as a Voice Recording Memo Pad, model number PP 246810 (sample attached). The item is designed to be used in an automobile. It is composed of a voice recording device constructed with an ABS plastic housing, an LED indicator light, paper memo pad, pen and a suction cup attachment. The device features a microphone and speaker on the front panel, a 20-second recording chip and play, reset and record buttons. The voice-recording device is battery powered. This office conducted a demonstration of the device. It actually records verbal messages onto a chip that can be replayed and re-recorded for multiple messages.

GRI 2b states that if a product is a mixture or combination of materials or substance that are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings, then GRI 3 applies. This office is of the opinion that this device is a composite good. It will therefore be classified in accordance with GRI 3.

GRI 3b provides that mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component, which gives them their essential character.

EN VIII to GRI 3b states that the factors will vary as between different kinds of goods to determine the essential character. “It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.”

Based upon the nature of this device it is the opinion of this office that the recording device imparts the essential character. It is the dominant feature of the device both in function and in cost. The feature allowing the user to record messages essentially characterizes the item as a recording memo pad. This is essential, for safety, since it is designed to be used in an automobile while one is driving. The recording of important messages can be accomplished in a hands free environment.

The applicable subheading for the Voice Recording Memo Pad will be 8520.90.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Magnetic tape recorders and other sound recording apparatus, whether or not incorporating a sound reproducing device: Other Other. 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 Michael Contino at 646-733-3014.


Robert B. Swierupski

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