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NY I82106

June 17, 2002

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:110 I82106


TARIFF NO.: 8471.80.9000

Ms. Gordana Kajer
GK International Services
235 Loma Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90803

RE: The tariff classification of the GuitarPort from Malaysia

Dear Ms. Kajer:

In your letter, dated May 28, 2002, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Line 6 Inc., Agoura Hills, California.

The merchandise under consideration is the GuitarPort. Descriptive literature, information describing the function and operation, and a sample were submitted with this request. GuitarPort is a combination of hardware and software tools that connect between a personal computer (PC) and a guitar. It is used to simulate the sound created by electric guitar amplifiers and audio effects units. The GuitarPort will be imported as a set boxed for retail sale. The set will include the GuitarPort hardware unit, software CD, cable and literature.

The hardware component is a Universal Serial Bus (USB) peripheral. The hardware unit is plugged into the PC with the included USB cable. A guitar and speakers or headphones are also plugged into the appropriate ports of the hardware unit. The hardware unit is used to convert the signal from an electric guitar into a digital form that can be processed by a PC. It also converts digital audio data received from the personal computer into an analog audio signal that can be used with audio speakers and other audio devices that are capable of accepting an analog audio signal. The GuitarPort peripheral also contains hardware that is used by the GuitarPort system to control access to Line 6 provided audio tracks and other multimedia content. It also contains a knob for volume control.

The software application is provided on a CD-ROM. It has two major components: a device driver that serves as the interface between the PC and the hardware unit, and the interactive guitar application. It processes the audio signal from the guitar to emulate the sound of classic guitar amplifiers, speaker cabinets and audio effects. There is also a built-in guitar tuner and noise reduction feature. The software contains an audio player that allows the user to play MP3 and WAV files, rip tracks from CDs (for use in GuitarPort only), slow tracks down to half speed without changing the pitch, and loop sections of a track. The software also contains a web browser that gives the user access to a subscription (fee) based private website.

The GuitarPort is a set for classification purposes. The hardware unit is the component that gives this set its essential character. The principal function of the hardware unit is to convert analog and digital signals between the PC, guitar, speakers, etc. Explanatory Note 84.71(I)(D), third paragraph, (5) describes signal converting units that are classified as units of an automatic data processing systems. The GuitarPort hardware unit is such a unit. The software CD is subject to Chapter 85, Note 6. Since the CDs are not “entered with the apparatus for which they are intended” (i.e. disk drive), the CDs are not required to be classified in heading 8523 or 8524. The CDs will, therefore, remain classified with the set.

The applicable subheading for the GuitarPort, imported as a set, will be 8471.80.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “[a]utomatic data processing machines and units thereof[o]ther units of automatic data processing machines: [o]ther: [o]ther.” 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 Eileen S. Kaplan at 646-733-3016.


Robert B. Swierupski

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