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HQ 966271

June 3, 2003

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 966271 DSS


TARIFF NO.: 8471.60.45

Mr. Michael Doram
Creskoff & Doram
1028 North Lake Avenue, Suite 202
Pasadena, CA 91104

RE: Ruling Request for Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Panel Module; Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Output Unit; Headings 8471, 8525; Legal Note 5(B) to Chapter 84

Dear Mr. Doram:

In your letter to the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division (NCSD), New York, dated December 10, 2002, on behalf of the ViewSonic Corporation, you inquire as to the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a flat panel display. Your letter was forwarded to this office for reply. At the request of the NCSD, you provided some product literature, which we also have reviewed.


The merchandise at issue is the ViewSonic N1700w Wide-Format LCD display (display), which is a 17” LCD display with a native resolution of 1280 x 768 and built-in speakers. It has a 16:9 aspect ratio and a viewing angle of 160 degrees. Three connectors are built into the display itself: VGA, Digital Visual Interface (DVI) and VXP. You state the VXP type connector is an exclusive ViewSonic connector that is compatible with certain ViewSonic adapters designed for video and television reception. You state the VGA and DVI connectors are to be used to connect the display to a PC.

You state that the display will be imported without a video or TV tuner or TV receiver. The article will be offered for sale under two scenarios. Under one scenario it will be sold with an adapter, the VXP25, as an optional accessory. Under the other scenario, the display will be offered for sale with the VXP25. Your letter to the NCSD, dated January 27, 2003, states that the adapter is not imported with the monitor (display).

The adapter is said to provide video inputs for standard TV, DVD players, VCRs, camcorders, EDTV (Extended Definition TV, i.e., in a wide-screen format), and HDTV, etc. The VXP25 TV Module contains the following connectors: RF input (for TV antenna or cable); Y, Pb, Pr input (component video); composite video input. The VXP25 also contains a Philips MK3 RF Tuner that covers 69 Off-Air Channels and over 100 CATV channels. It supports NTSC, PAL and SECAM.


Whether the display is classifiable as an ADP output or display unit under heading 8471, HTSUS, or as a multi-function display device under heading 8528, HTSUS.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8471 Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, not elsewhere specified or included: 8471.60 Input or output, whether or not containing storage units in the same housing: Other:
Display units:
8471.60.45 Other

Reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radiobroadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus; video monitors and video projectors: Video monitors:
With a flat panel screen:
8528.21.70 Other

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (Customs) believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

You argue that because the display will not be imported with the adapter it is not a multi-function machine in its imported condition, and should therefore be classified under subheading 8471.60.4580, HTSUS, as an ADP output unit or display.

Legal Note 5(B) to Chapter 84, HTSUS, provides guidance regarding units of automatic data processing machines. It states that “[a]utomatic data processing machines may be in the form of systems consisting of a variable number of separate units.” A unit is to be regarded as a part of the complete system if it meets all of the following conditions:

It is of a kind solely or principally used in an automatic data processing system;

It is connectable to the central processing unit whether directly or through one or more other units; and

It is able to accept or deliver data in a form (codes or signals) which can be used by the system.

The courts have provided factors, which are indicative but not conclusive, to apply when determining whether merchandise falls within a particular class or kind. They include: general physical characteristics, expectation of the ultimate purchaser, channels of trade, environment of sale (accompanying accessories, manner of advertisement and display), use in the same manner as merchandise which defines the class, economic practicality of so using the import, and recognition in the trade of this use. See Lenox Collections v. United States, 20 CIT 194 (1996); United States v. Carborundum Company, 63 CCPA 98, C.A.D. 1172, 536 F.2d 373 (1976), cert. denied, 429 U.S. 979 (1976), and related cases.

According to Legal Note 5(B) to Chapter 84, a flat panel display must be: connectable to the CPU; capable of receiving data from an ADP system; and of a
type of display that is principally or solely used in an ADP system. The instant display appears to meet two of the criteria, that is, it is connectable to the CPU, and it is capable of receiving data from an ADP system.

The question is whether the display is of a class or kind of merchandise that is principally or solely used in an ADP system. The built-in input devices indicate that the display, in its imported condition, can receive computer signals (VGA), as well as DVI signals, but not video signals (NTSC, PAL, etc.). You note that the DVI interface on the display is not designed to accept HDTV signals, while other sources we have consulted indicate that DVI is used for high-performance connection between PCs and flat panel displays, digital CRT displays, projectors, and HDTV.

After consideration of all of the available information, including that which you submitted as well as our own research, we find that the subject display is an ADP display unit. In its imported condition, at the time period at or immediately prior to the date of importation, the display meets the technical specifications for use as goods of heading 8471. EN 84.71 I (D) provides in pertinent part:

Among the constituent units [of ADP machines] included are display units of automatic data processing machines which provide a graphical presentation of the data processed. They differ from the video monitors and television receivers of heading 85.28 in several ways, including the following:

(1) Display units of automatic data processing machines are capable of accepting a signal only from the central processing unit of an automatic data processing machine and are therefore unable to reproduce a colour image a composite video signal whose waveform conforms to a broadcast standard (NTSC, SECAM, PAL, D-MAC, etc.) . . . .

Moreover, in its imported condition, the N1700w cannot accept video signals, as it is not imported with the adapter unit. However, the display itself, in its condition as imported, does not meet the criteria in EN 85.28(6), i.e., accepting video signals.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the instant display is provided for in heading 8471, HTSUS. It is classified under subheading 8471.60.45, HTSUS, which provides for “[A]utomatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, not elsewhere specified or included: Input or output, whether or not containing storage units in the same housing: Other: Display units: Other.”


Myles B. Harmon

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