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NY J80425

February 10, 2003

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:110 J80425


TARIFF NO.: 8471.90.0000

Mr. John A. Shadduck
Optibrand Secure Source Verification
1 Old Town Square, Suite 700
Fort Collins, CO 80524

RE: The tariff classification of an optical reader from Mexico.

Dear Mr. Shadduck:

In your letter dated January 21, 2003 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is called the OptiReader device. A sample of the OptiReader was submitted with your ruling request and will be returned to you. The product is a hand held device used to capture an animal’s retinal vascular pattern by use of a digital camera. Retinal vascular patterns are sets of blood vessels in the animal’s eye that is unique to each animal and remains the same throughout the animal’s life. The OptiReader is a device for livestock identification and its location for record source verification, monitor disease control measures and to track animal movement. This device consists of two sub-assemblies, a main controller and a camera. The main controller sub-assembly measures approximately 5½” wide by 9” high and is 2½” thick. A 3½’ cable permanently connects a cylinder shape camera sub-assembly, measuring approximately 8” long with a 2½” diameter. An additional 4’ cable is also permanently attached to the main controller and contains a GPS (Global Positioning System) antenna and a standard cigarette lighter adapter used for connecting the controller into an optional battery pack.

The main controller consist of a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) measuring approximately 3½” by 2½”, a custom keypad similar to a cell phone keypad and a carrying strap. On one side of the main controller is a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port and CompactFlash Card slot with weatherproof covers. Within the main controller are a 266MHZ CPU (Central Processing Unit) microprocessor with the Red Hat Linux 7.2 operating system installed, 32 MB SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory) and a GPS receiver. The camera sub-assembly utilizes a digital video camera with a solid-state sensor. The camera consists of several lenses, infrared emitters to provide an IR light source and a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) camera.

In your ruling request you claim that the OptiReader will likely be imported packaged ready for retail sale within a molded carrying case and with an instruction book.

You propose classification in 9018.20.00.80 as an “optical instrument that uses infrared rays in a non therapeutic (other) manner.” While it is not therapeutic, neither is it diagnostic or otherwise covered by Heading 9018 since it is not used, per se, in professional practice “to prevent or treat an illness or to operate, etc,” as indicated by the Harmonized System Explanatory Notes to 9018.

The OptiReader appears to be a multifunction composite machine consisting of an optical reader, Global Positioning System with a keypad and CompactFlash Drive for recording and retrieving information. Noting Section XVI, Note 3 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS):

Unless the context otherwise requires, composite machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a whole and other machines designed for the purpose of performing two or more complementary or alternative functions are to be classified as if consisting only of that component or as being that machine which performs the principal function.

The principal function of the OptiReader appears to be the optical reader. It is noted that the OptiReader is imported packaged ready for retail sale within a molded carrying case with an instruction book. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) governs the classification of goods put up in sets for retail sale. GRI 3(b) requires that goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable. As imported, the OptiReader meets the definition of a “set.” As per GRI 3(b), classification is determined by the component, or components taken together, which confer on the set as a whole its essential character, that being the optical reader.

The applicable subheading for the OptiReader device as imported will be 8471.90.0000 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “magnetic or optical readersnot elsewhere specified or includedOther.” 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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