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NY J84371

May 21, 2003

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:MM:109 J84371


TARIFF NO.: 8517.50.9000

Mr. David Howland
Fedex Trade Networks
150 Eastern Avenue
Chelsea, MA 02150

RE: The tariff classification of a Multi-channel Broadband Polarization Mode Dispersion Compensation (BPMDC) System from Great Britain

Dear Mr. Howland:

In your letter dated April 30, 2003, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Terapulse Inc.

The merchandise is described in your letter as a Multi-channel Broadband Polarization Mode Dispersion Compensation (BPMDC) System. It is a stand-alone, self-contained unit with two integrated sections, an optical bench that contains all the polarization optics and an electronics sub-system. The optical bench is hermetically sealed and temperature controlled. The two sections together occupy approximately a cubic foot of space. All necessary software resides within the product and no external communications commands (remote interfaces) are required to operate the system. Power to this system is provided through a 48 volt DC power source and is filtered and protected by an integrated 10-amp circuit breaker. To facilitate its use with other optical components, the system has a two-port optical connector (fiber in, fiber out).

As you state in your letter, Terapulse has created a new technology for the service providers of high-speed optical networks. Through optical (integrated optical monitor) monitoring, data analysis, and the setting of polarization optics over more than 80 channels, this, the world’s first multi-channel, broadband Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD) compensator addresses the increasingly costly and otherwise adverse affects of PMD. PMD is an impairment in optical fiber networks that causes the signal to split into two pulses, slow and fast. This leads to bit errors, which make it difficult for the receiver to discern between 1’s and 0’s in the signal. PMD is caused by many factors such as temperature, stress, cable bends, and vibrations. It can vary in rate and data format from channel to channel.

Terapulse’s Broadband Polarization Mode Dispersion Compensation (BPMDC) System, can be used with existing industry optical equipment and legacy fibers, can be installed anywhere within a provider’s systems networks, and can act upon in excess of 80 separate single channels simultaneously. The proprietary monitor provides channel-by-channel PMD measurements to the electronics board, which in turn drives the optics to provide full correction on each individual wavelength. Network operations people can thus be alerted to impending PMD outages caused by variations exceeding established parameters.

You propose classification in heading 9032. However, your item does not meet the terms of Note 7 to HTS Chapter 90, in that it is not only giving the instructions to an actuator to maintain a measured variable at a chosen level. It apparently converts optical signals to electrical signals and then minimizes the dispersion of pulses in the signal. Also, Headquarters Ruling Letter 965367 TPB, published in the Customs bulletin of January 8, 2003, classified a similar Dispersion Compensation System in HTS heading 8517, not in 9032 nor 9013.

The applicable subheading for the Multi-channel Broadband Polarization Mode Dispersion Compensation (BPMDC) System will be 8517.50.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “ Other apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems: Other: Telegraphic: 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 Linda M. Hackett at 646-733-3015.


Robert B. Swierupski

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