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HQ 967103

JULY 20, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 967103 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8543.89.4000

Mr. Dennis Forhart
Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP
Worldtrade Management Services
400 Renaissance Center
Detroit, MI 48243-1507

RE: Hall-Effect Speed Sensor; NY J87676 Modified

Dear Mr. Forhart:

In NY J87676, which the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued to you on August 27, 2003, on behalf of Borg Warner Diversified Transmission Products, Inc., a Hall-Effect Speed Sensor (sensor) and a Torque-On-Demand Electronic Control Unit were held to be classifiable in subheading 8543.89.9695, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in [chapter 85].

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of NY J87676 was published on June 9, 2004, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 38, Number 24. No comments were received in response to that notice.


The function of the speed sensor, part #1386-140-006, is to detect the speed of a shaft via a square-toothed tone wheel on the shaft. Typically, sensors of this type consist of a flex circuit, aluminum nickel cobalt magnet, plastic mold surrounding the magnet, three electrically insulated conductor wires, two wires to
be connected to a printed circuit board such as an on-board automotive computer, the third wire to be used as a ground, epoxy resin to fill air spaces and hold the components in place, all in a hard black plastic housing. Hall-effect Speed Sensors are used mainly in automotive engines to generate electrical signals relative to a rotating cam or crankshaft which are relayed to an on-board printed circuit board (pcb). The pcb processes these signals and, in relation thereto, initiates or ceases an action within the automotive engine.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in [Chapter 85]:


Electric synchros and transducers..


8543.89.96 Other


Whether the Hall-Effect Gear Tooth Sensor (sensor) is more specifically described within heading 8543 as electric synchros and transducers.


Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. With certain exceptions not at issue here, Section XVI, Note 2(a), HTSUS, states that parts of machines which are goods included in any of the headings of chapter 84 or chapter 85 are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUS. Though not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Subheading 8543.89.40 in part provides for electric synchros and transducers. The term transducer is not defined in the text of the HTSUS or in the ENs. When not so defined, terms are construed in accordance with their common and commercial meaning, which are presumed to be the same. Nippon Kogasku (USA), Inc. v. United States, 69 CCPA 89, 673 F.2d 380 (1982), and related cases. Common and commercial meaning may be determined by consulting dictionaries, lexicons, scientific authorities and other reliable sources. In HQ 964599, dated December 22, 2000, in considering the classification of optical encoders, we examined the term transducer and determined that it encompasses devices which convert variations in one energy form into corresponding variations in another, usually electrical form. Among these is the velocity transducer in which the velocity of rotating shafts can be measured by an optical encoder with a suitable light source and detector. By choosing an appropriate pattern, the output data can be produced in binary form suitable for direct input to a computer system. Optical encoders come in two kinds, absolute encoders and incremental encoders. The absolute encoder is a position transducer with output in the form of parallel binary digits. See McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, Vol. 18, pp. 459-462 (6th ed., 1987). Position sensors of the type at issue here are transducers which convert physical condition data such as position, speed and acceleration into electrical signals that can be recognized by a processor. The sensor at issue here is a transducer which converts shaft rotations into an output of electric pulses. Notwithstanding the fact that position sensors might function as parts of larger instrumentation systems, they are goods included in heading 8543, in accordance with Section XVI, Note 2(a) and Chapter 90, Note 2(a), HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, the Hall-Effect Gear Tooth Sensor is provided for in heading 8543. It is classifiable in subheading 8543.89.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The current column 1 rate of duty is 2.6 percent ad valorem. Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUSA and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov.


NY J87676, dated August 27, 2003, is modified with respect to the Hall-Effect Speed Sensor. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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