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HQ 967135

JULY 20, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 967135 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8543.89.4000

Ms. Mary Elizabeth Strom
American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
1919 Torrance Boulevard
Torrance, CA 90501-2746

RE: Crankshaft Position Sensor; NY G86705 Revoked

Dear Ms. Strom:

In NY G86705, which the Director of the National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued to you on March 1, 2001, crankshaft position sensors, part #s 37841-PK2-026 and 37840-PJ1-752, 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 revocation of NY G86705 was published on June 9, 2004, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 38, Number 24. No comments were received in response to that notice.


The position sensors were described in NY G86705 as being used in conjunction with the crankshaft of an internal combustion piston engine. They produce and transmit electrical pulses to communicate the rotational position of the crankshaft to the electronic control unit (ECU) so that the fuel injection sequence is properly accomplished.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8543 Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in [Chapter 85]:

8543.89 Other:

.40 Electric synchros and transducers


8543.89.96 Other


Whether crankshaft position sensors are 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 crankshaft position sensors are transducers which convert shaft rotations into an output of electric pulses. Notwithstanding the fact that crankshaft 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, crankshaft position sensors, part #s 37841-PK2-026 and 37840-PJ1-752 are provided for in heading 8543. They are 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 G86705, dated March 1, 2001, is revoked. 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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