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NY K85085

April 23, 2004
CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:110 K85085


TARIFF NO.: 8471.60.5500

Mr. Kevin W. Leonard
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP 399 Park Avenue, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10022-4877

RE: The tariff classification of a disc printer from China.

Dear Mr. Leonard:

In your letter dated April 9, 2004 on behalf of your client Casio, Inc. you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is the Casio Disc Title Printer (Model CW-75). A sample of this product was provided with your ruling request and will be return to you. The disc printer is a compact machine designed to print onto blank CD-R/DVD-R discs for labeling purposes. This machine consists of a plastic housing designed for use as a stand-alone desktop printer measuring approximately 7 inches by 7 inches and is 2¾ inches high. Features include a 12 digit Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), full keyboard with assorted navigational buttons, power and eject button to open the CD tray for loading or removing discs. The printing process uses thermal transfer printing technology. This machine is capable of connecting to a personal computer via a Universal Serial Bus (USB) cable for downloading images to further enhance label appearance. The disc printer has a storage capacity of approximately 4000 characters. Other features include 5 built-in fonts, support for 14 languages and 24 preset formats. Batteries or optional AC Adaptor provides power. This unit is considered a specialty product designed and targeted towards customers who use compact discs (CDs) for storing and downloading information, and prefer a professional looking labeling system for their discs. The Casio Disc Title Printer will be imported packaged for retail sale with a USB cable, 8 AA-size batteries, ink ribbon cassette, application CD-ROM, positioning guide, blank CD-R disc and a user guide.

In your letter you suggest classification under 8472.90.8000. However, heading 8472 provides for “Other office machines.” Therefor, we must consider whether this printer is a good of another heading. Classification of printers under heading 8471, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), is governed by Chapter 84, Notes 5(D), 5(B)(b) and (c), and 5(E). The Casio Disc Title Printer (Model CW-75), in its imported condition, is connectable to a PC and is able to accept data from the PC for printing. Since it has a legitimate use with an automatic data processing machine (ADP), it appears to meet the requirements of Notes 5(D), and 5(B)(b) and (c) of Chapter 84. It also does not appear to be precluded from classification in heading 8471, HTS, by Note 5(E). In HQ 956686 an industrial ink jet printer was found to have a data output function. This printer was used for printing barcodes, high-resolution fonts and complex graphic images on items as varied as paper and envelopes to packaged consumer goods. Similarly, the printing of identifying information on CDs is considered to be a data output function. Therefore, the printer is classifiable in heading 8471, HTS.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) of the Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) governs the classification of goods put up in sets for retail sale. GRI 3(b) provides, in relevant part, that goods put up for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the HTS provide guidance in the interpretation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System at the international level. According to the ENs for GRI 3(b), “goods put up in sets for retail sale” refers to goods which: consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repackaging.

Under GRI 3(b), the disc printer meets the definition of a set in that it is comprised of articles classifiable in different headings which have been put up together to meet the demands or needs of a specific activity such as printing identifying information onto CDs. The printer provides the essential character of this set.

It is noted that the disc printer will be packaged with application software, which is needed for connecting the printer to a PC if desired, and allows the user to create their own original labels. The CD-ROM must be classified in accordance with Legal Note 6 to chapter 85. Note 6, which states: “This note does not apply to such media when they are entered with articles other than the apparatus for which they are intended.” Although the disc printer accepts CDs in its CD tray, it does not read or write information in coded form. It merely prints onto the CD for labeling purposes. The CD-ROM software must be installed into apparatus other than the disc printer. Accordingly, since the CD-ROM is entered with an article other than the apparatus for which it is to be installed, the CD-ROM software need not be separately classified.

The applicable subheading for the Casio Disc Title Printer (Model CW-75) imported as a set will be 8471.60.5500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Automatic data processing machines and units thereofInput or output units, whether or not containing storage units in the same housing: Other: Printer units: Assembled units incorporating at least the media transport, control and print mechanisms: Thermal transfer.” The general 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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