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NY K89456

October 7, 2004

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:110 K89456


TARIFF NO.: 8531.80.0025; 8543.89.9200

Mr. John M. Peterson
Neville Peterson LLP
Counsellors at Law
17 State Street - 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004

RE: The tariff classification of wireless display units, the country of origin is not stated.

Dear Mr. Peterson:

In your letter dated September 9, 2004 on behalf of your client Gyricon, LLC you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration consists of three Gyricon SyncroSign™ flat screen displays. The smaller two units are identified by you as Merchandiser SyncroSigns™. One (Model 7”x5.5” display) measures 8.8” high by 10.5” wide and is 1.9” deep; a second unit (Model 8.5”x11” display) measures 14.25” high by 12” wide and is 1.9” deep. The third unit is identified as the SyncroSign™ Message Board, which features a viewable display area of 15” high by 16.7” wide.

The three Gyricon SyncroSign™ flat screen displays utilize an electrostatic technology, featuring bichromal wax beads, which are colored white on one side, and black on the other side (half black, half white). Each side of the bead carries an opposite electrostatic charge. These beads are encased in small cavities of oil, which are retained between two sheets of plastic in a patented “electronic paper” medium (flat screen). The flat screen displays are designed to receive information generated by an automatic data processing (ADP) machine only via a computer program that generates the text or data to be displayed visually in the form of a text message. The Gyricon SyncroSign™ flat screen displays have radio frequency receivers that receive the text messages through a wireless radio frequency data network (WiFi) broadcast over an 802.11b wireless frequency. A built-in processor decodes the data and translates it into a series of electrostatic charges, positive or negative. These charges will cause the bichromal wax beads to turn in the opposite direction of the charge displaying the white or black side, thus producing visual monochrome (black on white) text image to appear on the flat screen.

The Merchandiser SyncroSigns™ are designed to communicate retail information: product name, prince and description. They display less that 80 characters.

The SyncroSign™ Message Board is a one-sided, template based sign for displaying dynamic information. It has a display capability of 194 characters.

Your request proposed classifying these displays in subheading 8471.60, as output units of ADP machines. Alternately, you propose classifying them in subheading 8543.89.92 as other electrical machinery. These displays do not meet any known industry standard for ADP type displays. While they receive output signals form ADP machines, they are excluded from heading 8471 by Note 5(E) to Chapter 84. They are not performing a data processing function, but are designed to function as signs. In HQ 088225, wireless PriceLink display modules were classified in heading 8531 as visual signaling apparatus. However, with regard to alphanumeric displays, visual signaling has been limited to low-information content displays having 80 or less characters (see HQ 952973 et al.). Displays that have expansive character capabilities are generally classified in either heading 9013 if of the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) kind, or in heading 8543 if other than LCD.

The applicable subheading for the Gyricon Merchandiser SyncroSigns™ flat screen displays model 7”x5.5” and model 8.5”x11” will be 8531.80.0025, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Electric sound or visual signaling apparatusOther apparatus: Indicator panels: Other.” The general rate of duty will be 1.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the Gyricon SyncroSign™ Message Board will be 8543.89.9200, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Electrical machines and apparatusOther machines and apparatus: Other: Other: Otherflat panel displays other than for articles of heading 8528.” 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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