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NY L86008

July 21, 2005

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:N1:112 L86008


TARIFF NO.: 8543.89.9695

Steven B. Zisser,
Attorney At Law
Zisser Customs Law Group
2297 Niels Bohr Court
# 114
San Diego, CA 92154-7925

RE: The tariff classification of an infrared to UHF conversion kit from Mexico

Dear Mr. Zisser:

In your letter dated June 22, 2005, you requested a tariff classification and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) applicability ruling on behalf of SMK Manufacturing, Inc. of Chula Vista, California.


The item concerned is the IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit (Part No. 137682). It is a sales-boxed kit containing –
an 8” in length x 2 ¼” in width, oblong-shaped, gray, battery-powered UHF (ultra-high frequency) remote control;
four AAA, alkaline batteries;
a 48-page User’s Guide;
a black AC power adapter;
a 4 ¾” in length x 3” in width, rectangular, black DISH Network converter;
six small, black and white, pre-printed, paper stickers;
a black and white, insulated signal cable with a black, rectangular, hard plastic clip;
a 6 ¾” tall, silver metal antenna.

The purpose of this item is to allow the use of the UHF remote control to control a satellite dish, television or media player/recorder (video/DVD) which receives IR (infrared) signals from a DISH Network satellite dish. The converter will convert the remote control UHF signals to IR signals allowing the use of the UHF remote control to issue various commands to the satellite dish, television and media player(s)/recorder(s). The converter is only effective for the IR signals broadcast by DISH Network.

Tariff Classification:

You propose classification of the IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit (Part No. 137682) in subheading 8525.10.3035 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) which provides for “Transmission apparatus for radiotelegraphy ... or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or ... or reproducing apparatus ... : Transmission apparatus: Television: Other: Other: Converters ... “. A similar subheading was considered for classification of an IR transmitter and receiver in Ruling HQ 950592 of December 23,1991; it was determined that IR broadcast frequencies exist at a considerably higher bandwidth than any used by the technologies listed in HTS heading 8525.

Classification in the HTS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) and the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation (USRIs):

GRI 3. (b) states, “ ... goods put up in sets ... shall be classified as if they consisted of the ... component which gives them their essential character ... .”.

The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the HTS are intended to clarify and define the language used in the HTS, itself. Explanatory Notes (X) (a), (b) and (c) to GRI 3. (b) state that [sets] ,

“consist of at least two different articles which are ... classifiable in different headings ... ;
consist of ... articles put up together to ... carry out a specific activity; and
are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.”.

We agree with you that the IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit (Part No. 137682) constitutes a set as specified in GRI 3. (b).

EN (VII) for GRI 3. (b) states, “ ... essential character ... may ... be determined by the nature of the ... component ... in relation to the use of the goods.”. The function of the IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit (Part No. 137682) is to convert UHF into IR frequencies, therefore the converter gives this set its essential character.

There is no specific heading or subheading in the HTS which provides for UHF to IR converters, however, Rulings HQ 956654 of November 3, 1994 and HQ 957321 of December 11, 1994 both classify either IR transmitters or receivers under HTS heading 8543. In addition, EN (18) for heading 85.43 classifies IR remote controls under that heading.

The applicable subheading for the IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit (Part No. 137682) will be 8543.89.9695, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere ... : Other machines and apparatus: Other: Other: Other: Other: Other.

NAFTA Applicability:

In your submission, you provide a listing of all the various parts of the items packaged in the IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit (Part No. 137682) along with their cost and Country of Origin. You state that, “The company proposes to manufacture and import the IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit from Mexico.”. None of the pre-assembly component parts of the IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit (Part No. 137682) would be classifiable under HTS heading 8543 if imported into the U.S. individually and the component parts not of Mexican origin, all undergo substantial transformations into parts of assembled articles prior to importation into the U.S..

Each of the non-originating materials used to make the IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit (Part No. 137682) has satisfied the changes in tariff classification required under HTSUSA General Note 12 (t) Chapter 85. 145. (A). The IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit (Part No. 137682) will be entitled to a Free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Parts 177 and 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177, 181).

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 Richard Laman at 646-733-3017.


Robert B. Swierupski

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