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NY L87231

September 16, 2005

CLA-2-85: RR: NC: 1:108 L87231


TARIFF NO.: 8525.10.90, 8527.90.95, 9817.00.96, 9902.04.35

Mr. Edward H. Jordan
TNT Freight Management (USA), Inc.
1850 Greenleaf Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

RE: The tariff classification of a wireless sound system from Denmark.

Dear Mr. Jordan:

In your letter dated August 29, 2005 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The item in question is denoted as the Lexis Wireless Sound System. The system is composed of a wireless microphone/transmitter, a lavaliere cord, NiMH batteries, an antenna, battery charger, and a user guide, fitting guide, a fitted case and an RF receiver. It should be noted that the receiver is imported as a separate article of commerce. This ruling will address the classification of the system and the receiver.

This system is exclusively designed for use by the hearing-impaired in settings such as classrooms and auditoriums. The microphone/transmitter, worn by the speaker, transmits their voice on a specified frequency directly to the receiver. The hearing-impaired person has a hearing aid connected directly to the receiver. This enables the hearing-impaired individual to listen properly to all that is spoken. The speaker’s voice is transmitted and received through the ether without any line connection.

It is specified that the system, without the receiver, is to be imported packaged for retail sale without repackaging. Explanatory Note X to GRI 3b provides that for the purpose of this rule, the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” shall be taken to mean goods which:

A. Consist of at least two different articles, which are prima facie classifiable in different headings.

B. Consist of products put up together to meet a specific activity; and

C. Are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repackaging (e.g. in boxes or cases or on boards).

It is the opinion of this office that the articles packaged for retail sale comprise a set. It is composed of two or more articles prima facie classified in different headings. They perform the function of wireless FM transmission through the ether without a line connection. The items will not be repackaged.

In accordance, in part, with GRI 3b goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3a, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component, which gives them their essential character.

EN VIII to GRI 3b sates that the factor, which determines essential character, will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the goods. It is the opinion of this office that the wireless microphone/transmitter imparts the essential character. It is the dominant device by use and function contained within the set. Classification will be accordingly.

The wireless receiver is designed only for the reception of the transmitted voice on a specified frequency. It does not function as a radiobroadcast receiver. You have proposed a classification as a radiobroadcast receiver under HTS subheading 8527. 39.0020. Specified is that this receiver cannot select, detect, or amplify a radiobroadcast signal. Therefore classification will not be within the subheading you have suggested.

The applicable subheading for the Lexus Wireless Sound System will be 8525.10.90, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Transmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other camera recorders; digital cameras: Transmission apparatus: Other. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the wireless receiver will be 8527.90.95, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Reception apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy or radiobroadcasting, whether or not combined, in the same housing, with sound recording or reproducing apparatus or a clock: Other apparatus: Other: Other: Other. The general rate of duty will be 6 percent ad valorem. As per Chapter 99, Temporary Legislation, Subheading II, Temporary Reduction In Rates Of Duty, 9902.04.35, HTSUS, provides that effective on or before 12/31/05, such receivers will be dutiable at 5.4 percent ad valorem.

You state that this system is specifically designed for the use of the hearing-impaired only and that the receiver and microphone/transmitter will be in one package to the end user. Per the web site, the receivers are made to readily connect to hearing aids.

On that basis a secondary classification will apply in HTS 9817.00.96, as specially designed or adapted for the use or benefit of the permanently or chronically physically or mentally handicapped if all applicable entry requirements are met, including the filing with the Customs port of entry of the U.S. Department of Commerce form ITA-362P. If you elect to claim the secondary classification in Chapter 98 of 9817.00.96 and meet entry requirements, no merchandise processing fee will apply to those importations even though they are non-NAFTA, noting, e.g. Headquarters Ruling Letter 229110 IDL, 8/29/02. Note that this classification has no effect on any quota, visa, or restricted merchandise requirements.

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 Michael Contino at 646-733-3104.


Robert B. Swierupski

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