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NY L88419

November 18, 2005

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:N1:106 L88419


TARIFF NO.: 8443.51.1000

Ms. Sandra Liss Friedman
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016

RE: The tariff classification of an inkjet garment printer.

Dear Ms. Friedman:

In your letter dated October 24, 2005, on behalf of Brother International Corporation you requested a tariff classification ruling. You submitted descriptive literature with your request.

The article in question is identified as the Brother GT-541 Inkjet Garment Printer. This printer uses Piezo inkjet technology to print on garments in color directly from a computer. The model GT-541 is intended to print exclusively on textile materials, for example, tee shirts. The GT-541 prints at 600 dpi resolution, uses four different color ink cartridges (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and sends the ink through tubes using a pumping system. The GT-541 has a built-in compact flash card reader, allowing the user to transfer images without a computer, but is also capable of printing through a personal computer. The GT-541 prints on a 14” x 16” area and the frame of the printer is designed to accommodate larger quantities of ink since it will be used in a commercial environment. The GT-541 also includes a flat board, or platen, upon which a tee shirt can be laid and moved in and out of the printer as it prints. The print heads then move over the shirt from left to right to print the image on the tee shirt.

In your request you suggest that the printer is classifiable in heading 8471, HTS. The Brother GT-541 Inkjet Garment printer is excluded from heading 8471, HTS, by Chapter 84, Note 5(E), which states that “[m]achines performing a specific function other than data processing and incorporating or working in conjunction with an Automated Data Processing (ADP) machine are to be classified in the heading appropriate to the respective function.” Additionally, Chapter 84, Note 5(D) states that there should be a legitimate use with ADP. The GT-541 Inkjet does not print data. The machine is designed to exclusively print on textile materials.

The following Explanatory Note for Heading 8471, while not legally binding, offers further guidance in classification:

The inkjet working with an ADP but having, particularly in terms of their size, technical capabilities and particular applications, the characteristics of a printing machine designed to perform a specific function in the printing or graphics industry (production of pre-press colour proofs, for example) are to be regarded as machines having a specific function classifiable in Heading 84.43.

The applicable subheading for the inkjet garment printer will be 8443.51.1000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Ink-jet printing machinery: Textile printing machinery. The general rate of duty will be 2.6 percent ad valorem.

Temporary modifications in the tariff schedule are found in headings 9901 to 9903 of the HTSUSA. Heading 9902 contains classes of goods from Chapters 1 to 98 inclusive, on which the duty rate has temporarily been reduced. These lower rates temporarily supersede the duty rates specified in Chapters 1 to 98. Therefore, the GT-541 Inkjet Garment Printer classifiable in HTS subheading 9902.01.92 will be eligible for duty free consideration if imported on or before 12/31/06.

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 Patrick Wholey at 646-733-3013.


Robert B. Swierupski

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