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HQ 967554

December 1, 2005

CLA-2 RR: CTF: TCM 967554 DBS


TARIFF NO.: 8517.50.9000

Port Director
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
10 Causeway Street - Room 603
Boston, MA 02222

RE: Application for Further Review of Protest 0401-04-100246; Network Interface Unit

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on Protest 0401-04-100246 filed against your classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a Network Interface Unit (NIU) in subheading 8525.10.3035, as transmission apparatus for television because both cable video and telephone signals were routed through the unit. The entries were liquidated between September 10 and October 15, 2004, and the protest was timely filed on December 8, 2004.


The merchandise at issue is a network interface unit (NIU) known as the Voice Port. You classified the merchandise in accordance with NY C87716, dated May 18, 1998, which described the NIU’s functions as splitting off an RF (radio frequency) video signal and transmitted it to a customer's television unit, and converted the RF signal back to a telephony signal and transmitted it to the customer's telephone unit. As it transmitted both cable and telephone signals, CBP classified the good in NY C87716 according to these multiple functions.

CBP was been informed that at the time of the ruling request, the product was still under development and had not yet been distributed or sold. After the product was released for general sale and distribution, the NIU became the Voice Port. The Voice Port enables digital telephonic communication over a standard Hybrid-Fiber-Coax network. The NIU is situated on a cable television line where it receives and demodulates incoming digital RF carrier telephony signals delivered by the cable provider, and it converts the signal to voice or voiceband data (fax). It does not transmit or receive cable television signals. Descriptive product literature indicates that the system in which this good operates is for line telephony. The unit has not been physically modified in any material aspect between the issuance of NY C87716 and now.


Whether the new information about the function of the NIU warrants a change in the classification as “telecommunication apparatus for digital line systems” under heading 8517, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation. GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. The ENs, though not dispositive or legally binding, provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. CBP believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The HTSUS headings at issue are as follows:

8517 Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, including line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof: 8525 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 video camera recorders; digital cameras.

In light of new information submitted to this office by an agent of the importer, ARRIS International, Inc., about the function of the instant merchandise, we have found the classification In NY C87716 to be incorrect. Therefore, CBP is revoking NY C87716, pursuant to 19 U.S.C. §1625(c) and according to the analysis set forth in HQ 967795, dated November 14, 2005. Notice of proposed revocation was published on October 5, 2005, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 39, Number 41. Notice of the final revocation will appear in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 39, Number 49, on November 30, 2005. As the merchandise at issue in this protest is identical to the merchandise described in HQ 967795, the LAW AND ANALYSIS section of HQ 967795 is hereby incorporated by reference. A copy of HQ 967795 is enclosed for your reference.


The Network Interface Unit, now known as the Voice Port, is classified in heading 8517, HTSUS. It is specifically provided for in subheading 8517.50.9000, HTSUSA, as “Electrical apparatus for line telephony or line telegraphy, including line telephone sets with cordless handsets and telecommunication apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems; videophones; parts thereof: Other apparatus for carrier-current line systems or for digital line systems: Other: Telegraphic: Other.” The 2003 column one rate of duty is free.

You are instructed to ALLOW the protest in full.

In accordance with the Protest/Petition Processing Handbook (CIS HB, January 2002, pp. 18 and 21), you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision.

Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to CBP personnel, and to the public on the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.cbp.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division

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