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NY N009376

May 7, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 8541.40.9500

Mr. Joseph L. De La Luz
Director, Trade Compliance
NEC Corporation of America
6535 N. State Hwy. 161
Irving, TX 75039-2402

RE: The tariff classification of VOx (Vanadium Oxide) microbolometer (uncooled) infrared detectors from Japan

Dear Mr. De La Luz:

In your letter dated April 4, 2007 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise subject to this ruling is VOx (Vanadium Oxide) microbolometer (uncooled) infrared detectors. They are identified in your letter as Model numbers HX3100 and HX0830. These are photosensitive semiconductor devices in which the action of infrared radiation causes changes in resistance, voltage, or current, by the internal photoelectric effect.

The HX3010 and HX0830 detectors are uncooled detectors that are based on microbolometer technology and uses sensors that work by the change in resistance, voltage, or current when heated by infrared radiation. A microbolometer is a specific type of bolometer used as a detector in a thermal camera. The HX3100 detector has 320x240 pixels and the HX0830 detector has 640x480 pixels, which consist of sensor elements. The sensor is the sensing area of each pixel element within the detector.

The sensing area of the detectors is made of Vanadium Oxide (VOx), which is built as a thin film diaphragm over a substrate so that necessary sensitivity is obtained. The VOx acts as an n-type semiconductor. The substrate is made of silicon where a read-out circuit is built to read the change of the electrical resistance from each pixel element and provide output signals in the form of a series of analog signals.

The detector senses infrared radiation and outputs a 2 dimensional image data through a single output in a serial analog signal. They include an array of microbolometer with high temperature coefficient of resistance sensitive to infrared radiation (the microbolometer changes its electrical resistance by changing its temperature by infrared energy coming in). The detector outputs this change in voltage signal. To reduce thermal loss to the atmosphere, the detecting device is enclosed in a dedicated vacuumed ceramic package. Further, to reduce temperature drift caused by infrared background radiation and self heating of the device, the device is mounted on a Peltier device in the vacuumed package to keep the operating temperature constant.

The applicable subheading for the VOx (Vanadium Oxide) microbolometer (uncooled) infrared detectors (Model numbers HX3100 and HX0830) will be 8541.40.9500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Photosensitive semiconductor devices: Other: Other. The rate of duty will be free.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

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 Linda M. Hackett at 646-733-3015.


Robert B. Swierupski

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