CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 088726 JMH
U.S. Customs Service
4735 Oakland St.
P.O. Box 390335
Denver, CO 80239-0335
RE: Protest and Request for Further Review ("PFR") 3307-90-
100054, dated September 28, 1990; PFR 3307-90-100055, dated
October 15, 1990; PFR 3307-90-100056, dated October 15,
1990; PFR 3307-90-100057, dated October 15, 1990; servos
used in remote control airplanes; electric motors; remote
control apparatus; Section XVI, Note 2; Section XVI, Note 5;
Chapter 95, Note l(m); Headquarters Ruling 086832, dated May
21, 1990; condition at time of entry
This is in response to Protest and Request for Further
Review ("PFR") 3307-90-100054, dated September 28, 1990; PFR
3307-90-100055, dated October 15, 1990; PFR 3307-90-100056,
dated October 15, 1990; and PFR 3307-90-100057, dated October
15, 1990; which concern certain servos used in remote control
airplanes. Our decision follows.
The articles in question are replacement servos for use in
model airplanes. Servos are the part of the model airplane
which actuate the devices which control the speed and direction
of the airplane's flight. Servos translate signals from a
receiver into rotational movement of disks attached to the servo
tops (servo arms). Usually, there are four servos per airplane,
one which operates the rudder, one for the elevator, one for the
aileron, and one for the engine throttle. The number of servos
which a system has is dependent upon the number of channels in
the system. A four channel system has four servos, and a six
channel system has six servos, etc.
The operation of the servo begins with a signal sent to the
airplane from the ground via a transmitter. The signal is
received by the radio receiver on board the airplane. Each servo
is plugged into the receiver and the signal from the receiver is
sent to the servo via a wire. The servo incorporates a small
motor which is turned on and off by a received signal. The
operation of the motor turns an operating wheel. The operating
wheel is connected to the throttle which actuates the
corresponding servo. Movement of the servo moves the attached
servo arms. The movement of the servo arms directs the speed
and flight path of the airplane.
Servos are available in different sizes and output
configurations varying with the manufacturer. Output modes
include rotary wheels or arms, opposed linear racks, or a
combination of both modes on the same servo. The type and size
of the aircraft flown will determine the size and nature of the
Literature submitted by the importer states that a remote
control airplane requires a digital proportional system. A
complete digital proportional system includes a transmitter,
receiver, servos, transmitter and receiver, rechargeable battery
packs, charger switch harness and in most cases several mounting
trays. Though the servo does not directly receive a radio
signal the importer claims that the servos are commonly conceived
by the trade as part of the radio reception apparatus.
The servos were entered under heading 8529, Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated ("HTSUSA"), as
parts suitable for use solely or principally with radio remote
control apparatus. The servos were liquidated under heading
8501, HTSUSA, as electric motors. It is from this
classification that the protest arises.
What is the correct classification for the servos to be used
with model airplanes?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is
governed by the General Rules of Interpretation ("GRIs"). GRI
1. HTSUSA, states in part that "for legal purposes,
classification shall be determined according to the terms of the
headings and any relative section or chapter notes..." The
headings in contention are heading 8501, 8529, and 9503, HTSUSA.
These headings describe the following:
8501 Electric motors and generators (excluding
* * *
8529 Parts suitable for use solely or principally
with the apparatus of headings 8525 to
* * *
9503 Other toys; reduced-size ("scale") models and
similar recreational models, working or
not;...parts and accessories thereof...
* * *
The relevant chapters include Chapters 85 and 95, HTSUSA.
These chapters are within Sections XVI and XX, HTSUSA. The
applicable notes are Section XVI, Notes 2 and 5, HTSUSA, and
Chapter 95, Note l(m), HTSUSA. Chapter 95, Note l(m) states
that chapter 95 does not include electric motors of heading 8501,
nor does it include remote control apparatus of heading 8526.
Therefore, if the servos are described by either heading 8501 or
8526, the servos are excluded from classification within heading
9503. Therefore, heading 8501 and 8529 will be examined first.
It is not disputed that the servos are parts of remote
control apparatus. However, an analysis of "parts" invokes
Section XVI, Note 2. This Note states the following:
...parts of machines...are to be classified according to the
(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the
headings of chapters 84 and 85 (other than
headings 8485 and 8548) are in all cases to be
classified in their respective headings;
(b) Other parts, if suitable for use solely or
principally with a particular kind of machine, or
with a number of machines of the same heading
(including a machine of heading 8479 or 8543) are
to be classified with the machines of that kind.
However, parts which are equally suitable for use
principally with the goods of headings 8517 and 8525
to 8528 are to be classified in heading 8517;
(c) All other parts are to be classified in heading
8485 or 8548.
A machine is "any machine, machinery, plant, equipment, apparatus
or appliance cited in the headings of chapter 84 or 85."
Section XVI, Note 5.
According to Section XVI, Note 2(a), if the servos are
described by a heading within chapters 84 or 85, it must be
classified in that heading. Heading 8501, HTSUSA, specifically
describes electrical motors. To determine what is meant by
"electrical motors" of this heading, the Explanatory Notes to the
HTSUSA must be examined. The Explanatory Notes, although not
dispositive, are to be looked to for the proper interpretation of
the HTSUSA. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
Explanatory Note 85.01(I)(A) states that "Motors remain
classified here even when they are equipped with pulleys, with
gears or gear boxes, or with a flexible shaft for operating hand
tools." Explanatory Note 85.01(I)(A), Harmonized Commodity
Description and Coding Service ("HCDCS"), Vol. 4, p.1334. This
Note further comments that heading 8501 includes linear motors
such as a servomotor presented separately which consists of an
electric motor with speed reducing gears and equipped with a
power transmission device, along with self-synchronizing units
used in remote control systems. In Headquarters Ruling 086832,
dated May 21, 1990, this office stated "a motor remains a motor
for tariff purposes despite having other articles attached to it.
These other articles can be quite substantial."
The servos consist primarily of a motor, operating wheel,
servo arms, and electrical wiring. The servo itself does not
receive a signal. The signal is transferred to the motor which
powers and operates the operating wheel and subsequently the
servo arms. Articles of this type are meant to be included in
heading 8501. Thus, it is the opinion of this office that the
servos are described by heading 8501. Since the servos are
described by heading 8501, they cannot be classified within
This office does not dispute that the servos are used
principally or solely with remote control apparatus. Remote
control apparatus are classified in heading 8526, HTSUSA.
Therefore, the servos are also described by heading 8529.
However, Section XVI, Note 2(a) requires that parts must first be
classified in their respective headings if such a heading exists.
Section XVI, Note 2(b), HTSUSA, is never reached in this
instance, because electrical motors are specifically provided for
in heading 8501.
The importer states that the motor is only a part of the
servo. They assert that the motor by itself is not capable of
providing a proportional response. The starting and stopping
and directional guidance are performed by the servos. The
importer contends that it is the electronics of the entire system
that achieve these results, and that a motor without a
proportional control signal and a power source is useless.
Although these points are correct, also true is the reverse of
contentions. The proportional control signal and a power source
are useless without a motor. Without the motor the airplane
would be unable to function. The motor is as vital to the
performance of the airplane as all the other components.
The importer also contends that the servo is part of a
remote control system. The servos in question were entered by
themselves, not with a system. Customs must classify products
in their condition at the time of entry. United States v
Citroen, 223 U.S. 407 (1911).
The subject servos are described by heading 8501 in
accordance with GRI 1. The proper classification for the servos
is in subheading 8501.10.40, HTSUSA, as "Electric motors and
generators (excluding generating sets)...Motors of an output not
exceeding 37.5 W...Of under 18.65 W...Other..."
The servos which are to be used with model airplanes are
described by heading 8501 in accordance with GRI 1, Section XVI,
Notes 2 and 5. The proper classification for the servos is in
subheading 8501.10.40, HTSUSA, as "Electric motors and generators
(excluding generating sets)...Motors of an output not exceeding
37.5 W...Of under 18.65 W...Other..." The applicable rate of
duty is 6.6% ad valorem.
PFR 3307-90-100054, dated September 28, 1990; PFR 3307-90-
100055, dated October 15, 1990; PFR 3307-90-100056, dated
October 15, 1990; PFR 3307-90-100057, dated October 15, 1990;
which concern servos used in remote control airplanes should be
denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to
the Form 19 Notice of Action for the protests.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division