CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 088970 AJS

Mr. Haya Mizoguchi
Vice President
Bill White, Inc.
P.O. Box 90099
Long Beach, CA 90805-0099

RE: R/C flight simulation system; Subheading 8471.92.90; Subheading 8524.90.40; dual joystick device; software disk; instruction manual; Heading 8537; Chapter 84, note 5(B); General Interpretative Rule 3(b).

Dear Mr. Mizoguchi:

Your letter of February 27, 1991, requesting the tariff classification of the R/C flight simulation system has been forwarded to this office for reply.


The subject system consists of a dual joystick device dedicated for use with certain personal computers, a software disk, and an instruction manual. The dual joystick device contains an interface to a standard serial port including a cable, and along with the software, allows the user to play flight simulation games and to help radio control hobbyists to develop their flying skills.

The joystick device is plugged into the serial port at the back of a personal computer while the software disk is inserted into the disk drive. The joystick device does not contain radio transmission electronics and can only be used with the R/C flight simulation system.


Whether the subject system is properly classifiable within heading 8471, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States


Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for automatic data processing (ADP) machines and units thereof; or classifiable within heading 8537, HTSUSA, which provides for "[b]oards, panels . . . and other bases, equipped with two or more apparatus of heading 8535 or 8536, for electric control or the distribution of electricity . . ."


Heading 8471, HTSUSA, provides for ADP machines and units thereof. ADP machines may be in the form of systems consisting of a variable number of separately-housed units. Chapter 84, note 5(B). A unit is to be regarded as being a part of the complete system if it meets all the following conditions:

(a) it is connectable to the central processing unit (CPU) either directly or through one or more other units;

(b) it is specifically designed as part of such a system (it must, in particular, unless it is a power supply unit, be able to accept or deliver data in a form (code or signals) which can be used by the system).

Such units presented separately are also to be classified in heading 84.71.

The subject system satisfies this description of a unit. It is connected to a standard serial port of an ADP machine by an interface and a cable. It is also specifically designed to allow the user to simulate flight on a ADP machine.

Subheading 8471.92, HTSUSA, provides for input units, whether or not entered with the rest of a system and whether or not containing storage units in the same housing. Input units receive input data and convert it into signals which can be processed by the ADP machine. Explanatory Note (EN) 84.71 (A)(2). The joystick device satisfies this description. It receives input data from the joysticks and converts this data into signals which are transmitted to the ADP machine for processing into flight simulation data. More specifically, the joystick device is provided for within subheading 8471.92.90, HTSUSA, as an other input unit.

The subject instruction manual which accompanies the system is also classifiable within subheading 8471.92.90, HTSUSA. The subject system is a General Interpretative Rule 3 (b) set put for retail sale. These sets are classifiable as if they consist of


the component which gives them their essential character. In this instance, the joystick device gives the system its essential character and the manual merely facilitates the operation of the device.

Heading 8524, HTSUSA, provides for records, tapes and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded phenomena. The subject software disk satisfies the terms of this heading. More specifically, the disk is provided for within subheading 8524.90.40, HTSUSA, as other recorded media. The recorded media of heading 8524 remain classified within this heading, whether or not they are entered with the apparatus for which they are intended. Therefore, the subject disk remains classified within subheading 8524.90.40 despite the fact that it is entered with the joystick device.

Heading 8537, HTSUSA, provides for boards, panels and other bases equipped with two or more apparatus of heading 8535 or 8536 for electric control or the distribution of electricity. The subject joystick device does not satisfy this description. It is an ADP machine input device and not a device for electric control or the distribution of electricity. Accordingly, the subject joystick device is not properly classifiable within heading 8537, HTSUSA.


The subject joystick device and accompanying manual are properly classified within subheading 8471.92.90, HTSUSA, which provides for input units of ADP machines dutiable at the General Column 1 rate of 3.7 percent ad valorem.

The accompanying software disk is properly classifiable within subheading 8524.90.40, HTSUSA, which provides for recorded media dutiable at the General Column 1 rate of 9.7 cents/m2 of recording surface.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division