CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950675 MBR

John S. Rode
Rode & Qualey
295 Madision Avenue
New York, NY 10017

RE: Automatic Data Processing Machine Software; Recorded Media; Floppy Diskette; Hard Disk Drive

Dear Mr. Rode:

This is in response to your letter of October 8, 1991, on behalf of Biomedical Instrumentation, Inc., requesting classification of certain ADP software, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


Biomedical Instrumentation, Inc., manufactures the "EPLab System" which is capable of accomplishing all of the functions of the traditional form of electrocardiograph, i.e., measuring, displaying, and recording the electrical currents which are generated in a patient's heart during an electrophysiological study.

The EPLab System utilizes proprietary software to analyze the recorded data and compile appropriate reports for display on the EPLab monitor, or for subsequent printing.

The software produced by Biomedical Instrumentation, Inc., will be imported either in floppy diskette form or downloaded on the hard disk drive.


What is the classification of software (recorded media) in the form of floppy diskette or hard disk drive?



The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

...classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...

Chapter 85, Legal Note 6., states: "[r]ecords, tapes and other media of heading 8523 or 8524 remain classified in those headings, whether or not they are entered with the apparatus for which they are intended."

Recorded media in the form of software has been consistently classified by Customs in subheading 8524.90.40, HTSUS, whether or not it is entered with apparatus for which it is intended. See HQ 086624, dated May 4, 1991, and HQ 086851, dated April 9, 1990.


The Biomedical Instrumentation, Inc., recorded media (proprietary software), either in the form of floppy diskettes or downloaded on the hard disk drive, is classified in subheading 8524.90.40, HTSUS, whether or not it is entered with the rest of the EPLab System. The rate of duty is 9.7 cents per square meter of recording surface.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division