CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952791 DWS
U.S. Customs Service
555 Battery Street
P.O. Box 2450
San Francisco, CA 94126
RE: Protest No. 2809-92-100430; SR 2014 C/Ku Band Satellite
Receiver; Integrated Receiver/Decoder; Revocation of NY 870564
and NY 838855; Modification of HQ 088498; Explanatory Note
85.28; HQ 088255; Section XVI, Note 3; Section XVI, Note 2(a);
This is our response on Application for Further Review of
Protest No. 2809-92-100430, dated February 27, 1992, concerning
your action in classifying and assessing duty on certain satellite
receivers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
The merchandise consists of an SR 2014 C/Ku band satellite
receiver (cat. no. 16-2511) with a wireless remote control unit.
The unit is a single integrated receiver/decoder (IRD) with front
panel controls and rear panel power supply connection and
initiation switch. Signals from the receiver can cause a dish
antenna to rotate to those positions in which it optimizes its
collection of television signals broadcast from satellites in the
atmosphere. The receiver transforms these signals into an NTSC
(standard television broadcast signal) signal. The NTSC signal is
then transmitted to a television (TV) receiver or video cassette
recorder (VCR) receiver, either as RF signals which may be received
on Channel 3 or 4 of a standard TV set, or as separate video and
audio (left and right channel) signals for those products that can
accommodate such connections. The receiver is marketed for
Once the user of the receiver programs it with the required
information, the user can change channels on a TV or VCR merely by
pressing a few buttons on a corresponding wireless remote control
unit. The receiver responds by positioning the satellite dish
accordingly, processing the signal from the antenna, and relaying
it to the TV or VCR receiver to which it is connected for further
What is the proper classification of the subject satellite
receiver under the HTSUS?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance
with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order.
GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the
terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.
The merchandise was entered under subheading 8529.10.20, HTSUS,
which provides for: "[p]arts suitable for use solely or principally
with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528: [a]ntennas and antenna
reflectors of all kinds; parts suitable for use therewith:
[t]elevision." However, the entries were liquidated under
subheading 8528.10.80, HTSUS, which provides for: "[t]elevision
receivers (including video monitors and video projection television
receivers), whether or not combined, in the same housing, with
radiobroadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing
apparatus: [c]olor: [o]ther television receivers."
Heading 8525, HTSUS, provides for: "[t]ransmission apparatus
for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or
television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or
sound recording or reproducing apparatus: [t]elevision cameras."
In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized
Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be
utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to
be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. In
part, Explanatory Note 85.28 (p. 1378) states:
[t]his heading covers television receivers (including video
monitors and video projectors), whether or not incorporating
radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or
The heading includes:
(1) Television receivers of the kind used in the home (table
models, consoles, etc.) including coin-operated television
(2) Television apparatus for mounting in aircraft or
(3) Video tuners, intended to be used with or incorporated in,
e.g., video recording or reproducing apparatus or video
monitors. These tuners convert high-frequency television
signals into signals usable by video recording or
reproducing apparatus or video monitors. However,
which simply isolate high-frequency television signals
(sometimes called video tuners) are to be classified as
parts in heading 85.29.
(4) Television receivers for industrial use (e.g., for reading
instruments at a distance, or for observation in dangerous
localities). With this apparatus the transmission is
often by line.
(5) Video monitors which are receivers connected directly to
the video camera or recorder by means of co-axial cables,
so that all the high frequency circuits are eliminated.
They are used by television companies or for closed
circuit television (airports, railway stations, steel
plants, hospitals, etc.).
(6) Video projectors, which enable the image normally
reproduced on the screen of a video receiver to be
projected on a large screen.
(7) Television apparatus of all types equipped to receive,
memorize and display texts and messages.
In HQ 088255, dated December 17, 1990, an integrated
receiver/decoder was held to be classifiable under heading 8525,
HTSUS, instead of under heading 8528, HTSUS. In that ruling, it
was stated that:
[m]ost importantly, . . ., we have learned that the IRD does
not convert a NTSC into the end point signal intended to be
displayed on a television picture tube. Instead, the IRD
decodes a scrambled signal and produces a NTSC signal for
further transmission and final reception and display.
Heading 8528, HTSUS, which provides for television receivers
is actually a more narrow heading than it may at first appear.
Thus, the [Explanatory Note] to heading 8528, HTSUS,
delineates end point apparatus where the image is received
and displayed, such as: television receivers used in the home,
video tuners intended to be used with or incorporated in
video recording or reproducing apparatus or video monitors,
video projectors, apparatus to memorize and display texts and
The IRD is in the transmission path, but it is not at the end
of the transmission path where final reception and viewing
takes place. Its function is to receive and decode a
scrambled signal that is subsequently transmitted or relayed,
in the form of a NTSC signal, to be received and displayed at
the end of the transmission path. Therefore, the IRD cannot
be considered a "television receiver", as provided for under
heading 8528, HTSUS.
It is our position that the subject receiver is not
classifiable under heading 8528, HTSUS. The function of the
receiver is to receive and decode a scrambled signal that is
subsequently transmitted or relayed, in the form of an NTSC signal,
to be received and displayed at the end of the transmission path.
The end of the transmission path is the TV or VCR receiver, not the
Following the holding in HQ 088255, we find that the receiver
under consideration is described under heading 8525, HTSUS.
Section XVI, note 3, HTSUS, states that:
[u]nless the context otherwise requires, composite machines
consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a
whole and other machines adapted for the purpose of
performing two or more complementary or alternative
functions are to be classified as if consisting only of that
component or as being that machine which performs the
It is our position that the transmission function of the
satellite receiver imparts its principal function. Although both
transmission and antenna rotation functions are needed in order for
a satellite dish video system to work properly, the signal
converting circuitry must process and transmit the newly-gathered
signal to the TV or VCR to which the system is connected.
Therefore, because the transmission function imparts the
principal function of the receiver, it is our position that it is
classifiable under subheading 8525.10.20, HTSUS, which provides
for: "[t]ransmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy,
radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating
reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus:
[t]elevision cameras: [t]ransmission apparatus: [t]elevision."
We do find that the receiver is a part suitable for use for
use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to
8528, HTSUS. Explanatory Note 85.29(2) (p. 1379) states that:
[s]ubject to the general provisions regarding the
classification of parts . . . this heading covers parts of
the apparatus of the four preceding headings.
The range of parts classified here includes:
(2) Rotor systems for radio-broadcast or television-broadcast
receiving aerials consisting essentially of an electric
motor mounted on the aerial mast to rotate it and a
separate control box to aim and position the aerial.
Section XVI, note 2(a), HTSUS, states that:
[p]arts 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.
Therefore, even though the receiver is a part of an apparatus
classifiable under headings 8525 to 8528, HTSUS, under section XVI,
note 2(a), it is precluded from classification as a part under
heading 8529, bcecause it is to be classified in its respective
heading, which is heading 8525, HTSUS.
The satellite receiver is classifiable under subheading
8525.10.20, HTSUS. Because reclassification of the merchandise as
indicated above will result in the same rate of duty as claimed,
you are instructed to allow the protest in full.
A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form
19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action
on the protest.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
In NY 870564, dated February 3, 1992, a satellite receiver was
held to be classifiable under heading 8528, HTSUS. Based upon the
reasoning in this ruling, NY 870564 is revoked in full.
In HQ 088498, dated May 2, 1991, a tuner for a satellite
receiver was held to be classifiable under heading 8529, HTSUS.
However, it was stated in that ruling that satellite receivers are
classifiable under heading 8528, HTSUS. HQ 088498 is modified so
as to reflect the reasoning in this ruling.
It is noted that HQ 088498 is the reconsideration of NY
838885, dated April 14, 1989, which held tuners for satellite
receivers to be classifiable under heading 8528, HTSUS. As HQ
088498 changed the classification of the tuner to heading 8529,
HTSUS, it in effect revoked NY 838885 in full.
John Durant, Director