CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954255 DWS
Mr. Alan E. Edmonds
Yusen Air & Sea Service, Inc.
230 McClellan Highway
East Boston, MA 02128
RE: Optical Isolator; Chapter 90, Additional U.S. Note 3
Dear Mr. Edmonds:
This is in response to your letters of February 4, 1993, to
the District Director, Boston, Massachusetts, and April 5, 1993,
to the Area Director, New York Seaport, on behalf of Nissei Sangyo
America, Ltd., concerning the classification of optical isolators
under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).
The merchandise consists of optical isolators which are
principally used as components of laser semiconductor devices. An
optical isolator, composed of a Faraday rotator, a polarizer, a
permanent magnet, and an analyzer with a holder, is a passive
component which utilizes magnetic-optical properties to eliminate
the back reflection of light. It is not a semiconductor device.
The optical isolator contains a miniature glass polarizer which
incorporates a silver matrix to polarize light.
The optical isolator is mounted in a laser semiconductor
module in the light path between the laser chip and the transport
medium (optical fibers). It operates to transmit a forward beam
and shut off a backward beam in optical communication and measuring
Whether the optical isolator is classifiable under subheading
9013.80.60, HTSUS, as an other optical instrument?
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.
Chapter 90, additional U.S. note 3, HTSUS, states that:
[f]or the purposes of this chapter, the term "optical
appliances" and "optical instruments" refer only to those
appliances and instruments which incorporate one or more
optical elements, but do not include any appliances or
instruments in which the incorporated optical element or
elements are solely for viewing a scale or for some other
Inasmuch as the optical isolator meets the definition of an
"optical instrument" under chapter 90, additional U.S. note 3,
HTSUS, it is our position that it is classifiable under subheading
9013.80.60, which provides for: ". . . other optical appliances and
instruments, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter
. . .: [o]ther devices, appliances and instruments: [o]ther."
The optical isolator is classifiable under subheading
9013.80.60, HTSUS, as an other optical instrument. The general,
column one rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem.
John Durant, Director