CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962973 RFA
U.S. Customs Service
P.O. Box 17423
Washington, DC 20041
RE: Protest 5401-1999-100005; Multiplexers for Closed-Circuit Television (TV) Security System; NY C89058
Dear Port Director:
The following is our decision regarding Protest 5401-1999-100005, which concerns the classification of multiplexers for closed-circuit television (TV) security systems under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). In preparing our decision, we considered the arguments presented in our meeting with counsel on June 21, 2000, and the supplemental submission dated August 18, 2000.
The subject merchandise are multiplexers for closed-circuit TV security systems. The multiplexers are primarily used in systems for security and general surveillance purposes. The multixplexers coordinate data from various cameras shots that are used for security monitoring systems and allow for the recordation of the data or monitoring of the data on video monitors.
The merchandise was entered under subheading 8525.10.90, HTSUS, as other transmission apparatus. The entries were liquidated on October 2, 1998, under subheading 8525.10.30, HTSUS, as other television transmission apparatus. The protest was timely filed on December 30, 1998.
The HTSUS subheadings under consideration are as follows:
8525: Transmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras or other video camera recorders:
8525.10.30: Other . . . .
Other. . . .
During our meeting with counsel for the protestant on June 21, 2000, it was agreed by all parties that the merchandise was classifiable within heading 8525, HTSUS, as transmission apparatus, and that no other heading would be under consideration. Therefore, Customs will not address the protestant’s alternative claims under headings 8471, 8521, or 8543, HTSUS.
Whether the subject multiplexers are classifiable under heading 8525, HTSUS, as transmission apparatus for television or as other transmission apparatus?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Because the classification issue involves competing subheadings within the same heading, Customs must apply GRI 6 which provides that: “the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules [GRI 1 to 5] on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.”
Protestant argues that the subject multiplexers should be classified under subheading 8525.10.90, as transmission apparatus other than for television. In support of its position, the protestant claims that the product is “more than” articles used primarily for television or video purposes because the subject multiplexers coordinate data from cameras and other sensors used in security monitoring systems.
It has been Customs position that the “more than” doctrine does not apply to cases arising under the HTSUS. This position has been affirmed in JVC Company of America v. United States, 234 F.3d 1348, 1354 (Fed.Cir. 200), in which the court stated that: “this statutorily-prescribed, comprehensive, and systematic method of classification set forth in the GRIs supplants the judicially-created ‘more than’ doctrine and precludes its applicability to cases arising under the HTSUS.”
Notwithstanding the demise of the “more than” doctrine, protestant’s claim that the subject multiplexers coordinate data from different cameras does not affect its classification as the subject merchandise’s ability to coordinate different signals is the function a multiplexer performs. In fact, the term “multiplexers” has been used in a variety of contexts to describe goods that are classifiable under several HTSUS provisions based upon their use and specific applications. According to the Modern Dictionary of Electronics, Seventh Edition (1999), by Rudolph F. Graf, “multiplexer” is defined as follows:
A device for accomplishing simultaneous transmission of two or more signals over a common transmission medium.
An analog or linear device for selecting one of a number of inputs and switching its information to the output; . . .
A digital device that can select one of a number of inputs and pass the logic level of that input-channel. . . .
A device that will interleave (time division) or simultaneously transmit (frequency division) two or more messages on the same communications channel.
A device that uses several communication channels at the same time and transmits and receives messages and controls the communication lines. . . .
Because of the variety of multiplexers in existence, Customs must classify them on a case-by-case basis. In NY C89058, dated July 2, 1998, Customs classified several multiplexers that take images from several video security cameras and digitizes the incoming pictures and encodes them by camera number to allow the images from multiple cameras to be viewed, recorded or transmitted at one time, under subheading 8525.10.30, HTSUS, as other television transmission apparatus.
Protestant admits that the subject merchandise is similar to the merchandise in NY C89058 and asks that the NY ruling be modified. As these devices are transmitting a closed-circuit TV video image, we find that the holding in NY C89058 is correct. By application of GRI 1 and 6 and NY C89058, we find that the subject multiplexers meet the terms of subheading 8525.10.30, as other television transmission apparatus as they combine images from several closed-circuit TV security cameras and transmit them to a central location. Because the subject merchandise meets the terms of subheading 8525.10.30, as other transmission apparatus for television, we find that it is precluded from classification under subheading 8525.10.90, as transmission apparatus other than for television.
Based upon the application of GRI 1 and GRI 6, the multiplexers are classifiable under subheading 8525.10.30, 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; television cameras; still image video cameras or other video camera recorders: [t]ransmission apparatus: [t]elevision: [o]ther . . . .”
The protest should be DENIED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division