CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085219 TLS

Mr. Michael O'Neill
O'Neill & Whittaker, Inc.
1809 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

RE: Voice-operated headset

Dear Mr. O'Neill:

You request a ruling on the proper classification of a voice-operated headset under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Your letter dated June 2, 1989 has been submitted to this office for a reply.


The PTT Mini-VOX headset is a voice-operated set of headphones which is used in conjunction with a Maxon portable radio exclusively. Its design features allow it to be used while permitting the hands to remain free. It cannot be used with a telephone or any other communications device. The headset is specially designed to operate through the circuitry of the Maxon radio.


Is the PTT Mini-VOX headset properly classifiable under the following HTSUSA heading:

8518, HTSUSA, covering microphones and stands therefor; loudspeakers, whether or not mounted in their enclosures; headphones, earphones and combined microphone/speaker sets; audio-frequency electric amplifiers; electric sound amplifier sets; parts thereof.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) govern the classification of articles under the HTS. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Heading 8518 covers headphones and earphones. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes (EN) provide additional interpretation of HTSUSA headings. Under EN 8518(C), headphones for plugging into radio receivers are noted as covered under this heading. As noted earlier, the Mini-VOX headset is manufactured for exclusive use with a Maxon portable radio receiver. Thus, it is properly classifiable under HTSUSA heading 8518.


The PTT Mini-Vox headset is classified under subheading 8518.30.20, HTSUSA, as headphones.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division