CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087435 MBR
Mr. Mike Unsworth
LEP International, Inc.
29225 Airport Drive
Romulus, MI 48174
RE: The "Spectralstar Televideo Producer" 8 mm, 16 mm and slide
film-to-video cassette transfer device (additionally requires the
use of a video camera and recorder); Other optical appliances and
Dear Mr. Unsworth:
This is in reply to your letter of May 16, 1990, on behalf
of Photo Systems, Inc., requesting classification of the
"Spectralstar Televideo Producer" video transfer device, under
the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated
The "Spectralstar Televideo Producer" (hereafter "film-to-
video transfer device") is used to transfer photographic slides,
8 mm or 16 mm movies onto video cassette tape with the aid of a
video cassette recorder and a video camera. The film-to-video
transfer device consists of a mini-projection screen (2.5" X
3.5"), a 2.25" macro lens, a mirror, and two adjustable stands
(one for the film-to-video transfer device and one for the video
camera). To transfer slides or movies onto video tape, the user
directs a movie/slide projector onto the screen of the film-to-
video transfer device. The distance and focus are adjusted until
a sharp image appears on the screen. Then, a video camera is
aimed at the macro lens of the film-to-video transfer device.
The user can then record the image on a video cassette either in
the video camera or in a video cassette recorder attached to the
What is the classification of the "Spectralstar Televideo
Producer" film-to-video transfer device under the Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA
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...
The film-to-video transfer device is prima facie
classifiable under the following subheadings:
9008.90.40 Image projectors, other than cinematographic;
photographic (other than cinematographic) enlargers and
reducers; parts and accessories thereof: Parts and
accessories: Of image projectors, other than
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
8522.90.90 Parts and accessories of apparatus of headings 8519
to 8521 (video recording or reproducing apparatus):
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
9013.80.60 Other optical appliances and instruments, not
specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts
and accessories thereof: Other devices, appliances and
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
Explanatory Notes (EN), although not dispositive, should be
looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. See 54
Fed. Reg. 35128 (August 23, 1989).
Subheading 9008.90.40, HTSUSA, provides for: "Image
projectors." The EN to heading 9008, HTSUSA, page 1470, states,
in pertinent part: "...the instruments of this heading are
designed for projecting still images. The most common type is
the projection lantern (or diascope) which is used to project the
image of a transparent object (slide or transparency). It uses
two lenses: one, the condenser, forms an image of the light
source on the second lens, called the projection lens....A high
power light source is used, the light from which is concentrated
by a reflector."
The film-to-video transfer device is not principally
designed "for projecting still images," nor does this device even
operate as a "projector" in the common or commercial meaning.
This device neither enlarges, reduces, nor does it utilize a high
power light source or two lenses, and most importantly, it is not
intended for viewing. Therefore, the film-to-video transfer
device is not classifiable under heading 9008, HTSUSA.
Subheading 8522.90.90, HTSUSA, provides for: "[p]arts and
accessories of apparatus of headings 8519 to 8521 (video
recording or reproducing apparatus): [o]ther: [o]ther."
The EN to heading 8521, page 1370, states:
(A) Recording and Combined Recording and Reproducing
In television image and sound recording apparatus
electric impulses (signals) which correspond to the
images and the sound are recorded on media, generally
consisting of magnetic tape. Generally the sound
accompanying the image is recorded simultaneously on
the same media, on one or several different tracks from
that carrying the video recording. The signals can be
obtained by connecting the recorder either to a
television camera or to a television receiver.
When used for reproduction, the apparatus convert the
recording (e.g., the magnetic patterns on the tape)
into video signals. These signals are passed on either
to a transmitting station or to a television receiver.
(B) Reproducing Apparatus
These apparatus are designed only to reproduce images
and sound directly on a television receiver....
The film-to-video transfer device does not record or
otherwise process or utilize electrical impulses nor does it
convert the magnetic patterns on the tape into video signals or
reproduce images and sound directly on a television receiver.
Furthermore, the Legal Notes to Section XVI state: "[t]his
Section does not cover: (m) Articles of Chapter 90." Therefore,
if the instant merchandise is classifiable in Chapter 90, it is
not classifiable in subheading 8522.90.90 (Section XVI).
Chapter 90, subheading 9013.80.60, HTSUSA, provides for:
"[o]ther optical appliances and instruments, not specified or
included elsewhere in this chapter; parts and accessories
thereof: [o]ther devices, appliances and instruments: [o]ther."
The Section XVII General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 90 state
[t]he Chapter includes in particular:
(A) A wide group comprising not only simple optical
elements of headings 90.01 and 90.02, but also optical
instruments and apparatus ranging from spectacles of
heading 90.04 to more complex instruments used in
astronomy, photography, cinematography or for
The film to video transfer device utilizes an optical lens,
a mirror, and a screen upon which an image is projected (by a
slide or movie projector). Clearly, this device is an optical
instrument or apparatus provided for in subheading 9013.80.60.
The "Spectralstar Televideo Producer" film-to-video transfer
device is classifiable under subheading 9013.80.60, HTSUSA,
which provides for: "[o]ther optical appliances and instruments,
not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts and
accessories thereof: [o]ther devices, appliances and instruments:
[o]ther." The rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division