CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 952768 JAS
Ms. Stephanie Moody
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
P.O. 2206, M/S E-01
Savannah, GA 31402-2206
RE: Flight Data Acquisition Unit; NY 860247 Revoked
Dear Ms. Moody:
Your ruling request of February 1, 1991, to the District
Director of Customs, Savannah, concerned the tariff status of a
flight data acquisition unit from Great Britain.
The Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, replied to
this request and held that the merchandise was classifiable in
subheading 8543.80.40, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States (HTSUS), as electrical machines and apparatus not
specified or included elsewhere in chapter 85. The rate of duty
under this provision is 3.9 percent ad valorem. NY 860247, dated
February 27, 1991. For the reasons which follow, we believe this
ruling is incorrect.
The flight data acquisition unit is a device which accepts
data in various forms and outputs it in a specific repetitive
manner into a data format that the flight data recorder requires
to make a history of what happened during a particular flight.
Whether a flight data acquisition unit is a measuring
instrument, appliance or machine.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the
General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part
that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined - 2 -
according to the terms of the headings and any relative section
or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not
require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.
The paramount rule of tariff classification is GRI 1.
Therefore, the terms of the headings plus all applicable legal
notes must be considered. Section XVI, note 1(m), HTSUS, states
that articles of chapter 90 are not covered in section XVI.
Heading 8543 is in section XVI. Therefore, the flight data
acquisition unit cannot be classified in heading 8543 if it is
provided for in any heading of chapter 90. Also, heading 8543
covers all electrical apparatus not falling in any other heading
of chapter 85 or not covered more specifically by a heading of
any other chapter in the HTSUS.
HQ 089391, dated February 6, 1992, held that data recorders
used as components in measuring systems that include sensors and
display devices were measuring instruments of heading 9031 even
though they did not perform any actual measuring function
themselves. The data recorder in HQ 089391 did not perform any
measuring function but was connected to a computer or
oscilloscope that interpreted the recorded data. The device was
used to record electronic signals in a process of measuring. HQ
089391 confirmed the common meaning of the term "measure" as "to
ascertain the quantity, mass, extent, or degree of [something] in
terms of a standard unit or fixed amount" and concluded that
measuring instruments, appliances or machines encompass devices
that carry out steps in a process of measuring. (Emphasis added).
Flight data acquisition units are used with flight data
recorders and other components to enable ground personnel to
measure the acquired data and, thus, to evaluate the plane's
Under the authority of GRI 1, flight data acquisition units,
the subject of your February 1, 1991, ruling request, are
provided for in heading 9031. They are classifiable in
subheading 9031.80.00, HTSUS, as other measuring or checking
instruments, appliances and machines. The rate of duty on
products of the UK is 4.9 percent ad valorem.
Pursuant to section 177.9(d)(1), Customs Regulations, NY
860247 is revoked. Under section 177.9(d)(2) this revocation
will not be applied retroactively to NY 860247 and will not,
therefore, affect past transactions under that ruling. However,
for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this
type, NY 860247 will not be valid precedent.
Goods classifiable in subheading 9031.80.00 may be eligible
for entry free of duty under the Civil Aircraft Agreement, upon - 3 -
compliance with applicable law and Customs Regulations. In the
event the flight data acquisition unit does not qualify for free
entry, pending transactions may be adversely affected by this
revocation, in that current contracts for goods imported after
the date of this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If
such a situation arises, you may apply for relief from the
binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division