CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953369 DWS
Ms. Deborah A. Gross
North American Philips Corporation
100 East 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017-5699
RE: Revocation of NY 870564; D2-MAC/PAL Satellite Receiver;
Integrated Receiver/Decoder; Explanatory Note 85.28; HQ 088255;
Section XVI, Note 3; Section XVI, Note 2(a); 8528.10.80
Dear Ms. Gross:
This is in reference to NY 870564, dated February 3, 1992, in
which you were advised of the classification of certain satellite
receivers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
(HTSUS). We are now reconsidering the proper classification of
The merchandise consists of a D2-MAC/PAL satellite receiver
with a wireless remote control unit. The unit is a single
integrated receiver/decoder (IRD) with front panel controls and
rear panel power supply connection and initiation switch. Signals
from the receiver can cause a dish antenna to rotate to those
positions in which it optimizes its collection of television
signals broadcast from satellites in the atmosphere. The receiver
transforms these signals into an NTSC (standard television
broadcast signal) signal. The NTSC signal is then transmitted to
a television (TV) receiver or video cassette recorder (VCR)
receiver, either as RF signals which may be received on Channel 3
or 4 of a standard TV set, or as separate video and audio (left and
right channel) signals for those products that can accommodate such
connections. The receiver is marketed for residential use.
Once the user of the receiver programs it with the required
information, the user can change channels on a TV or VCR merely by
pressing a few buttons on a corresponding wireless remote control unit. The receiver responds by positioning the satellite dish
accordingly, processing the signal from the antenna, and relaying
it to the TV or VCR receiver to which it is connected for further
What is the proper classification of the subject satellite
receiver under the HTSUS?
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.
In NY 870564, the subject receiver was held to be classifiable
under subheading 8528.10.80, HTSUS, which provides for:
"[t]elevision receivers (including video monitors and video
projection television receivers), whether or not combined, in the
same housing, with radiobroadcast receivers or sound or video
recording or reproducing apparatus: [c]olor: [o]ther television
Heading 8525, HTSUS, provides for: "[t]ransmission apparatus
for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or
television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or
sound recording or reproducing apparatus: [t]elevision cameras."
In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized
Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be
utilized. The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to
be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. In
part, Explanatory Note 85.28 (p. 1378) states:
[t]his heading covers television receivers (including video
monitors and video projectors), whether or not incorporating
radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or
The heading includes:
(1) Television receivers of the kind used in the home (table
models, consoles, etc.) including coin-operated television
(2) Television apparatus for mounting in aircraft or
(3) Video tuners, intended to be used with or incorporated in,
e.g., video recording or reproducing apparatus or video
monitors. These tuners convert high-frequency television
signals into signals usable by video recording or
reproducing apparatus or video monitors. However,
which simply isolate high-frequency television signals
(sometimes called video tuners) are to be classified as
parts in heading 85.29.
(4) Television receivers for industrial use (e.g., for reading
instruments at a distance, or for observation in dangerous
localities). With this apparatus the transmission is
often by line.
(5) Video monitors which are receivers connected directly to
the video camera or recorder by means of co-axial cables,
so that all the high frequency circuits are eliminated.
They are used by television companies or for closed
circuit television (airports, railway stations, steel
plants, hospitals, etc.).
(6) Video projectors, which enable the image normally
reproduced on the screen of a video receiver to be
projected on a large screen.
(7) Television apparatus of all types equipped to receive,
memorize and display texts and messages.
In HQ 088255, dated December 17, 1990, an integrated
receiver/decoder was held to be classifiable under heading 8525,
HTSUS, instead of under heading 8528, HTSUS. In that ruling, it
was stated that:
[m]ost importantly, . . ., we have learned that the IRD does
not convert a NTSC into the end point signal intended to be
displayed on a television picture tube. Instead, the IRD
decodes a scrambled signal and produces a NTSC signal for
further transmission and final reception and display.
Heading 8528, HTSUS, which provides for television receivers
is actually a more narrow heading than it may at first appear.
Thus, the [Explanatory Note] to heading 8528, HTSUS,
delineates end point apparatus where the image is received
and displayed, such as: television receivers used in the home,
video tuners intended to be used with or incorporated in
video recording or reproducing apparatus or video monitors,
video projectors, apparatus to memorize and display texts and
The IRD is in the transmission path, but it is not at the end
of the transmission path where final reception and viewing
takes place. Its function is to receive and decode a
scrambled signal that is subsequently transmitted or relayed,
in the form of a NTSC signal, to be received and displayed at
the end of the transmission path. Therefore, the IRD cannot
be considered a "television receiver", as provided for under
heading 8528, HTSUS.
It is our position that the subject receiver is not
classifiable under heading 8528, HTSUS. The function of the
receiver is to receive and decode a scrambled signal that is
subsequently transmitted or relayed, in the form of an NTSC signal,
to be received and displayed at the end of the transmission path.
The end of the transmission path is the TV or VCR receiver, not the
Following the holding in HQ 088255, we find that the receiver
under consideration is described under heading 8525, HTSUS.
Section XVI, note 3, HTSUS, states that:
[u]nless the context otherwise requires, composite machines
consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a
whole and other machines adapted for the purpose of
performing two or more complementary or alternative
functions are to be classified as if consisting only of that
component or as being that machine which performs the
It is our position that the transmission function of the
satellite receiver imparts its principal function. Although both
transmission and antenna rotation functions are needed in order for
a satellite dish video system to work properly, the signal
converting circuitry must process and transmit the newly-gathered
signal to the TV or VCR to which the system is connected.
Therefore, because the transmission function imparts the
principal function of the receiver, it is our position that it is
classifiable under subheading 8525.10.20, 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:
[t]elevision cameras: [t]ransmission apparatus: [t]elevision."
The D2-MAC/PAL satellite receiver is classifiable under
subheading 8525.10.20, HTSUS. The general, column one rate of duty
is 3.7 percent ad valorem.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS
Pursuant to section 177.9(d)(1), Customs Regulations
[19 CFR 177.9(d)(1)], NY 870564 is revoked in full.
John Durant, Director