CLA-2:CO:R:C:M 954194 JAS
District Director of Customs
110 S. Fourth St., Rm 137
Minneapolis, MN 55401
RE: PRD 3501-90-000022; Display Management Computer (DMC);
Apparatus that Formats and Displays Systems Warnings,
Cautions and Other Flight Information; Measuring or
Checking Instruments, Parts and Accessories; Civil
Aircraft Agreement; HQ 089391, 952778, 954175
Dear District Director:
This is our decision on Application for Further Review of
Protest No. 3501-91-000022, filed by counsel for Northwest
Airlines, Inc., against your action in liquidating an entry of
display management computers (DMC), from France. The entry was
liquidated on January 4, 1991, and this protest was timely filed
on January 18, 1991.
The DMC is described as electrical apparatus that formats
and displays navigational systems data to the pilot and crew of
the Airbus A 320. There are three DMCs aboard the craft that
receive signals from the Systems Data Acquisition Concentrator
(SDAC), the Flight Warning Computer (FWC) and other avionics
computers that report systems conditions such as airspeed, engine
and cabin pressure, altitude, pitch attitude etc., and detect
abnormalities and malfunctions. The DMC analyzes and compares
the signals it receives against guidelines programmed into its
memory and determines what digital information to display on
color display units in the cockpit. It is the DMC that formats
and displays systems conditions, giving the pilot and flight crew
a visual "picture" of systems conditions, including both audio
and visual warnings and cautions.
The merchandise was entered under the provision for other
parts of airplanes or helicopters, in subheading 8803.30.00,
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The
column 1 rate of duty is free. You liquidated the entry under - 2 -
the appropriate provision for other electrical machines and
apparatus having individual functions, not specified or include
elsewhere in [chapter 85]. Counsel initially maintains that the
DMC is classifiable in subheading 9014.20.60, HTSUS, as
navigational instruments and appliances. In a letter, dated May
28, 1993, he advances alternative claims under subheading
9031.80.00, HTSUS, as measuring or checking instruments,
appliances and machines, or under subheading 9031.90.60, HTSUS,
as parts and accessories of measuring or checking instruments.
The provisions under consideration are as follows:
8543.80.90 Other electrical machines and apparatus
having individual functions...3.9 percent
8803.30.00 Other parts of airplanes or helicopters...
9031.80.00 Other measuring or checking instruments,
appliances and machines.....4.9 percent
9031.90.60 Other parts and accessories.. 4.9 percent
Goods classifiable in subheadings 9031.80.00 and 9031.90.60 are
eligible for free entry under the Civil Aircraft Agreement, upon
compliance with applicable law and Customs Regulations.
Whether the DMC is a measuring instrument or appliance, or a
part or accessory thereof.
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
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.
Articles of chapter 90 are precluded from classification in
heading 8543. Section XVI, Note 1(m), HTSUS. Likewise, articles
of chapter 90 are precluded from classification in subheading
8803.30.00. Section XVII, Note 2(g), HTSUS. Therefore, if the
DMC is provided for in heading 9031 or in any other heading of
chapter 90, it must be classified there.
For purposes of heading 9031, instruments or appliances that
estimate or appraise a variable or quantity by comparing it to an
established criterion perform a measuring function. Moreover, - 3 -
devices that measure ascertain the quantity, mass, extent, or
degree of something in terms of a standard unit or fixed amount.
The provision for measuring instruments, appliances or
machines encompasses devices that may not perform any measuring
function themselves, so long as they function with other
apparatus to carry out steps in a process of measuring. See HQ
089391, dated February 6, 1992. We have previously held that the
SDAC performs a measuring function appropriate to goods of
heading 9031 because it determines the severity of an indicated
malfunction or systems failure by comparing signals it receives
from a peripheral computer or computers against guidelines in its
The DMC performs no measuring function itself, nor does it
control an apparatus that performs a measuring function.
However, there is a definite functional interrelationship between
the DMC and the SDAC, an apparatus that does perform a measuring
function. Moreover, without the DMCs, the pilot and flight crew
would have no visual representation of data from the SDAC, and
would have to rely on redundant backup systems to ascertain the
same information. From the evidence of record, we are unable to
conclusively determine whether the DMC carries out steps in a
process of measuring, or whether it is part of such apparatus.
At the very least, however, we can conclude that the DMC
qualifies as an accessory. It is provided for under the
provision for parts and accessories of measuring instruments of
heading 9031. See HQ 952778, dated December 1, 1992.
Under the authority of GRI 1, the Display Management
Computer (DMC) is provided for in heading 9031. It is
classifiable in subheading 9031.90.60, HTSUS, as other parts and
accessories of measuring or checking instruments, appliances and
machines. The rate of duty on such merchandise under the
Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft is free.
The protest should be allowed. A copy of this decision
should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and mailed to the
protestant, through counsel, as part of the notice of action on
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division