CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964149 KBR
Follick & Bessich
33 Walt Whitman Road
Huntington Station, NY 11746
RE: Reconsideration of NY F86942; Portable Video Player with a Textile Container
Dear Mr. Bessich:
This is in reference to your letter dated June 8, 2000, on behalf of Audiovox Corp., in which you requested reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) F86942, issued to you by the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, on May 23, 2000, concerning the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a portable video player with a textile container. We have reviewed the prior ruling and have determined that the classification provided is incorrect.
Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057), a notice was published on January 9, 2002, in Vol. 365, No. 2 of the Customs Bulletin, proposing to revoke NY F86942. Your letter supporting the proposed revocation was the only comment received in response to this notice. This ruling revokes NY F86942 by providing the correct classification for the portable video player with textile container.
NY F86942 concerns the Audiovox Rampage VBP 1000 Portable Video Cassette Player. It comprises a VHS format video cassette player with a flip-up 4 inch LCD color monitor. The player does not have a television receiver or tuner capability and cannot record. The controls for turning on the power, playing a cassette tape and adjusting the volume are on the front of the player. The player has front video/audio input jacks (Video In, Audio In R, Audio In L). There are jacks for 2 sets of headphones on the front. There are two 3 ¼ inch speakers built into the unit, one on each side of the player. There is no video output jack for viewing on a monitor or television other than the attached flip-up 4 inch monitor.
A nylon container, mounting straps, AC/DC power adapter and power cables are also included with the player. The nylon container is made to the specific dimensions of the player. There is an attached shoulder strap on the case for carrying the player. The case is padded to protect the player and the sides have 4 rings for the straps to attach the case to a car seat to secure the player in a vehicle. There are also loop straps attached to the case for securing the player with a standard automobile seat belt. The case has 2 mesh patches, one on each side of the case, located where the speakers appear on the player, so that the speakers may be heard through the case. There is a zippered bottom accessory compartment made for holding the power cables and a reinforced opening in the bottom of the case for the power cables to attach from the player to an external power source. The front of the case has 2 zippered mesh gussets which when unzipped allow the player to hang at a 15 degree angle for proper viewing of the monitor, easier access to the player’s controls and also allows the speakers to be heard. There is a thin zippered compartment along the front of the case.
In NY F8692 it was determined that the portable video cassette player was a video recording or reproducing apparatus, whether or not incorporating a video tuner, magnetic tape type, color, cartridge or cassette type, not capable of recording, classifiable under subheading 8521.10.3000, HTSUS. The case for the player was found to be separately classifiable as a textile case under subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUS, and subject to textile quota/visa requirements. We have reviewed that ruling and determined that the classification of the portable video cassette player and textile container is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification.
What is the proper classification under the HTSUS of the subject portable video cassette player and textile container?
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). The systematic detail of the HTSUS is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.
In interpreting the headings and subheadings, Customs looks to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN). Although not legally binding, they provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS. It is Customs practice to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the ENs when interpreting the HTSUS. See T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:
Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks
and backpacks, handbags, shopping bags, wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle cases, jewelry boxes, powder cases, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile
materials, of vulcanized fiber, or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper:
With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials:
8521 Video recording or reproducing apparatus, whether or not incorporating a video tuner:
Color, cartridge or cassette type:
8521.10.30 Not capable of recording
Reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radiobroadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus; video monitors and video projectors:
With a flat panel screen:
Recording or reproducing apparatus:
With a video display diagonal not exceeding 34.29 cm
The portable video cassette player is comprised of two components, the cassette player and an LCD monitor. Section XVI Note 4, HTSUS, states that “[w]here a machine … consists of individual components (whether separate or interconnected by piping, by transmission devices, by electric cables or by other devices) intended to contribute together to a clearly defined function covered by one of the headings in chapter 84 or chapter 85, then the whole falls to be classified in the heading appropriate to that function." The instant article has the clearly defined function of playing cassette tapes for viewing. Video cassette players by themselves are generally classified in heading 8521, HTSUS, as video recording or reproducing apparatus. However, exclusionary note (b) in the ENs for heading 8521, HTSUS, excludes video monitors from being classified in that heading.
Video monitors are classifiable in heading 8528, HTSUS. This heading also includes reception apparatus for television. Video monitors use the same technology as a television, using a cathode ray tube (CRT) or a liquid crystal display (LCD) to present a visual display on a screen. An LCD is a type of flat panel screen. A video monitor differs from the standard “television” in that it does not have a tuner to receive a broadcast television signal. A monitor requires a separate device to provide the data it will reproduce on its screen. This can be a device with a receiver of a broadcast television signal, a camera feeding a live picture, a device which plays a cassette tape or DVD, or a device which plays a game. The video monitor in this case has no tuning capability, but accepts an electrical impulse from the video cassette player which the monitor converts to a visual display on an LCD screen. This uses the same type of signal that a normal household television or a video monitor would accept from a standard home video cassette player. EN (6) for heading 8528, HTSUS, includes video monitors as described with an LCD screen within this heading.
Color video monitors are classified in subheading 8528.21, HTSUS. Further, subheading 8528.21.55, HTSUS, describes the instant article in its entirety, as a video monitor, color, with a flat panel screen, incorporating video recording or reproducing apparatus, with a video display diagonal not exceeding 34.29 cm. Therefore, the instant portable video player in its entirety is properly classified in subheading 8528.21.55, HTSUS.
Now, we will consider the classification of the included textile container. GRI 5(a) states:
Camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character”.
The ENs for GRI 5(a) state that this rule covers only containers which:
are specifically shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, i.e., they are designed specifically to accommodate the article for which they are intended. Some containers are shaped in the form of the article they contain;
are suitable for long-term use, i.e., they are designed to have a durability comparable to that of the articles for which they are intended. These containers also serve to protect the article when not in use (during transport or storage, for example). These criteria enable them to be distinguished from simple packings;
are presented with the articles for which they are intended, whether or not the articles are packed separately for convenience of transport. Presented separately the containers are classified in their appropriate headings;
are of a kind normally sold with such articles; and
do not give the whole its essential character.
In this instance we find that the textile container, when imported with the article, qualifies as a GRI 5(a) container. It is specifically shaped and fitted for the portable video cassette player. The mesh panels are specifically located to allow the sound to be heard from the speakers. The container is imprinted with the name of the article. The container has gussets which are only useful for angling the player for the correct viewing angle in a vehicle and also allowing the sound to be heard through the speaker. The container has metal loops for securing it to a vehicle and an opening in the bottom through which the power cord may be attached. Although the player may be used in a home and the container would not be needed, because of the small size of the LCD screen, the player is unlikely to be used in a home where a full size television would be available. The intent of this article is clearly its portability. Further, if it is used in a home, we believe that the padded case would likely still be used to protect the article. The container does not provide the essential character to the portable video cassette player. Therefore, the textile container qualifies as a container under GRI 5(a). As such, the textile container is included under the same classification with the video cassette player. Further, since the textile container qualifies under GRI 5(a), it is not subject to quota or visa requirements. See NY C84178 (February 5, 1998), NY B89146 (September 8, 1997).
You state that Audiovox may import some containers separately (unassociated with the video cassette player) and empty. These would be used to replace defective containers. In that situation, the containers which are imported separate from the video cassette players will be separately classifiable in subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUS, and subject to quota and visa requirements. See, e.g., HQ 962439 (April 9, 2001) (extra containers imported empty do not qualify under GRI 5, but must be classified separately).
Pursuant to GRI 1 and 5(a), the portable video cassette player with a textile container, are classified in subheading 8528.21.55, HTSUS, as reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radiobroadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus; video monitors and video projectors, video monitors, color, with a flat panel screen, incorporating video recording or reproducing apparatus, with a video display diagonal not exceeding 34.29 cm.
Extra textile containers are classified in subheading 4202.92.9026, HTSUS, as trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks, handbags, shopping bags, wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle cases, jewelry boxes, powder cases, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile
materials, of vulcanized fiber, or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper; other; with outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials; other; other; of man-made fibers; carry quota category 670, and will be subject to quota and visa requirements.
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
NY F86942, dated May 23, 2000, is REVOKED. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. § 1625(c), this ruling will become effective sixty (60) days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division