CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:TCM H213700 EGJ
Elon Pollack, Esq.
Stein, Shostak, Shostak, Pollack & O’Hara, LLP
865 South Figueroa Street, Suite 1388
Los Angeles, CA 90017
RE: Classification of Four LCD Television Sets
Dear Mr. Pollack:
This is in response to your request of February 22, 2012, for a binding ruling on the tariff classification of four different models of television sets under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). You submitted this ruling request on behalf of Amtran Video Corporation (AmTran Video), the company that manufactures the subject merchandise.
You have requested, pursuant to Section 177.2(b)(7), U.S. Customs and Border Protection Regulations (19 C.F.R. §177.2(b)(7)), that certain information submitted in connection with this ruling request be treated as confidential. The information that qualifies for confidential treatment is thus redacted from the published version of this ruling letter.
The four flat screen television sets are all part of the [XX] brand, which is AmTran Video’s [XX] series of liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions. The model numbers are [XX], [XX], [XX] and [XX]. Each model number includes the diagonal screen size of the corresponding television, which are about 32 inches, 37 inches, 42 inches and 47 inches, respectively.
All of these color televisions contain the following inputs: antenna in, HDMI, component, composite, VGA/RGB, music port and USB. These inputs enable the televisions to receive output from cable and other television broadcasters, video cassette recorders, digital video disc and Blu-Ray devices, digital video recorders, computers, memory sticks and similar devices having a USB connection. All of the televisions also include a built-in Advanced Televisions Systems Committee (ATSC) tuner that allows reception of digital television channels.
The televisions do not include recording devices. However, these televisions contain a USB port and the circuitry necessary to reproduce the video stored on a USB device. For example, they can reproduce video slideshows of JPEG pictures.
What is the tariff classification of the four LCD television sets?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRIs”). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined 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 2 through 6 may then be applied in order.
GRI 6 provides as follows:
For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of this rule, the relative section, chapter and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires.
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The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:
8528 Monitors and projectors, not incorporating television reception apparatus; reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus:
Reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus:
8528.72 Other, color:
With a flat panel screen:
Incorporating video recording or reproducing apparatus:
8528.72.64 Other.. .
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8528.72.72 Other. . .
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In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127 (August 23, 1989).
EN 85.28 provides, in pertinent part, that:
This heading includes :
(1) Monitors and projectors, not incorporating television reception apparatus.
(2) Television reception apparatus, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus, for the display of signals (television sets).
(3) Apparatus for the reception of television signals, without display capabilities (e.g., receivers of satellite television broadcasts).
Monitors, projectors and television sets utilize different technologies, such as CRT (cathode-ray tube), LCD (liquid crystal display), DMD (digital micromirror device), OLED (organic light emitting diodes) and plasma, to display images.
Monitors and projectors may be capable of receiving a variety of signals from different sources. However, if they incorporate a television tuner they are considered to be reception apparatus for television ….
(D) RECEPTION APPARATUS FOR TELEVISION
This group includes apparatus whether or not designed to incorporate a video display or screen, such as :
(1) Receivers of television broadcasts (terrestrial, cable or satellite) which do not include a display device (CRT, LCD, etc.). These apparatus receive signals and convert them into a signal suitable for display. They may also incorporate a modem for connection to the Internet.
These receivers are intended to be used with video recording or reproducing apparatus, monitors, projectors or televisions. However, devices which simply isolate high-frequency television signals (sometimes called video tuners) are to be classified as parts in heading 85.29.
(2) 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.
(3) Television receivers of all kinds (LCD, plasma, CRT, etc.) used in the home (television sets), whether or not incorporating a radio-broadcast receiver, video cassette recorder, DVD player, DVD recorder, satellite receiver, etc.
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Both CBP and AmTran Video agree that the subject merchandise is classified under heading 8528, HTSUS. Heading 8528, HTSUS, provides, inter alia, for reception apparatus for television. EN 85.28(D) lists some of the articles considered reception apparatus for television under the Harmonized System. This list includes “television receivers of all kinds (LCD, plasma, CRT, etc.) used in the home (television sets).” The subject merchandise consists of four flat screen LCD television sets. They each incorporate an ATSC tuner, which enables them to receive digital television channels. As such, they are prima facie classifiable as reception apparatus for television.
Under GRI 6, we must classify goods in a subheading based upon the terms of that subheading. Subheading 8528.72.64, HTSUS, covers flat panel screens which incorporate video recording or reproducing apparatus. Subheading 8528.72.72, HTSUS, covers flat panel screens other than those which incorporate video recording or reproducing apparatus. According to AmTran Video, the four televisions do not incorporate video recording apparatus. Thus, we must determine the correct subheading classification by examining whether they have video reproducing apparatus.
AmTran Video asserts that these televisions contain a USB port and the circuitry necessary to reproduce the video stored on a USB device. For example, they can reproduce video slideshows of JPEG pictures. CBP has consistently held that connection to a USB device and reproducing video slideshows of JPEG pictures constitutes video reproducing apparatus. See, e.g. NY N180370, dated September 11, 2011, NY N200518, dated January 31, 2012, and NY N200516, dated January 31, 2012. As such, we find that the four LCD televisions are classified in subheading 8528.72.64, HTSUS, as television reception apparatus which incorporates video reproducing apparatus.
By application of GRI 1 and GRI 6, the four LCD televisions are classified under subheading 8528.72.64, HTSUS, which provides, in pertinent part, for: “[R]eception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus: Reception apparatus for television, whether or not incorporating radio-broadcast receivers or sound or video recording or reproducing apparatus: Other, color: With a flat panel screen: Incorporating video recording or reproducing apparatus: Other …” The 2012 column one, general rate of duty is 3.9% ad valorem.
Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed
at the time the goods are entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this
ruling should be brought to the attention of the CBP officer handling the transaction.
Ieva K. O’Rourke, Chief
Tariff Classification and Marking Branch