CLA-2 OT:RR:CTF:TCM W967697 RFA
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
6747 Engle Road
Middleburg Heights, OH 44130
RE: Application for Further Review of Protest 4101-05-100032
Dear Port Director:
The following is our decision regarding Application for Further Review (AFR) of Protest No. 4101-05-100032, filed on behalf of Plexus Corporation, concerning the classification of printed circuit assemblies for encoders under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).
The merchandise at issue are printed circuit assemblies (PCAs) which are imported to be incorporated into one or more of six models of encoders. The PCAs consist of a fiberglass board onto which electrical circuits are etched and populated with resistors, capacitors, transistors, inductors, integrated circuits and connectors. According to the information submitted, the encoder consists of several components working together to convert an analog television signal into a digital television signal that is sent via satellite transmission. The encoders both transmit and receive signals, translating the signals towards television reception of the program indicated by the user.
The merchandise was entered on April 1, 2004 under subheading 8529.90.06, HTSUS, as: “[p]arts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528: [o]ther: [p]rinted circuit assemblies: [o]f television apparatus: printed circuit boards and ceramic substrates with components assembled thereon, for color television receivers; . . . : [o]ther. . ..” The entry was liquidated on September 17, 2004, under subheading 8529.90.13, HTSUS, as: “[p]arts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528: [o]ther: [p]rinted circuit assemblies: [o]f television apparatus: [o]ther. . . .” The protest was timely filed on December 15, 2004.
Whether the PCA’s are classified under heading 8529, HTSUS, as parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528, of television receivers (subheading 8529.90.06) or of other television apparatus (subheading 8529.90.13)?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Initially, we note that the matter protested is protestable under 19 U.S.C. §1514(a)(2) as a decision on classification. The protest was timely filed on December 15, 2004, within 90 days of liquidation of the entry made on April 1, 2004. Further review of the protest is warranted pursuant to 19 CFR §§174.24(b) and 174.25 as the protest is alleged to be inconsistent with a ruling of the Commissioner of Customs or his designee, or with a decision made at any port with respect to the same or substantially similar merchandise. Specifically, protestant cites to New York Ruling Letter (NY) E87599, dated October 15, 1999.
Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation. 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 may then be applied.
The 2004 HTSUS provisions at issue are as follows:
Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of
headings 8525 to 8528:
Of television apparatus:
Printed circuit boards and ceramic substrates with components assembled thereon, for color television receivers; . . . :
8529.90.06 Other. . .
8529.90.13 Other. . . .
Note 2 to Section XVI, HTSUS, governs, in part, the classification of parts of heading 8529, HTSUS. It states in relevant part that:
Subject to note 1 to this section, note 1 to chapter 84 and to note 1 to chapter 85, parts of machines (not being parts of the articles of heading 8484, 8544, 8545, 8546 or 8547) are to be classified according to the following rules:(a) Parts which are goods included in any of the headings of chapters 84 and 85 (other than headings 8409, 8431, 8448, 8466, 8473, 8485, 8503, 8522, 8529, 8538 and 8548) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings;
(b) Other parts, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, or with a number of machines of the same heading (including a machine of heading 8479 or 8543) are to be classified with the machines of that kind or in heading 8409, 8431, 8448, 8466, 8473, 8503, 8522, 8529 or 8538 as appropriate. However, parts which are equally suitable for use principally with the goods of headings 8517 and 8525 to 8528 are to be classified in heading 8517;
The subject printed circuit assemblies are parts to be assembled into encoders after importation. According to the information submitted, the finished encoder is used to transmit video and audio signals. Before multiplexing the audio and video signals which will be transmitted, the encoder compresses or reduces the number of bits of data that represent the original video and audio signals. Because the encoders transmit video and audio signals, they are classifiable in heading 8525, HTSUS, as: “Transmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; . . . ” CBP has previously classified encoders that transmit video and audio signals in heading 8525, HTSUS. See HQ 962919, dated April 10, 2000; NY F81345, dated January 7, 2000.
In accordance with Section XVI, Note 2(b), the PCA’s, which are parts suitable for use solely with the encoder, are classified in heading 8529, HTSUS, as “Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528.” The subject PCAs cannot be classified under subheading 8529.90.06, HTSUS, as claimed by the protestant, as the encoders, into which the PCAs are assembled, are not television receivers as required by the legal text. Instead, the encoders are other television transmission apparatus. As parts of other television transmission apparatus, the PCAs for the encoders are classified in subheading 8529.90.13, HTSUS. This conclusion comports with a previous decision issued by CBP on the classification of similar PCAs for encoders. See HQ H005123, dated December 29, 2008. We further find that NY E87599 is not applicable as it did not deal with the classification of encoders or PCAs for encoders.
HOLDING: By application of GRI 1 and Section XVI Note 2(b), the PCAs are classified in heading 8529, HTSUS. They are specifically provided for in subheading 8529.90.1300, HTSUS, as "Parts suitable for use solely or principally with the apparatus of headings 8525 to 8528: Other: Printed Circuit assemblies: Of television apparatus: Other: Other.” The 2004 column one, general rate of duty in effect at the time of entry was 2.9% ad valorem.
You are instructed to deny the protest in full. In accordance with Sections IV and VI of the CBP Protest/Petition Processing Handbook (HB 3500-08A, December 2007, pp. 24 and 26), you are to mail this decision, together with the CBP Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter.
No later than 60 days from the date of this letter, the Office of International
Trade, Regulations and Rulings, will make the decision available to CBP personnel, and to the public on the CBP homepage on the World Wide Web at www.cbp.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.
Myles B. Harmon, Director Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division