Mr. John M. Peterson
Neville Peterson LLP
80 Broad St., 34th Floor
New York, NY 10004
RE: The tariff classification of industrial computers from Germany.
Dear Mr. Peterson:
In your letter dated September 30, 2002 on behalf of your client Beckhoff Automation, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The merchandise under consideration is the Model PC C3350 Built-In Industrial Computer and the Control Cabinet Industrial PC Model C6150. Beckhoff Automation imports industrial PCs (personal computers) which are specially designed for use in industrial applications. Industrial PCs are used to monitor and control various types of industrial systems, such as multi-axis machine tools, automated production lines, etc. The Beckhoff industrial PCs will be imported separately from any other industrial systems. Both the Model C3350 and C6150 are capable of being connected to computer networks, with Ethernet and TC/ICP network protocols.
The Beckhoff Model PC C3350 Industrial Computer is imported in a sturdy metal case measuring approximately 19” x 17.5” x 11” and has a hinged front panel with a 15” TFT (Thin Film Technology) display with a resolution of 1024 x 768. The display panel features two built-in keyboards used for programming the computer and communicating commands to the CPU. The C3350 is designed to facilitate installation into a machinery rack system. Once installed the computers metal chassis slides out of its cabinet to facilitate ease of maintenance simply by opening the hinged front panel. This computer features a Microsoft Windows operating program and can be configured with a variety of disk drives, including a 3 ½” floppy drive, CD-ROM or CD-RW drive, DVD-ROM or DVD-RAM drive.
The Beckhoff Control Cabinet Industrial PC Model C6150 is housed in a heavy-duty metal case measuring approximately 15” x 16.7” x 10.4” and is designed to be mounted on machinery racks. “Control Cabinet PC C6150” does not indicate that the computer itself is in a control cabinet, but simply that it is designed in such a way, and with such dimensions, that it can be placed in a control cabinet. This computer features a Microsoft Windows operating program and can be configured with a variety of disk drives, including a 3 ½” floppy drive, CD-ROM or CD-RW drive, DVD-ROM or DVD-RAM drive. The C6150 may be ordered with an optional motherboard, this fact will be noted on the importer’s invoice.
In their imported condition, each Beckhoff Industrial PC will contain all of the components required for a working PC including a complete motherboard with CPU (Central Processing Unit), memory, BIOS and all other operational components. There is no need for any alterations or modifications of the hardware after the product is imported. However, there will not necessarily be any programming or data stored in memory. Beckhoff’s Twin CAT software system allows an industrial computer to act as a real-time controller. This software is generally provided in various versions in the form of a CD-ROM. Software can be either factory installed by Beckhoff Automation, Inc. or by the customer, as there are no hardware or software blocks installed in the PCs preventing the user from programming or reprogramming to their specific needs. All software programs are designed to run with standard operating systems such as Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. As per the information provided, these industrial PCs would meet Chapter 84, Note 5(A)(a) with regard to digital automatic data processing machines.
The applicable subheading for Model PC C3350 Industrial Computer will be 8471.41.0095, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Automatic data processing machines and units thereof…Other digital automatic data processing machines: Comprising in the same housing at least a central processing unit and an input and output unit, whether or not combined: Other.” The rate of duty will be free.
The applicable subheading for the Control Cabinet Industrial PC Model C6150 will be 8471.50.0085, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Automatic data processing machines and units thereof…Digital processing units other than those of subheading 8471.41 or 8471.49, whether or not containing in the same housing one or two of the following types of unit: storage units, input units, output units: Other.” The rate of duty will be free.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Eileen S. Kaplan at 646-733-3016.
Robert B. Swierupski