Mr. Anthony Johnson
Anthony Johnson III – CHB
900 Florence Avenue
Inglewood, CA 90301

RE: The tariff classification of an Embedded Module (Trade name E362) from China and Korea

Dear Mr. Johnson:

In your letter dated September 20, 2011 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Novatel Wireless.

The merchandise subject to this ruling is an Embedded Module (Trade name E362). This module consists of various components that make up the functions of a modem. These components are embedded onto a printed circuit board (PCB) by surface mounting technique (SMT). As such, it is a populated printed circuit board, also known as a printed circuit assembly. The finished module is inserted directly into Novatel’s customer’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) laptop motherboard and then connected to the laptop’s antenna system, which is typically located inside the laptop casing with power provided by the laptop power supply. The E362 Embedded Module does not, by itself, have an antenna or its own power supply source. The power to the module is supplied by the laptop motherboard and the antenna is also supplied by the laptop. The E362 Embedded Module will act as a wireless modem allowing the customer to access the Internet wirelessly via a network carrier.

The E362 Embedded Module modulates and demodulates transmission and reception signals, as is the function of a modem, to and from a wireless network. In order for it to execute the modulation and demodulation functions, it must be connected to the laptop’s power and antenna system. If it is not inserted into the OEM laptop motherboard it would not be able to modulate or demodulate any signals because the power and antenna system are obtained from the laptop motherboard. Nevertheless, the E362 has the capability to modulate and demodulate within a wireless network, thus acting as a wireless modem, when used in a data processing machine, namely the OEM laptop.

You suggested Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 8517.70.0000 as the classification of the Embedded Module (Trade name E362). Subheading 8517.70.0000 provides for Parts of apparatus for transmission or reception of voice, images or other data, including apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network (such as a local or wide area network.” However, the Embedded Module (Trade name E362) has the capability to modulate and demodulate transmission and reception signals to and from a wireless network when inserted into an OEM laptop motherboard. As such, it is a modem of a kind used in data processing machines of heading 8471, which is more specifically provided for under HTSUS subheading 8517.62.0050.

The applicable subheading for the Embedded Module (Trade name E362) will be 8517.62.0050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Machines for the reception conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing apparatus: Modems, of a kind used in data processing machines of heading 8471.” The rate of duty will be free.

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

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 Linda M. Hackett at (646) 733-3015.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division