CLA-2-85:RR:NC:1: 112 B84243

Mr. A.J. Spatarella
Kanematsu USA, Inc.
114 West 47 Street
New York, NY 10036

RE: The tariff classification of liquid crystal display indicator modules with printed circuit boards from Korea

Dear Mr. Spatarella:

In your letter dated April 8, 1997 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

As indicated by the submitted literature, the liquid crystal display modules consist of an indicator panel connected to a printed circuit board. In one case, the indicator panel is capable of displaying one line of ten segment characters, while the other indicator panel is capable of displaying two lines with a total of 20 segment characters. The printed circuit board, consisting of top and bottom halves with numerous depression switches mounted thereon, forms the base of the telephone dialpad. It provides electrical signals to the indicator panel so that the relevant information can be displayed. As you indicate, these display modules are installed in mobile cellular telephones.

In your request, you state that you believe that these modules are properly classified under HTS subheading 8531.20.00, the provision for indicator panels incorporating liquid crystal devices. Since these modules consist of a circuit board which controls electrical distribution, and a liquid crystal display, they are considered composite machines. As such, classification is governed by the component which performs the principal function. In this instance, we believe that the functions of both the circuit board and the liquid crystal display are co-equal. Therefore, in accordance with General Rule of Interpretation 3(c), tariff classification is determined by the heading which appears last in numerical order in the tariff schedule.

The applicable subheading for the liquid crystal display indicator modules with printed circuit board will be 8537.10.9070, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other boards, panels, ... and other bases, ..., for the control or distribution of electricity: For a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V. The rate of duty will be 3.7 percent ad valorem.

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 David Curran at 212-466-5680.


Robert Swierupski
Chief, Metals and Machinery Branch
National Commodity
Specialist Division