Mr. Bruce H. Leeds
Hughes Space and Communications Company
Los Angeles, CA 90009
RE: The tariff classification of the Geo Star Tracker from Germany
Dear Mr. Leeds:
In your letter dated June 18, 1999 you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The Geo Star Tracker is intended for use on a commercial communications satellites. Communications satellites must stay in position and at the correct attitude (alignment in relation to the earth) once in orbit. This is accomplished by the attitude control system. The satellite will ascertain its position and attitude, then relay this information to either an on-board spacecraft control processor or to a control station on earth. Necessary corrections to the attitude or position are made based on that information.
The Geo Star Tracker is one method of determining position and attitude. The Geo Star Tracker carries in its memory a star chart which indicates the position and relative brightness of the stars the satellite should “see” in its orbit. Refractive optics and a CCD (charge-coupled device) capture the image of the stars in the designated portion of the sky. The image data is compared to the star chart in the memory of the satellite to determine the position and attitude of the satellite.
The applicable subheading for the Geo Star Tracker will be 9014.20.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for instruments and appliances for aeronautical or space navigation (other then compasses); optical instruments and appliances. The rate of duty will be 2.8 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 Barbara Kiefer at 212-637-7058.
Robert B. Swierupski