Mr. Matt Beck
11500 N. Mopac Expw.
Austin, TX 78759-3504
RE: The tariff classification of a relay device from Hungary.
Dear Mr. Beck:
In your letter dated December 4, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The merchandise under consideration are the NI USB-9481 Relay Module Set, and its individual components when imported separately. The NI USB-9481 Relay Module Set consists of the NI USB-9481 Relay Module, USB-9162 Carrier, Universal Serial Bus (USB) Cable, NI 9932 Connector, NI-DAQmx for Windows 2000/XP software and instructions. A sample of the complete set was submitted with your ruling request and will be returned to you.
The NI USB-9481 Relay Module has four relays and various active and passive components mounted on a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) enclosed within a metal housing with two mounting clips. This housing measures approximately 3½ inches by 3 inches by 1 inch. Located on the face of the housing are 4 Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and a 10-conductor terminal strip/connector combination for making connections to the relay contacts. The back of the housing features a standard 15-pin female socket D-type connector. The main function of the NI USB-9481 Relay Module is to provide the user with the ability to open and close four single-pole, single throw relays for switching circuits to various line voltage apparatus by via a USB interface. The NI USB-9481 Relay Module does not have a programmable memory and it may receive commands from an ADP machine or other machine such as a programmable logic controller with a USB interface. Switching commands are received through the USB-9162 Carrier, which converts data signals to the relay module which in turn performs the switching as instructed. The NI USB-9481 Relay Module is designed for controlling apparatus in a wide assortment of applications up to 250 Volts (V).
As stated above, the NI USB-9481 Relay Module Set is packaged together for retail sale with other items. As imported, this set meets the definition of “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” As per GRI 3(b), classification is determined by the component, or components taken together, which confer on the set as a whole its essential character. The relay module provides the essential character of this set.
The NI USB-9162 Carrier is designed to provide the connectivity between the NI USB-9481 Relay Module and a USB bus from an ADP machine or other USB equipped machine. The Carrier is a one-slot chassis metal housing measuring approximately 4½ inches by 3½ inches by 1 inch. The NI USB-9162 Carrier features a USB connector and a standard 15-pin D-type connector. Within the metal housing are passive and active components necessary to interface the USB signals with the relay module. The D-type connector from the relay module plugs directly into the D-type connector of the chassis, enabling a USB equipped machine to communicate with the relay module.
The NI 9932 Connector is a plastic 10-conductor cable connector designed to plug into the terminal strip/connector of the relay module. This connector provides a quick and convenient means of connecting and disconnecting cabling to the relay module. The USB Cable is a standard USB cable rated for 30 V and measures approximately 6 feet long with a Type A connector on one end and a Type B connector on the other end. The NI-DAQmx for Windows 2000/XP is the driver software provided in CD-ROM form and must be installed into another machine.
In your letter you suggest classification for the NI USB-9481 Relay Module imported separately and as a set under 8473.30.1080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), for parts and accessories of ADP machines. However, the relay boards are excluded from classification under heading 8471 by Chapter 84, Note 5 (E) which states in part that machines performing a specific function other than data processing and working in conjunction with an ADP machine are to be classified in the heading appropriate to their respective function. The function of the relay boards is for the control or distribution of electrical circuits and is appropriately provided for in heading 8537, HTSUS, as apparatus for electric control with two or more electrical apparatus of heading 8536 (i.e. relays, sockets, etc.), HTSUS. You also suggest classification for the USB-9162 Carrier under 8473.30.5000, HTSUS, for parts and accessories of ADP machines. However, the USB-9162 Carrier is an adapter unit with integrated circuits (IC) necessary for the communication between a USB equipped machine and the relay module.
The applicable subheading for the USB-9162 will be 8471.80.1000, HTSUS, which provides for “Automatic data processing machines and units thereof…Other units of automatic data processing machines: Control or adapter units.” The general rate of duty will be free.
The applicable subheading for the NI USB-9481 Relay Module imported separately or as a set with the USB-9162 Carrier, USB Cable, connector and CD-ROM software will be 8537.10.9070, HTSUS, which provides for “Boards, panels, consoles…and other bases, equipped with two or more apparatus of heading 8535 or 8536, for electric control or the distribution of electricity…For a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: Other: Other: Other.” The general rate of duty will be 2.7 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the NI 9932 Connector will be 8536.69.8000, HTSUS, which provides for “Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or in electrical circuits…for a voltage not exceeding 1,000 V: Lamp-holders, plugs and sockets: Other: Other.” The general rate of duty will be 2.7 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for USB Cable will be 8544.41.8000, HTSUS, which provides for “Insulated (including enameled or anodized) wire, cable…whether or not fitted with connectors… Other electric conductors, for a voltage not exceeding 80 V: Fitted with connectors: Other.” The general rate of duty will be 2.6 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the CD-ROM Software will be 8524.39.4000, HTSUS, which provides for “Records, tapes and other recorded media…Discs for laser reading systems: Other: For reproducing representations of instructions, data, sound, and image, recorded in a machine readable form, and capable of being manipulated or providing interactivity to a user, by means of an automatic data processing machine.” The general rate of duty will be Free.
Pursuant to title 19 United States Code, Section 3005 The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States is in the process of being amended to reflect changes recommended by the World Customs Organization. The amendments are expected to affect the classification of your merchandise. Pursuant to Section 3005 c, the report recommending those changes was sent to the President for proclamation of the changes. By law, the President cannot proclaim the implementation of these latter amendments in the HTSUS until a required 60-legislative-day Congressional layover period is completed. We understand that the layover period has been completed. Accordingly, the recommended changes will become law after they are proclaimed by the President. The effective date of those changes will be specified in the Presidential proclamation. In addition, at that time, the United States International Trade Commission will post an updated electronic version of the 2007 HTSUS on its website, www.usitc.gov, and the Government Printing Office will publish a hard-copy version of the 2007 HTSUS.
Once those changes are in effect, it is anticipated that your CD-ROM Software will be classified in subheading 8523.40.40, HTSUS. Under the circumstances, this information is advisory only.
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 http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.
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 Thomas Campanelli at 646-733-3016.
Robert B. Swierupski