Mr. Roland Shrull
Middleton & Shrull
50 Mall Road
Burlington, MA 01803-4508
RE: The tariff classification of Microdisplays from Korea
Dear Mr. Shrull:
In your letter dated October 8, 2008, on behalf of Kopin Corporation, you requested a tariff classification ruling. A framed sample of a microdisplay, CyberDisplay 230K-LV, was furnished with your request for a ruling.
The microdisplay units are ultra-small liquid crystal displays which range in size from 0.16 inches to .97 inches. They are sold under the brand name CyberDisplay©. The product is referred to as a CyberDisplay LCD. There are several different models; the primary difference is their resolution, i.e., the number of pixels contained in the display. Higher resolution displays contain more pixels. The displays may be framed, or unframed depending on the customer’s requirements. The frame consists of a rectangular piece of plastic around the edges of the display.
Each microdisplay includes a flex connector cable which is the input connector for video signals. The microdisplays utilize a modified RGB video connection standard. Microdisplays are subassemblies and must be assembled with other components in order to produce a finished end user product. You state that they are used in many different applications that require the visual display of video images. They are specifically designed and used to display virtual video images and require receipt of a video signal in order to display those images.
In your letter, you suggested that the microdisplays are classified under subheading 8528.59.2500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, which provides for monitors and projectors, other monitors: other: color: incomplete or unfinished, with a flat panel screen: other: with a video display diagonal not exceeding 34.29 cm. The National Import Specialist responsible for heading 8528 states that these microdisplays are LCD subassemblies which are not capable of displaying images. Therefore, they are precluded from classification under subheading 8528.59.2500, as incomplete or unfinished monitors.
In addition, the microdisplays are not classifiable as parts of monitors under heading 8529, HTS, because the microdisplays are more specifically provided for in heading 9013, HTS. The Court of International Trade, in Sharp Microelectronics Technology, Inc. v. United States, 932 F.Supp. 1499, Slip Op 96-104, affirmed by the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 97-1013, determined that heading 9013, which provides for liquid crystal devices, is more a more specific subheading than a parts subheading.
The applicable subheading for the microdisplays will be 9013.80.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for liquid crystal devices not constituting articles provided for more specifically in other headings; other devices, appliances and instruments: other. The rate of duty will be 4.5 percent ad valorem.
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 Barbara Kiefer at (646) 733-3019.
Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division