Mr. Karl F. Krueger
Regulatory Compliance Consultant
Radix Group International
Dba DHL Global Forwarding
2660 20th Street
Port Huron, MI 48060

RE: The tariff classification of a mobile base station II and a mobile base station for rail from Canada

Dear Mr. Krueger:

In your letter dated June 3, 2010 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Wireless Matrix.

The merchandise subject to this ruling is a mobile base station II and a mobile base station for rail. Both items are used for telemetry communications and are aimed for use with transportation fleets to enable communication between the vehicle and the home station.

The mobile base station II is a multi-mode communications (transmission and reception) platform. It integrates satellite, cellular wireless and 802.11 antennas in a single roof-mounted package. The mobile base station II supports laptop or handheld device connectivity through either hard-wire serial/Ethernet or integrated 802.11b WLAN for untethered operations. It has three simultaneous RF links. The mobile base station II is a GPRS and EDGE enabled communicator for mobile resource management and vehicle fleet applications. It integrates GPRS/EDGE with 802.11b wireless LAN and a GPS receiver in one device. The unit mounts inside the vehicle and offers multiple input and output ports for monitoring vehicle functions and status.

The mobile base station for rail takes the technology behind the mobile base station communications (transmission and reception) platform and transforms it for the challenging operational environment of the rail industry. It integrates multiple forms of communications with all necessary antennas, processing and communications software needed to access wireless Matrix’s network services. This device is designed to withstand the temperature, shock and vibration conditions inherent in locomotive operations, and with its compact design, less than 4 inches in height, provides the roof clearance for locomotive needs. As such, it is effectively a mobile base station II in a more rugged platform for use with locomotives. Like the mobile base station II, it is a GPRS and EDGE enabled communicator.

This office contacted you to determine if these items were actual base stations, which receive and transmit radio waves to and from cellular telephones or to other wired or wireless networks. As a result, you stated that the term “base station” was for marketing purposes and that both of these devices are actually modems. As such, they are not classified as base stations under subheading 8517.61.

The applicable subheading for the mobile base station II and the mobile base station for rail will be 8517.62.0050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Other 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): Machines for the reception, conversion and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing apparatus: Other.” The general 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