Mr. David T. Henry
14700 Alondra Boulevard
La Mirada, CA 90638

RE: The tariff classification of a fiber optic cable adapter panel from China.

Dear Mr. Henry:

In your letter dated November 23, 2010, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is described as the Duplex SC Adapter Panel, item number ICFOPC16BK. The Duplex SC Adapter Panel consists of a steel faceplate measuring approximately 5.1 inches wide by 1.2 inches high and featuring 6 slots, each equipped with a fiber optic cable adapter. It is designed to be mounted in a rack or wall-mount fiber optic enclosures. The fiber optic cable adapters provide four sockets designed to accept fiber optic cables, two on either side of the adapter, in order to make up to two separate fiber optic cable connections between external cables and internal active components. Each fiber optic cable adapter fitted on the faceplate facilitates connections by mechanically aligning two optical fibers end to end in a digital line system.

The Duplex SC Adapter Panel is considered to be a composite good made up of different components which are classified under different headings. General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) provides, in relevant part, that composite goods which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The fiber optic cable adapter connectors clearly provide the essential character of this item.

The applicable subheading for the Duplex SC Adapter Panel, item number ICFOPC16BK, will be 8536.70.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, or for making connections to or in electrical circuits…connectors for optical fibers, optical fiber bundles or cables: Connectors for optical fibers, optical fiber bundles or cables.” 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 Thomas Campanelli at (646) 733-3016.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity Specialist Division