Mr. Matt Nakachi
Junker & Nakachi, P.C.
One Maritime Plaza
Suite 825
San Francisco, CA 94111

RE: The tariff classification of USB non-volatile storage drives from Taiwan, Malaysia, and/or China

Dear Mr. Nakachi:

In your letter dated May 7, 2015, on behalf of the SanDisk Corporation, you requested a tariff classification ruling. The submitted samples are being returned.

The merchandise under consideration is the USB Cruzer Glide and the Time Shift Buffer (TSB), which are USB non-volatile storage drives. According to the information provided, both these devices are principally used as non-volatile storage devices.

The Cruzer line of solid-state non-volatile storage devices are sold with a housing and may be preloaded with SanDisk Secure Access software, which is an encryption-based security program designed to secure data. Each Cruzer USB device contains a flash memory chip that users a controller IC to store electronic data onto a flash memory semiconductor. In addition to storing data, each device has a subsidiary function of streaming content to mobile devices through a wireless network. Each contains a connecting socket in the same housing, which includes a flash controller in the form of an integrated circuit, but does not contain a processor.

The Time Shift Buffer (TSB) utilizes a controller IC to store and retrieve electronic data onto a flash memory semiconductor; however, the TSB can also be used as a type of video “buffer” memory. It allows for the stored data to be written and overwritten to a video device in a continuous fashion. It can replace a traditional hard-drive storage device used in a set top box. This solid state non-volatile storage device consists of a connecting socket in the same housing, with one or more flash memories in the form of integrated circuits on a printed circuit board, but does not contain a processor.

The applicable subheading for the subject USB drives will be 8523.51.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Discs, tapes, solid-state non-volatile storage devices, "smart cards" and other media for the recording of sound or of other phenomena, whether or not recorded, including matrices and masters for the production of discs, but excluding products of Chapter 37: Semiconductor media: Solid-state non-volatile storage devices. The 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 Lisa Cariello at


Gwenn Klein Kirschner
National Commodity Specialist Division