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RE: The tariff classification of the Network Security Platform from an undisclosed country
Dear Ms. Rostant:In your letter dated March 24, 2017, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The merchandise under consideration is referred to as the McAffee Network Security Platform (NS Platform), which is identified as a network security appliance. You describe the NS Platform as a computer/server chassis consisting of a motherboard, CPU, and communication ports and state there are numerous models available that are differentiated by performance, number of concurrent connections, and storage capacity. The NS Platform runs on a customized Linux Operating System and additional security software.
In use, the NS Platform is deployed within a wired network and performs intelligent threat monitoring and detection on data as it traverses through the network. You describe the manner in which the NS Platform is installed within the network as the in-line mode, the SPAN monitoring mode, and the TAP mode. When in in-line mode, the NS Platform is directly in the path of the network traffic and it has the ability to prevent the data packet from proceeding if a threat is detected. When in SPAN monitoring mode, the NS Platform is connected to a specific port on a network switch and only monitors that port’s traffic. When in TAP mode, the NS Platform is installed similar to the in-line mode except that network traffic is allowed to pass and the device only generates an alert. Depending on the mode of installation, when a malicious threat is detected the NS Platform may or may not block the data packet but all modes generate an alert.
You have proposed classification of the NS Platform in subheading 8517.62, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data in a wired or wireless network. However, the NS Platform is a customized processing unit designed to run a security analysis program. The unit’s purpose is described as being an intelligent monitoring and control system that identifies, alerts, and/or blocks malicious network activity within a wired network. It is designed to perform deep inspection of network traffic while maintaining line-rate speeds. While the NS Platform does function within a network transmission path, its function as a security tool (intelligent monitoring and control, analysis, data processing, and storage capability) take the unit beyond the intended scope of heading 8517.
The applicable subheading for the NS Platform will be 8543.70.9960, HTSUS, which provides for “Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter…: Other machines and apparatus: Other: Other: Other: Other.” The rate of duty will be 2.6% 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 https://hts.usitc.gov/current.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 Karl Moosbrugger at email@example.com.Sincerely,
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division