Seeing Machines Inc.
6861 N. Oracle Road
Tucson, AZ 85704
RE: The tariff classification of a driver safety system from China
Dear Mr. Harding:
In your letter dated May 28, 2018 you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The merchandise under consideration is identified as the Guardian System, Model Number G2-SY-CON2-1001272, which is described as a driver safety system that monitors the driver for fatigue or distraction and provides an alert to the driver while also sending the event data to the 24/7 Guardian Centre for analysis. You state the Guardian System is imported in a single carton and contains the controller, the in-cab sensor (ICS), the forward facing camera, the vibration motor, GPS and 3G antennas, and various mounting hardware and cables. We would note that a similar request for Seeing Machines Inc. was ruled upon in NY N050946.
You state the controller is the main processing unit that runs the entire system and receives its input from the ICS and camera. The function of the ICS is to monitor audio and infrared illumination of the driver’s face to detect fatigue and distraction and supply that data to the controller for processing and alarm control. The camera is said to be forward facing and records the driving conditions which are sent to the controller to be transmitted to the Guardian Centre after an event occurs. The vibration motor is mounted to the seat to provide a vibrating alert when required. The GPS antenna provides the controller with an accurate positioning and the 3G antenna provides the controller with cellular communication to the Guardian Centre. Each of the peripherals, (the ICS, the forward facing camera, the motor, and the antennas), are connected to the controller where driver behavior data and driving conditions are processed to identify a driver’s alert level. As an example, facial and gaze tracking algorithms measure the driver’s head position and eye closure rate and, when safety parameters are exceeded, the controller issues audio and vibration alerts directly to the driver while sending event data the Guardian Centre for evaluation.
General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings, any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI’s taken in order. Goods that are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, are classifiable in accordance with GRI 3.
GRI 3 (a) states that the heading that provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings refer to only part of the items in a composite good or set, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to the goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the good. As such, they are regarded as equally specific and classification of the composite good is to be determined by GRI 3 (b) or GRI 3 (c) taken in the appropriate order in which they are set out in GRI 3. GRI 3 (b) states in part that composite goods or sets, which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3 (a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component that gives them their essential character.
The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Tariff System, although not legally binding, provide guidance in the interpretation of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System at the international level. Explanatory Note X to GRI 3 (b) provides that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods that: (a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; (b) consist of articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without re-packing. Goods classifiable under GRI 3 (b) are classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, which may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the article.
The Guardian System consists of two or more articles that are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings. The Guardian System also consists of articles put up together to carry out a specific activity (i.e., collect and process driver data and provide alerts based on preset parameters). Finally, the articles are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Therefore, the set in question is described within the meaning of "goods put up in sets for retail sale".
In accordance with GRI 3 (b), which states in part that goods put up in sets for retail sale that cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3 (a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. It is the opinion of this office that the controller imparts the essential character of the Guardian System.
The applicable subheading for the Guardian System, Model Number G2-SY-CON2-1001272 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.” The rate of duty will be 2.6 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division