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RE: The tariff classification of an automatic network transfer switch from China
Dear Mr. Bernard:
In your letter dated May 14, 2019, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The item concerned is the QuantaMesh automatic transfer switch (item # BMS T1048-LB9). This item is a high performance, high density Ethernet switch.
In use, this switch looks at incoming data to determine the destination address. Based on that address a transmission path is set up through the switching matrix between the incoming and outgoing physical communications ports and links. The switch also contains buffers which can hold data packets in temporary memory until the necessary resources are available to allow the data packets to be forwarded. The item does not use mechanical relays to start/stop current flow or signal transmission but instead uses data processing. The QuantaMesh T1048-LB9 supports 48 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T ports and 4 dual speed 1/10GbE SFP+ ports in a compact 1U size.
In your request you suggest the network switch is correctly classified under subheading 8536.50.7000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). We disagree. Heading 8536 provides for electrical apparatus for switching, protecting, or making connections in electrical circuits not exceeding 1,000 V. As the subject network switch is used in data networks, it is more appropriately provided for within heading 8517, HTSUS.
The applicable subheading for the QuantaMesh automatic transfer switch (item # BMS T1048-LB9) will be 8517.62.0020, HTSUS, which provides for "Telephone sets...; other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images or other data...: Other apparatus for transmission or reception...: Machines for the reception, conversion, and transmission or regeneration of voice, images or other data, including switching and routing apparatus: Switching and routing apparatus." The general rate of duty will be Free.
Effective July 6, 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) imposed an additional tariff on certain products of China classified in the subheadings enumerated in Section XXII, Chapter 99, Subchapter III U.S. Note 20(b), HTSUS. The USTR imposed additional tariffs, effective August 23, 2018, on products classified under the subheadings enumerated in Section XXII, Chapter 99, Subchapter III U.S. Note 20(d), HTSUS. Subsequently, the USTR imposed further tariffs, effective September 24, 2018, on products classified under the subheadings enumerated in Section XXII, Chapter 99, Subchapter III U.S. Note 20(f) and U.S. Note 20(g), HTSUS. For additional information, please see the relevant Federal Register notices dated June 20, 2018 (83 F.R. 28710), August 16, 2018 (83 F.R. 40823), and September 21, 2018 (83 F.R. 47974). See also "Notice of Action and Request for Public Comment Concerning Proposed Determination of Action Pursuant to Section 301: China's Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation" (June 20, 2018, 83 F.R. 28710). Products of China that are provided for in subheading 9903.88.01, 9903.88.02, 9903.88.03, or 9903.88.04 and classified in one of the subheadings enumerated in U.S. Note 20(b), U.S. Note 20(d), U.S. Note 20(f) or U.S. Note 20(g) to subchapter III shall continue to be subject to antidumping, countervailing, or other duties, fees and charges that apply to such products, as well as to those imposed by the aforementioned Chapter 99 subheadings.
Products of China classified under subheading 8517.62.00, HTSUS, unless specifically excluded, are subject to the additional 25 percent ad valorem rate of duty. At the time of importation, you must report the Chapter 99 subheading, i.e., 9903.88.04, in addition to subheading 8517.62.0020, HTSUS, listed above.
The tariff is subject to periodic amendment so you should exercise reasonable care in monitoring the status of goods covered by the Notice cited above and the applicable Chapter 99 subheading.
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 the 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 Steven Pollichino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steven A. Mack
National Commodity Specialist Division