Mr. John Cunningham
On-Target Software Solutions Ltd.
Grindle Lodge, Pinfold Lane
Burstwick, Hull HU12 9EW England
RE: The tariff classification of an Electronic System and Helicopter from England
Dear Mr. Cunningham:
In your letter dated October 19, 2004, you requested a tariff classification ruling. No samples were submitted.
You first describe the separately imported combination of electronic components:
“Carvec model helicopter inertial stability augmentation system.
The product is an electronic control system which is fitted to a model helicopter. It uses inertial sensors to keep the model at a specific pilot demanded attitude – thus making the flight more stable and preventing the pilot from losing control of the model. The system consists of several small electronic modules which the customer fits to his own helicopter…
Its principal use in the United States is expected to be for stabilising a model helicopter in order to improve the quality of aerial video or photography businesses eg. in real estate advertising.
The technical designation of the system is an inertial stability augmentation system for model helicopters.
The system is intended for use with small models around the 5-10Kg weight category.
The system is designed to interface with radio equipment used in the country of destination – so it does not transmit on any radio frequency.”
You also state:
The system may also be imported along with the model helicopter itself. This would be part of a prebuilt turnkey system to make it easier for the customer to use the system without having to install it themselves.”
You propose classification in HTS 9032.89 for the electronic system, citing a verbal opinion by UK Customs and Excise.
However, your further information indicates that the system is receiving an input of the rotations of the blades, while clearly not giving instructions to maintain that rotational speed at a pre-chosen level. Thus, your item does not appear to be only performing the function described in Note 7 to Chapter 90.
Noting the current Encyclopedia Britannica On-line definition of Automatic Pilot, this item is essentially “a device for controlling an aircraft or other vehicle without constant human intervention,” and it makes “possible the control of an inherently unstable” airborne vehicle. The EB further indicates that modern automatic pilots are used to steer rockets, etc, as well as manned aircraft.
The applicable subheading for the electronic system will be 9014.20.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Automatic Pilots. The rate of duty will be 3.3 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the RC model helicopters will be 8802.11.0030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for helicopters of an unladen weight not exceeding 998 kg. The rate of duty will be free.
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 classification of the complete model helicopter, contact National Import Specialist P. Wholey at 646-733-3013. If you have any other questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012.
Robert B. Swierupski