Mr. Gary Jordahl
Pioneer Industrial Components Inc.
Springboro, Ohio 45066
RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of a CD/Cassette Brick from Mexico; Article 509
Dear Mr. Jordahl:
In your letter dated February 11, 2000 you requested a ruling on the status of a CD/Cassette Brick from Mexico under the NAFTA.
The item in question is a CD/Cassette player assembly which is designed to be further incorporated into a complete AM/FM stereo radio combination for use in automobiles. The question of NAFTA eligibility concerns the possible importation of only the CD/Cassette player assembly into the United States as a replacement module for any defective modules which have already been incorporated into a complete automobile stereo system.
Based upon the stated information the CD mechanism is imported into Mexico from Thailand in only a base condition. It is only composed of mechanical parts such as, stampings, 3 motors, springs and a laser pick-up. In this condition it is unable to function as a CD player for it lacks its PCB control board. In Mexico the PCB control board is fully manufactured from a bare board, capacitors, resistors, diodes/transistors and integrated circuits. This board is incorporated with the parts of the CD mechanism to form a completely functional CD player.
The substantially complete cassette player is imported into Mexico from Thailand where it is joined with the CD player by a steel attaching bracket of Mexican origin. This entire item is denoted as a CD/Cassette Brick. This item is usually further processed, in Mexico, with an AM/FM stereo radio to form a complete automobile stereo system. This ruling will only address the NAFTA eligibility of the CD/Cassette Brick if and when it is imported into the United States as spare modules for repairs at the U.S. market level.
The Explanatory Notes (EN’s) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be used to understand the language of the HTSUSA. EN IX states in pertinent part that:
… composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean … those in which components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complimentary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.
It is the opinion of this office that the CD/Cassette Brick qualifies as a composite good because the CD player and cassette player form a practically inseparate whole and are adapted to each other in a mutually complimentary manner.
The classification of composite goods is governed by GRI 3b. GRI 3b states, in pertinent part, that mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3a, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.
Upon review of the immediate merchandise it is the opinion of this office that there is no essential character. Each component has equal application and functional capability. Therefore classification will be in accordance with GRI 3c.
The applicable tariff provision for the CD/Cassette Brick will be 8519.99.0060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for Turntables, record players, cassette players and other sound reproducing apparatus, not incorporating a sound recording device: Other sound reproducing apparatus: Other … Other. The general rate of duty will be free.
HTSUSA General Note 12(t)/72 reads: a change to subheadings 8519.10 through 8519.99 from any other subheading, including another subheading within that group, except from tariff items 8522.90.25, 8522.90.45 or 8522.90.65. Each of the non-originating materials, the CD player parts (8522.90.7580) and the cassette player (8519.93.4000) has satisfied the changes in tariff classification required under this HTSUSA General Note.
Based upon the information furnished the CD/Cassette Brick will be entitled to NAFTA eligibility upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and agreements.
The country of origin determination is made pursuant to 19 C.F.R. 102.11, which specifies:
A. The country of origin of a good is the country which:
1. The good is wholly obtained or produced.
2. The good is produced exclusively from domestic materials
3. Each foreign material incorporated in that good undergoes an applicable change in tariff classification set out in C.F.R. 102.20 and satisfies any other applicable requirements of these rules are satisfied.
19 C.F.R. 102.20 specifies that classification under HTS provision 8519.99 allows for a change from any other subheading. The tariff shift is met. The country of origin of the CD/Cassette Brick is Mexico based upon meeting the tariff shift specified in C.F.R.102.20
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 181).
This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.
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 Michael Contino at 212-637-7039.
Robert B. Swierupski