Mr. Michael Skidmore
135 American Legion Hwy.
Revere, MA 02151
RE: The tariff classification of a software kit from Ireland.
Dear Mr. Skidmore:
In your letter dated March 27, 2000 you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The item in question is denoted as the Millenium 32 Chromatography Manager Software that is packaged together for retail sale as a kit. The kit is composed of the following: a floppy disk, a CD-ROM, a mouse pad, instruction manuals and printed documentation. This kit is designed to provide a Windows NT/Windows 95 based software application for chromatographic data through direct interactivity with an ADP machine via a mouse. The question of classification concerns whether or not the kit is considered to be goods put up in sets for retail sale.
Explanatory Note X to GRI 3b provides for the purpose of this rule, the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” shall be taken to mean goods which:
A. Consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings.
B. Consist of products or articles put up together to meet a specific activity: and
C. Are put up in a manner suitable for sale to users without repackaging (e.g. in boxes or cases or on boards).
The Millenium 32 Chromatography Manager Software kit does meet the provisions of A and C of Explanatory Note X. There are at least two articles that are prima facie classified in different headings. The CD-ROM software application is classified under HTS provision 8524.39, the printed instruction manuals and documentation under 4901.99 and the mouse pad under 4016.10. The kit will not be repackaged prior to sale to the users. However criteria B specifies that the articles be put up together to meet a specific activity. Upon review it is evident that the mouse pad neither contributes to the application of the software nor is it necessary for its functioning. It should be noted that the mouse pad is valued at $5.06 within a kit valued at $67.17. This office is of the opinion that the mouse pad does merit equal consideration in determining the validity of classifying the software kit as a set.
It is the opinion of this office that the mouse pad is a completely independent article whose function does not contribute to the specific activity of using a software application for chromatography. Therefore this office concludes that each item in the kit will be classified separately.
The mouse pad measures approximately 9 1/8 inches by 7 ¾ inches and has rounded corners. The base is foamed rubber and the top surface is plastic. The weight and value of the rubber base far exceed the weight and value of the plastic surface.
The applicable subheading for the mouse pad will be 4016.10.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Other articles of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber: Of cellular rubber. The rate of duty will be free.
The printed documentation is on loose paper pages, which provides the necessary revised software release notes and certification validation. The printed and spiral bound manuals provide the software operating instructions.
The applicable subheading for the printed material and printed manuals will be 4901.99.0050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Printed books, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets: Other … Technical, scientific and professional books. The rate of duty will be free.
The CD-ROM software application provides the user with a graphical, icon-based user interface, in a Windows based platform, to acquire, process, manage and report chromatographic data through direct interactivity via a mouse.
The applicable subheading for the CD-ROM software application will be 8524.39.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Records, tapes and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded phenomena, including matrices and masters for the production of records, but excluding products of chapter 37: Discs for laser reading systems: Other: For reproducing representations of instructions, data, sound, and image, recorded in a machine readable binary form, and capable of being manipulated or providing interactivity to a user, by means of an automatic data processing machine; proprietary format recorded discs. The rate of duty will be free.
The floppy disk software application serves as means of loading the license onto the computer and enables the CD-ROM Windows based chromatographic software to function in its intended manner.
The applicable subheading for the floppy disk software program will be 8524.91.0030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Records, tapes and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded phenomena, including matrices and masters for the production of records, but excluding products of chapter 37: Other: For reproducing phenomena other than sound or image … Prepackaged software for automatic data processing machines, of a kind sold at retail. 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 ruling, contact National Import Specialist Michael Contino at 212-637-7039.
Robert B. Swierupski