Mr. Robert J. Resetar
Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
980 Hammond Drive
Atlanta, GA 30328
RE: The tariff classification of an Audio System Kit from Germany
Dear Mr. Resetar:
In your letter dated December 14, 2000, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
The merchandise is described in your letter as a set of 16 audio components, offered in a retail package, that is used to upgrade the components that come standard in the automobile. You provided a picture from a brochure of the Audio System Kit, along with a listing of all the components within the kit. The kit contains speakers, speaker housings, speaker grilles, a frequency crossover, a sound absorber, an amplifier, a fuse, and plastic mount parts.
You state within your letter that it is your opinion that the speakers and amplifier within the Audio System Kit merit equal consideration because they both provide an accurate description of this kit. NIS Linda M. Hackett contacted you by telephone to discuss this with you. At that time, you stated that your company also imports separate speaker upgrade kits as well as separate amplifier upgrade kits. This kit, however, consists of both types of upgrades (speaker and amplifier). During your conversation with NIS Hackett, it was realized that neither the speaker portion nor the amplifier portion “by itself” bears the essential character of the kit because of how they work “together” within the audio system. For instance, the sound signals come through the amplifier to the frequency crossover where the low tones and high tones are separated. The low tones are passed on to the base and the high tones to the tweeter. Both the low and high tones are then distributed through the speaker. Therefore, based on the manner in which the speaker and amplifier function as part of this Audio System Kit to produce a higher quality sound system, both the speaker and amplifier are considered to be equally essential components of the kit itself. The two competing provisions are 8518.29.8000, that which provides for speakers, and 8518.40.2000, the provision for amplifiers.
Since neither 8518.29.8000 nor 8518.40.2000 provides a description which “most” specifically describes the goods within this kit nor is there “one” component within the kit which gives it its essential character, classification will be based on General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(c). In accordance with GRI 3(c), the classification of the Audio System Kit will fall within the heading (provision) which occurs last in numerical order among those that equally merit consideration, in this case 8518.40.2000 occurs last.
The applicable subheading for the Audio System Kit will be 8518.40.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Audio-frequency electric amplifiers.” The rate of duty will be 4.9 percent ad valorem.
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 Linda M. Hackett at 212-637-7048.
Robert B. Swierupski