234 F.3d 1348 (Fed. Cir. 2000), 00-1028, JVC Co. of America v United States

Docket Nº:00-1028
Citation:234 F.3d 1348
Party Name:JVC COMPANY OF AMERICA, DIVISION OF US JVC CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:November 21, 2000
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
 
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Page 1348

234 F.3d 1348 (Fed. Cir. 2000)

JVC COMPANY OF AMERICA, DIVISION OF US JVC CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

UNITED STATES, Defendant-Appellee.

00-1028

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

November 21, 2000

Appealed from: United States Court of International Trade Chief Judge Gregory W. Carman

Page 1349

Jack D. Mlawski, Galvin & Mlawski, of New York, New York, argued for plaintiff-appellant.

Amy M. Rubin, Trial Attorney, International Trade Field Office, Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, Department of Justice, of New York, New York, argued for defendant-appellee. With her on the brief were David W. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General; David M. Cohen, Director, of Washington, DC; andJoseph I. Liebman, Attorney in Charge, International Trade Field Office. Of counsel on the brief was Beth C. Brotman, Attorney, U.S. Customs Service, International Trade Litigation, of New York, New York.

Before LOURIE, RADER, and LINN, Circuit Judges.

LOURIE, Circuit Judge.

JVC Company of America ("JVC") appeals from the decision of the United States Court of International Trade denying JVC's motion for summary judgment and granting the government's cross-motion

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for summary judgment that United States Customs Service ("Customs") properly classified JVC's imported video camera recorders under subheading 8525.30.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, 19 U.S.C. § 1202 (1988) ("HTSUS"). JVC Co. of Am., Div. of U.S. JVC Corp. v. United States, 62 F.Supp.2d 1132 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1999). Because we conclude that the Court of International Trade did not err in determining that Customs correctly classified the merchandise at issue, we affirm.

BACKGROUND

The imported goods at issue in this case are video camera recorders, otherwise known as camcorders, which were imported by JVC in 1992.1 JVC, 62 F.Supp.2d at 1133. The parties agree that JVC's camcorders are "electrical machine[s] or apparatus possessing two independent functions generally used in conjunction with one another; a television camera and a video tape recorder." Id. Customs classified the camcorders under subheading 8525.30.00, under the broader heading of 8525 of the HTSUS, as "television cameras," dutiable at a rate of 4.2 ad valorem. Id. at 1134. Heading 8525 and subheading 8525.30.00 read as follows:

8525Transmission apparatus for radiotelephony, radiotelegraphy, radiobroadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras:

. . .

8525.30.00Television cameras

HTSUS, heading 8525 (1992).

JVC timely protested Customs' classification and paid all of the liquidated duties that were due. JVC, 62 F.Supp.2d at 1134. JVC then challenged Customs' classification in the Court of International Trade, arguing that its camcorders should have been classified under subheading 8543.80.90. Heading 8543 and subheadings 8543.80 and 8543.80.90 read as follows:

8543 Electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof:

. . .

8543.80 Other machines and apparatus:

. . .

8543.80.90 Other

HTSUS, heading 8543. JVC alternatively argued that its camcorders should have been classified under subheading 8479.89.90. JVC, 62 F.Supp.2d at 1134. Heading 8479 and subheadings 8479.89 and 8479.89.90 read as follows:

8479Machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts thereof:

. . .

Other machines and mechanical appliances:

. . .

8479.89 Other:

. . .

8479.89.80 Other

HTSUS, heading 8479. Merchandise classified under subheadings 8543.80.90 and 8479.89.90 are dutiable at the respective rates of 3.9% and 3.7% ad valorem. JVC, 62 F.Supp.2d at 1134.

Both parties moved for summary judgment, arguing that there were no genuine issues of material fact in dispute. Id. at 1136. The Court of International Trade denied JVC's motion for summary judgment and granted the government's corresponding cross-motion, holding that Customs had correctly classified JVC's camcorders under subheading 8525.30.00 as "television cameras." Id. at 1139.

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The court concluded that JVC's camcorders were prima facie classifiable under heading 8525 as "television cameras." Id. at 1138. The court also concluded that this court's holding in Sears Roebuck & Co. v. United States, 22 F.3d 1082 (Fed. Cir. 1994), was not dispositive in this case, as Sears was decided under the Tariff Schedules of the United States ("TSUS"), not the HTSUS. JVC, 62 F.Supp.2d at 1138. The court further concluded that JVC's proposed alternative headings were inappropriate because the merchandise at issue fell within the scope of heading 8525, which was more specific than either of the headings proposed by JVC. Id. at 1138-39.

JVC timely appealed to this court. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(5) (1994).

DISCUSSION

We review the Court of International Trade's grant of summary judgment for correctness as a matter of law, deciding de novo whether genuine issues of material fact existed and whether the moving party was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Carl Zeiss, Inc. v. United States, 195 F.3d 1375, 1378 (Fed. Cir. 1999). In reviewing a denial of a motion for summary judgment, "we give considerable deference to the trial court, and will not disturb the trial court's denial of summary judgment unless we find that the court has indeed abused its discretion." Elekta Instrument S.A. v. O.U.R. Scientific Int'l, Inc., 242 F.3d 1302, 1306, 54 USPQ2d 1910, 1912 (Fed. Cir. 2000). When both parties move for summary judgment, the court must evaluate each motion on its own merits, resolving all reasonable inferences against the party whose motion is under consideration. McKay v. United States, 199 F.3d 1376, 1380...

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