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CBP Identifies Country of Origin of Microwave Radios

Friday, September 20, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of certain microwave radios used for wireless point-to-point communications that may be offered to the U.S. government under an undesignated government procurement contract. CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of granting waivers of certain “Buy American” restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. government. This determination was issued Sept. 13 and any party-at-interest may seek judicial review of it by Oct. 21.

The radios at issue are comprised of an indoor unit (IDU) and the transmitter-receiver unit chassis (TRX). The TRX and the modem are manufactured in Japan, and the main card (which provides the operation, administrative and maintenance functions of the radio), power supply unit, IDU chassis and fans are manufactured in India. The Indian components are assembled with the Japanese-origin modem to manufacture the IDU in India and the software is developed in India and Japan. All these components are then shipped to the U.S. for final assembly.

CBP concludes that the TRX imparts the essential character to the radios because it carries the microwave signal, which is the essence of a microwave radio. Further, other significant parts are produced in Japan and the assembly that occurs in the U.S. is rather simple. Accordingly, the finished radios are considered a product of Japan for purposes of U.S. government procurement.

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