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HQ 084358

August 4, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 084358 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7326.90.9090

Mr. Stephen McKeever
Davies, Turner & Co.
Customs Brokers
113 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19106-3092

RE: Needle Vaccinators

Dear Mr. McKeever:

In a letter to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, dated April 5, 1989, on behalf of your client, Air- Tite Products Co. Inc., Vineland, N.J., you inquire as to the tariff classification of needle vaccinators from Japan. A sample was submitted. Our ruling follows.


The Air-Tite letter to you, which initiated this request, mentioned needle vaccinators and also vaccinator pins. However, because your letter concerns only needle vaccinators, as represented by the sample, this decision will not address vaccinator pins.

The sample article consists of two needles, each approximately 3/4 inch long, embedded in a 2 3/4 inch long plastic handle. The needles are not tubular but have a 1/2 inch long groove for retaining liquid vaccine. You state these articles are supplied to poultry farmers free of charge with each package of poultry vaccine. The farmer uses the needle vaccinator to hand-vaccinate chickens by dipping the needles in the vaccine then piercing the web of the wing.

You state these articles were previously classifiable free of duty in item 666.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). This provision covers, among other things, agricultural or horticultural implements not specially provided for.


Are needle vaccinators classifiable duty-free as agricultural or horticultural implements, or under other applicable tariff provisions?


Agricultural machines, machinery and equipment, and their parts, are classifiable under various duty-free provisions in Chapter 84, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). There is no equivalent provision in Chapter 84 for articles previously classified in item 666.00, TSUS.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, HTSUSA, states that for legal purposes classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Consideration was given to the provision for other syringes, needles, catheters, cannulae and the like, which are instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences, their parts and accessories, in subheading 9018.39.0050, HTSUSA. However, merchandise classified in this provision must belong to a class or kind of instruments and appliances principally used in professional practice by doctors, dentists and surgeons, including veterinary surgeons. Noting the stated use of the needle vaccinators, and the absence of evidence of principal use as required for classification in subheading 9018.39.0050, we conclude that this provision is inapplicable.

In accordance with GRI 3(a), HTSUSA, goods that are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings each of which refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods are to be regarded as being equally specific in relation to those goods. Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914 are provided for in heading 3926, while other articles of iron or steel are provided for in heading 7326.

GRI 3(b) provides in part that composite goods made up of different components which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if consisting of the component which gives them their essential character. The factor which determines essential character will vary with the goods. The nature of the component and its role in relation to the use of the goods are often factors to be considered. In this case, the plastic portion of the needle vaccinator is the handle which provides the means for using the article. However, the
steel needle portion of the vaccinator contains grooved reservoirs which retain vaccine which the needle then introduces into the bird. It is the needle component which does the actual vaccinating. We conclude that the needle component of the article in question imparts its essential character. The needle vaccinator is therefore provided for in heading 7326.

Subheading 9817.00.5000, HTSUSA, provides for the duty- free entry of machinery, equipment and implements to be used for agricultural or horticultural purposes. This is an actual use provision. Notwithstanding the existence of a competing provision or provisions in the HTSUSA, articles are eligible for classification in subheading 9817.00.5000 if the conditions and requirements thereof and any applicable regulations are met. The needle vaccinator is an implement to be used for a recognized agricultural or horticultural purpose. In this case, however, the needle vaccinator is not eligible for classification in subheading 9817.00.5000, HTSUSA, because with certain stated exceptions articles provided for in Chapter 73 are excluded from classification in this subheading. See Subchapter XVII, U.S. Note 2(ij), HTSUSA.


The needle vaccinator is classifiable under the provision for other articles of iron or steel, in subheading 7326.90.9090, HTSUSA. The rate of duty is 5.7 percent ad valorem. It is not eligible for duty-free entry in subheading 9817.00.5000 for the reasons stated.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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