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HQ 085967

March 2, 1990

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 085967 SER


TARIFF NO.: 9801.00.1035

Ms. Cam Murphy
IC Systems Ltd.
P.O. Box 3853 VMPO
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada V6B 3Z3

RE: Emergpak CPR Kit

Dear Ms. Murphy:

This is in reference to your letter of October 26, 1989, requesting classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of the Emergpak CPR kit shipped to the United States from Canada.


The Emergpak kit consists of a CPR Microshield, a pair of latex surgical gloves and a nylon pouch. The CPR microshield consists of a clear plastic sheet measuring approximately 4 3/4 by 5 inches. Attached to the center of the sheet is a hard plastic oval tubular mouthpiece with an inner one-way valve device. The mouthpiece is approximately 1-3/4" long by 1-1/4" wide. The CPR Microshield is designed to protect the rescuer from the fluids of the cardiac/respiratory arrest victim while cardio-pulmonary recessatation (CPR) is administered.

The nylon pouch measures approximately 2 by 3 inches. It has a front and back compartment, a belt loop and a Velcro-type flap closure.

The Microshield is made in the United States, the nylon pouch in Taiwan and the latex gloves in Malaysia. The articles are packed together in Canada and exported to the United States.


What is the proper classification of the Emergpak CPR kit under the HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. When goods are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings GRI 3 is applicable. In this case classification is determined by application of GRI 3(b) which provides:

[G]oods put up in sets for retail sale, . . . shall be classified as if they consisted of the . . .component which gives them their essential character . . .

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Note to GRI 3(b) provides, in part:

For the purposes 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 particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

The merchandise at issue meets this three part test so as to constitute a set. There are at least two articles which are prima facie, classifiable in different headings. The nylon pouch would be classified under subheading 4202.92.9020, HTSUSA, which provides for trunks, suitcases, guncases, holsters, and similar containers, other, other with outer surface of textile materials, of man-made fibers. The gloves would be classified under subheading 4015.11.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for surgical and medical gloves of vulcanized rubber other than hard rubber.

The merchandise at issue is also put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. The "set" will be packaged in Canada and will not undergo any further assembly in the United States.

In addition, the set consists of products which are put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, to facilitate CPR.

With the elements for sets satisfied, the essential character of the set must be determined to allow for proper classification. "In general, 'essential character' has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is; that which is indispensable to the structure, core or condition of the article." Harmonized System Handbook: A Guide to the New U.S. Tariff, Office of Reg. & Rulings, U.S. Customs Service (August 1986), page 14. The essential character of this set is obviously imparted by the Microshield which is a product of the United States. This is not only the article which composes the major article in dollar value, but it is also the indispensable article in the set. It is only for the Microshield that one would purchase this set.


The Emergpak CPR kit constitutes a set. The essential character is imparted by the Microshield which is a product of the United States. The complete kit would therefore be free of duty under subheading 9801.00.1035, HTSUSA, which provides for products of the United States when returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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