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HQ 086386

March 26, 1990

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 086386 SER


TARIFF NO.: 3006.10.0000

Mr. David Satter
Dow B. Hickman, Inc.
P.O. Box 2006
Sugar Land, TX 77487

RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter 838275; Sorbsan surgical dressings

Dear Mr. Satter:

This is in reference to your request for reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 838275. In that ruling Sorbsan dressings from England were classified in subheading 3005.90.5000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for bandages put up in packings for retail sale for medical, surgical, dental or veterinary purposes, other, other.


The Sorbsan Surgical Dressing is a non-adhesive, flat non- woven surgical dressing with calcium alginate. It is imported in packings for retail sale for medical/surgical purposes. Though the product as not yet received the approval of the the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for sale as a hemostat, the importer eventually intends to promote the product as a hemostat in the United States. Sorbsan, as stated in the information that this office has received, is currently being used by various U.S. medical clinicians as a hemostat, and it has long been used as a hemostat in numerous European countries.


Is the product at issue a pharmaceutical good specified in Note 3 to Chapter 30, HTSUSA?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. The Harmonized System is a complete product classification system, and the goal of the Harmonized System is to place all goods that
are imported into the specific classifications. In this context the word "goods" is used in its broadest sense to include all merchandise. The systematic detail is such that virtually all goods are classifiable by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 3006, HTSUS, provides for pharmaceutical products specified in note 3 to this chapter. Note 3(c) provides for sterile absorbable surgical or dental hemostatics. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 3006, HTSUS, states:

This item covers sterile products used in surgery or dentistry to stop bleeding and having the property of being absorbed by the body fluids. It includes . . . calcium alginate gauze, "wool" or "film".

The product at issue is specifically provided for in this Heading. Though the product at issue has not been approved by the FDA to be promoted as a hemostat, this does not preclude the Customs Service from classifying the product in this Heading. The Customs Service has a different mission than the FDA, and, therefore, the determination of Customs that the product at issue is a hemostat for tariff pruposes does not conflict with the determination of the product's use by the FDA as to the suitability of an article for a given use in the United States.


The product at issue is properly classified in subheading 3006.10.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for pharmaceutical products specified in note 3 to Chapter 30: sterile absorbable surgical or dental hemostatics. The rate of duty is 3.5 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 838275 is hereby amended.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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