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HQ 555173

May 2, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:V 555173 GRV


TARIFF NO: 9802.00.80, HTSUS (formerly 807.00, TSUS)

Mr. Donald Jankowski
Argonne National Laboratory
High Energy Physics Division
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, Illinois 60439

RE: Applicability of partial duty exemption under HTSUS subhead- ing 9802.00.80 to particle detector calorimeters to be imported from the United Kingdom

Dear Mr. Jankowski:

This is in response to your letters of November 7, and December 7, 1988, requesting, inter alia, a ruling on the applicability of subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) (formerly item 807.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS)), to three particle detector calorimeters to be imported from the United Kingdom. Photographs of the assembly process were submitted for examina- tion. By telephone, you also inquire as to the proper tariff classification provision for this article.


You state that U.S. fabricated components--consisting of Mylar bandoliers and plastic tubes and inserts (soft parts)--and corrugated steel sheets of British manufacture will be assembled in the United Kingdom into three particle detector calorimeters. The assembly operation consists of close packing the U.S. soft parts with the British steel by layering the various components alternately so that the plastic tubes are insulated from the cor- rugated steel sheets by the Mylar bandoliers, which are sand- wiched between plastic inserts. The resultant honeycomb config- uration is then compressed for tight packing into a metal cabinet unit, whereby steel side panels of British manufacture are welded at the top and bottom to maintain the tight packing of the parti- cle detector configuration, thus forming a particle detector mod- ule. Each module has two proportional wire detectors attached, and metal covers are added (both of British manufacture) to com- plete each unit. The photographs submitted evidence the honey- comb configuration and show the completed product.


I. Whether the tight packing and welding operations constitute "assembly" operations, thereby entitling the particle detector calorimeters to the partial duty exemption under HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 (TSUS item 807.00) when imported into the U.S.

II. What is the proper tariff classification of the particle detector calorimeters under the HTSUS.


On January 1, 1989, the HTSUS superseded and replaced the TSUS. TSUS item 807.00 was carried over into the HTSUS without change as subheading 9802.00.80. This tariff provision provides a partial duty exemption for articles:

...assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated com- ponents, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape, or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process such as cleaning, lubricating, and painting.

An article entered under HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 is subject to duty upon the full value of the imported assembled article less the cost or value of such U.S. components, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.24.

Section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a)), provides, in part, that:

The assembly operations performed abroad may consist of any method used to join or fit together solid components, such as welding, soldering, riveting, force fitting, gluing, laminating, sewing, or the use of fasteners.... (Emphasis added).

A collateral concern in assembly operations is whether the American-made components lose their physical identity in the assembly process. In United States v. Baylis Brothers Co., 59 CCPA 9, C.A.D. 1026, 451 F.2d 643, 646 (1971), the U.S. Court of Customs and Patent Appeals stated that:

Congress did not intend to exclude articles from item 807.00 merely because the American components had undergone some change of form or shape. The test specified in item 807.00
is whether the components have been changed in form, shape, or otherwise to such an extent that they have lost their physical identity in the assembled article. (Emphasis in original).

In this case, as the U.S. components are assembled by recog- nized means of assembly, i.e., welding and force fitting, and as the resultant honeycomb configuration of the assembled parts does not cause the U.S. components to lose their physical identity, the foreign assembly operation constitutes an acceptable assembly operation within the meaning of HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80. Therefore, the U.S. soft part components of the particle detector calorimeters will be eligible for the duty exemption provided for under that tariff provision when imported into the U.S.

The subject merchandise is properly classifiable under HTSUS subheading 9027.80.40, which provides for instruments and apparatus for physical or chemical analysis...other instruments and apparatus: electrical, dutiable at the rate of 4.9%.


On the basis of the information and photographs submitted, the three particle detector calorimeters will be eligible for the partial duty exemption in HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 when imported into the U.S., upon compliance with the documentary requirements set forth in 19 CFR 10.24. The described particle detector calorimeters will be classified under HTSUS subheading 9027.80.40 and dutiable at the rate of 4.9%.


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