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HQ 556383

December 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:S 556383 SER


TARIFF NO.: 9817.00.96

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
P.O. Box 791
Great Falls, MT 59403

RE: Protest No. 330790100050, contesting denial of duty-free treatment for components of a hearing aid system under subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUSA; parts; Nairobi Protocol

Dear Sir:

This protest, filed by Fritz Companies, Inc., on behalf of Cochlear Corporation, contests the classification and assessment of duties by your office on components of Cochlears' Nucleus 22 Channel Implant System, a hearing aid system, under subheading 9021.90.4040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The issue raised is whether these components, when imported separately, are eligible for duty-free treatment under subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUSA, which provides duty-free treatment to articles specially designed or adapted for the handicapped. It is the position of Customs that this subheading does not apply to "parts" of these articles.

Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 556179 dated December 9, 1991 (enclosed), an internal advice decision issued to your office, addressed the identical fact situation involved in this protest. In HRL 556179, Customs determined that the individual components of the Nucleus 22 Channel Implant System for the hearing impaired are not "parts", and, are eligible for duty- free treatment under subheading 9817.00.96, HTSUSA.

Accordingly, you should grant this protest in full. A copy of this decision, and HRL 556179, should be attached to the Customs Form 19, Notice of Action, to be returned to the protestant.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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