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NY 854054

July 10, 1990

CLA-2-90:S:N:N1:114 854054


TARIFF NO.: 9031.40.0040

Mr. David Westerduin
Leica, Inc.
24 Link Drive
Rockleigh, New Jersey 07647

RE: The tariff classification of the LIS Wafer Inspection System from West Germany

Dear Mr. Westerduin:

In your letter dated June 20, 1990, you requested a tariff classification ruling on the LIS Wafer Inspection System imported by Leica, Inc. (formerly Wild Leitz USA, Inc.).

The LIS Wafer Inspection System is designed for the inspection of semiconductor wafers. The wafers are placed in a plastic cassette prior to their arrival at the Wafer Inspection Station. The cassette is placed into a special holder which can be elevated or lowered. A robotic arm moves the wafer from the in-cassette to a prealigner. The loading, unloading and movement of the wafer is accomplished by means of a vacuum so that the wafers are not contaminated or damaged in transport. The prealigner consists of an alignment chuck where the wafer is centered and aligned within a small tolerance. The wafer is then transferred to the microscope stage for inspection by the operator. After inspection the operator transfers the wafer to the appropriate cassette.

The descriptive literature indicates that the LIS incorporates the complete Leitz Ergolux AMC microscope, which was specifically designed for semiconductor measuring and inspection systems. The Ergolux microscope allows for the inspection of wafers of up to six inches (150mm).

The LIS Wafer Inspection System is imported without the Ergolux microscope attached to the LIS stand. We note that the stand has several pre-drilled holes for mounting the Ergolux microscope.

In an earlier letter to this office, you state your opinion that the LIS Wafer Inspection System should be classified under Subheading 8479.89.9080, HTS, which covers machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; other machines and mechanical appliances; other; machines for processing of semiconductor materials; other.

The LIS Wafer Inspection System cannot be classified in Subheading 8479.89.9080, HTS. Section XVI, Note 1(m), states that Section XVI (which includes Chapter 84) does not cover articles of Chapter 90. The LIS Wafer Inspection System, imported without the Ergolux microscope, is considered to be an incomplete or unfinished optical measuring or checking instrument, classifiable within Chapter 90. General Rule of Interpretation 2(a) is noted.

The applicable subheading for the LIS Wafer Inspection System will be 9031.40.0040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for measuring or checking instruments, appliances, and machines, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; other optical instruments and appliances for inspecting semiconductor wafers and devices, for wafers. The rate of duty will be 10 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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