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NY 877661

September 15, 1992

CLA-2-84:S:N:N1:103 877661


TARIFF NO.: 8419.40.0080; 8479.82.0080

Mr. Keith E. Homstad
2010 East Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55413

RE: The tariff classification of recycling equipment from Sweden

Dear Mr. Homstad:

In your letter dated August 24, 1992 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Your firm intends to import three components which form a unique closed system for recycling mercury from used fluorescent lights and other mercury containing waste items. According to your letter, mercury waste is highly poisonous and environmentally harmful, and EPA regulations prohibit the disposal of mercury containing lights in landfills. The three machines you will import are:

1. Crush and sieve unit - this unit receives used fluorescent tubes and crushes them under low pressure so no mercury vapors can escape. After the tube is crushed, this machine separates the components into clean glass, clean metal end caps, and mercury contaminated fluorescent powder. The glass and end caps are then resold by your firm to glass and metal recyclers.

2. H.I.D. lamp crusher - this machine is a specialized crusher for street lamps and high intensity discharge lamps. It is smaller than the crush and sieve unit but operates on the same principles.

3. Distiller unit - this unit receives the mercury contaminated fluorescent powder and, by means of a patented process involving heat, pressure, and vacuum, removes 99.987 percent of the mercury. The powder is converted into a compound that is mainly limestone for use as a soil "sweetener" in landfills to balance the soil pH. The recovered mercury is 99.998 percent pure and is sold to a mercury recycling company for reuse in various products.

According to your inquiry, the initial importation will consist only of the distiller unit. The other two machines will be imported in a subsequent shipment or shipments.

The applicable subheading for the crush and sieve unit, as well as the H.I.D. lamp crusher, will be 8479.82.0080, HTS, which provides for machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere...: other machines and mechanical appliances: mixing, kneading, crushing, grinding, screening, sifting, homogenizing, emulsifying or stirring machines: other. The rate of duty will be 3.7 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the distiller unit, imported separately, will be 8419.40.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for machinery, plant or laboratory equipment, whether or not electrically heated, for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature...: distilling or rectifying plant: other. The rate of duty will be 4.2 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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