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HQ 954377

October 6, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954377 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 9018.90.30

Ms. Kathleen Crawford
BDP International Inc.
1017 4th Avenue
Lester, Pennsylvania 19029-1813

RE: NARKOMED anesthesia system; parts thereof; chapter 90, note

Dear Ms. Crawford:

This is in response to your letter of June 3, 1993, on behalf of North American Drager, requesting the classification of components for "NARKOMED" anesthesia systems under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The articles in question are various components of NARKOMED anesthesia systems. In the intra-operative environment, the NARKOMED systems facilitate delivery of anesthetic agents to the patient, as well as, keep the patient breathing during the operation. In the post-operative environment, you state that the machines may be used in respiratory therapy. When used in respiratory therapy (both intra- and post-operative), the systems utilize the breathing or respiratory circuit of the machine. When used to deliver anesthetic agents, the gases must flow through the systems' breathing or respiratory circuit.


Whether the NARKOMED systems are classifiable as anesthetic instruments and appliances under subheading 9018.90.30, HTSUS, or as ozone therapy, oxygen therapy, aerosol therapy, artificial respiration or other therapeutic respiration apparatus under subheading 9019.20.00, HTSUS.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUS govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states in pertinent part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ."

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Co-operation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings.

EN 90.18, pg. 1487, states that heading 9018, HTSUS, "covers a very wide range of instruments and appliances which, in the vast majority of cases, are used only in professional practice (e.g., by doctors, surgeons, . . .), either to make a diagnosis, to prevent or treat an illness or to operate, etc." The note, pg. 1490, further states that the instruments and appliances for human medicine or surgery of this heading include anesthetic apparatus and instruments (i.e., face masks, face-piece harnesses, intratracheal tubes, etc).

On the other hand, EN 90.19, pg. 1494, states that heading 9019, HTSUS, covers oxygen therapy, artificial respiration or other therapeutic respiration apparatus, which "are used in cases of drowning, electrocution, acute poisoning (e.g., carbon monoxide), for weak newly-born babies, post-operative shock, infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis), acute asthma, insufficient lung development, etc."

The systems in question are anesthetic systems. They perform a function described by the ENs to heading 9018, HTSUS. The NARKOMED 4, for example, is described by the marketing literature as "a continuous-flow anesthesia system capable of delivering up to four gases and three liquid anesthetic agents." The intra-operative respiratory therapy function performed by these systems is part of the anesthetic process. Any other function performed by the systems is ancillary to their anesthetic functions. Thus, the NARKOMED anesthesia systems are classifiable under heading 9018, HTSUS, specifically under subheading 9018.90.30, HTSUS.

You have requested a binding ruling for various components of the NARKOMED anesthesia systems. Section 177.2(b)(2)(ii)(A) of the Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.2(b)(2)(ii)(A)], states that "[i]ndividual requests for rulings . . . will be limited to five (5) merchandise items, all of which must be of the same class or kind." Because your request involves more than five - 3 -
items, we will not consider the classification of the individual components of the NARKOMED systems. However, the following provides guidance as to the classification of parts for machines of chapter 90, HTSUS.

Note 2 to chapter 90, which governs the classification of parts for chapter 90 machines, provides as follows:

Subject to note 1 above, parts and accessories for machines, apparatus, instruments or articles of this chapter are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts and accessories which are goods included in any of the headings of this chapter or of chapter 84, 85 or 91 (other than heading 8485, 8548 or 9033) are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings;
(b) Other parts and accessories, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, instrument or apparatus, or a number of machines, instruments or apparatus of the same heading . . . are to be classified with the machines, instruments or apparatus of that kind;
(c) All other parts and accessories are to be classified in heading 9033 [underlining added].

Note 2(a) requires that parts or accessories which in themselves constitute articles falling in a particular heading of chapter 84, 85, 90 or 91, be classified in that particular heading. Thus, the components of the NARKOMED systems are classifiable as parts under heading 9018, HTSUS (under subheading 9018.90.30), only if they are not covered by a particular heading of chapter 84, 85, 90 or 91.


The NARKOMED anesthesia systems are classifiable under subheading 9018.90.30, HTSUS, which provides for anesthetic instruments and appliances.


John Durant, Director

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