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HQ 954658

February 16, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954658 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 9018.90.70

Regional Commissioner of Customs c/o Protest and Control Section
6 World Trade Center
Room 761
New York, New York 10048-0945

RE: Protest No. 1001-93-101702; Special Light for ears; Probe Tips; heading 8513; section XVI, note 1(m); chapter 90, note 1(h); EN 85.13; EN 90.18

Dear Sir:

The following is our decision regarding the request for further review of Protest No. 1001-93-101702, filed by H.W. Ebert Company on behalf of Hal Hen Company, Inc., which concerns the classification of a special light for ears and probe tips under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The subject merchandise was entered on September 23, 1992, and the entry was liquidated on March 12, 1993. The protest was timely filed on March 25, 1993.


The article in question, identified on the invoice as the P1124 Special Light, consists of a light and probe tips. The submitted sample, the Slim-Line Earlite, consists of a small, battery-operated flashlight and a clear, plastic probe tip, both blister-packed onto a card. The flashlight is 5 1/4 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter. It has a pocket clip at the top which also serves as the on/off switch. The probe tip has an overall length of two inches. The top of the probe has a maximum diameter of 1/2 inch and is shaped to fit into the recessed flashlight head. The tip section of the probe is 1 3/8 inches long and has a diameter of 3/16 of an inch. The sample did not include extra probe tips, although it appears that the importation in question includes additional tips. Two "AAA" - 2 -
batteries are included.

In a letter dated February 10, 1994, a representative of the Hal-Hen Company advised this office that the product in question is used "by hearing health care professionals, audiologists, ENT (ear, nose and throat) physicians and hearing aid dispensers . . . ." The Special Light is used to illuminate the inner ear canal and diagnose if there are any problems or blockages, and to place cotton in the proper position in the canal prior to making a mold for a hearing aid.

The merchandise (light and probe tips) was entered under subheading 9018.90.70 (now, subheading 9018.90.75), HTSUS. The light was classified upon liquidation under subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS, while the additional probe tips were classified under subheading 8513.90.20, HTSUS.

The subheadings at issue are as follows:

8513 Portable electric lamps designed to function by their own source of energy
(for example, dry batteries, storage batteries, magnetos), other than lighting equipment of heading 8512; parts thereof:
8513.10.20 Flashlights (25%)

8513.90.20 Of flashlights (25%)

9018 Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences, including scintigraphic apparatus, other electro-medical apparatus and sight-testing instruments; parts and accessories thereof:
Other instruments and appliances and accessories thereof:
Electro-medical instruments and appliances and parts and accessories thereof:
9018.90.70 Other (4.2%)


Whether the Special Light is classifiable as other electro- medical instruments and appliances under subheading 9018.90.70, HTSUS, or as a flashlight under subheading 8513.10.20, HTSUS, and parts thereof under subheading 8513.90.20, 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 . . . ."

Note 1(m) to section XVI, HTSUS, states that chapters 84 and 85 do not cover articles of chapter 90. However, note 1(h) to chapter 90 states that the chapter does not cover the portable electric lamps of heading 8513, HTSUS. Thus, if the Special Light is classifiable under heading 8513, HTSUS, it cannot be classified under heading 9018, HTSUS.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Note (EN) to heading 8513, HTSUS, pg. 1350-51, states that the heading "covers portable electric lamps designed to function by means of a self-contained source of electricity (e.g., dry cell, accumulator or magneto)." However, the note further states that "[s]pecialised medical inspection lamps (e.g., for throat or ear inspection) are excluded (heading 90.18) [emphasis in original]."

It is our opinion that the Special Light is a specialized medical ear inspection lamp covered by heading 9018, HTSUS, and therefore, excluded from heading 8513, HTSUS. The light in question is used by hearing health care professionals, audiologists, ENT physicians and hearing aid dispensers, to examine the inner ear and to place cotton in the proper position in the ear canal prior to making a mold for a hearing aid. While it is not principally used by medical doctors, the notes contemplate tools and instruments used by non-medical doctors, such as dental mechanics. See EN 90.18, pg. 1491. Accordingly, the article in question, which consists of a light and probe tip, is classifiable under subheading 9018.90.70, HTSUS. If the Special Light is imported with more than one probe tip, the additional tips are also classifiable under this subheading as parts or accessories.


The Special Light and probe tips are classifiable under subheading 9018.90.70, HTSUS.

The protest should be granted. In accordance with section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to the mailing of the decision. Sixty - 4 -
days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director

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