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HQ 955821

February 8, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955821 LTO


TARIFF NO.: 9402.90.00

Ms. Tracy Ann Ehme
The A.W. Fenton Co., Inc.
1157 Rarig Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43219-2357

RE: Keratometer tray; "furniture"; EN 83.02; chapter 94, note 1(d); section XV, note 2(c); General EN to chapter 94; HQ 955615

Dear Ms. Ehme:

This is in response to your letter of January 4, 1994, on behalf of The R.H. Burton Co., requesting the classification of a keratometer tray under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter was referred to this office for a response.


The article in question is a keratometer tray. The tray attaches to the keratometer arm and provides a base on which to set the keratometer, which is a medical instrument for measuring the curvature of the cornea of the eye. The tray is made of steel and can only be used with the Burton 1040 Keratometer or the Burton 3200 Chair with the XL 3200 Instrument Stand.


Whether the keratometer tray is classifiable as a mounting, fitting or similar article suitable for furniture, of iron or steel, under subheading 8302.49.60, 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 - 2 -
shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes . . . ."

The headings at issue are as follows:

8302 Base metal mountings, fittings and similar articles suitable for furniture, doors, staircases, windows, blinds, coachwork, saddlery, trunks, chests, caskets or the like . . .

9402 Medical, surgical, dental or veterinary furniture (for example, operating tables, examination tables, hospital beds with mechanical fittings, dentists' chairs);
. . . parts of the foregoing articles

Note 1(d) to chapter 94 states that the chapter does not cover base metal parts of general use as defined in note 2 to section XV. Note 2(c) to section XV states that the expression "parts of general use" means: "articles of heading 8301, 8302, 8308 or 8310 and frames and mirrors, of base metal, of heading 8306 [emphasis added]." Thus, if the keratometer trays are classifiable under heading 8302, HTSUS, they cannot be classified as parts of medical furniture under heading 9402, HTSUS.

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 83.02, pg. 1118, states that heading 8302, HTSUS, covers general purpose classes of base metal accessory fittings and mountings, such as are used largely on furniture, doors, windows, coachwork, etc. Goods within such general classes remain in this heading even if they are designed for particular uses (e.g., door handles or hinges for automobiles). The heading does not, however, extend to goods forming an essential part of the structure of the articles, such as window frames or swivel devices for revolving chairs [emphasis in original]."

The keratometer tray in question attaches to an instrument stand arm, which is a part of the instrument stand. See HQ 955615, dated January 24, 1994 (wherein instrument stands and stand arms, when imported separately, were classified as medical furniture and parts thereof under heading 9402, HTSUS). The keratometer tray is similar to a swivel device for a revolving chair, in that both form an essential part of the article with - 3 -
which they are used. The tray connects to the instrument stand arm and provides a base on which to set the keratometer. The keratometer could not be connected to the arm in the absence of the keratometer tray. Accordingly, the tray is not classifiable under heading 8302, HTSUS.

As stated above, the keratometer tray is a part of an instrument stand arm, which is part of an instrument stand. In HQ 955615, the instrument stand arm, which was used solely with the instrument stand, was classified as a part of medical furniture under subheading 9402.90.00, HTSUS. Similarly, the tray, which is used solely with the instrument stand arm, is also classifiable under this subheading.


The keratometer tray is classifiable under subheading 9402.90.00, HTSUS, which provides for other medical furniture and parts thereof. The corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading is 5.3% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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