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NY 802006

October 12, 1994

CLA-2-90:S:N:N3:102 802006


TARIFF NO.: 9025.19.8040

Ms. Judith A. Schechter
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Debowitz & Silverman 245 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10167-0002

RE: The tariff classification of a temperature probe from St. Lucia

Dear Ms. Schechter:

In your letter dated September 8, 1994, on behalf of your client, Fenwall Electronics, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The item in question is a electric temperature probe, which uses a heat-sensing device known as a thermistor to sense temperature. Fenwall will assemble the probes in St. Lucia from thermistors and other components they or other companies manufacture in the United States. The assembly is then electrically and mechanically tested to IVAC's specification prior to shipment back to the United States. After import these probes are connected to digital displays to form complete clinical thermometers. Color coded caps are used to determine whether they are for oral or rectal use.

The applicable subheading for the temperature probe will be 9025.19.8040, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other clinical thermometers. The rate of duty will be 5 percent ad valorem.

You inquire in your letter as to the eligibility of the above processing under subheading 9802.00.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 provides a partial duty exemption for:

Articles assembled abroad in whole or in part of fabricated components, the product of the United States, which (a) were exported in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication, (b) have not lost their physical identity in such articles by change in form, shape, or otherwise, and (c) have not been advanced in value or improved in condition abroad except by being assembled and except by operations incidental to the assembly process such as cleaning,lubricating, and painting.

An article entered under HTSUS subheading 9802.00.80 is subject to a duty upon the full value of the imported article, less the cost or value of the U.S. components assembled therein, upon compliance with the documentary requirements of section 10.24, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.24).

Fabricated components subject to the exemption are provided for at section 10.14(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.14(a)), which provides, in part, that:

The components must be in condition ready for assembly without further fabrication at the time of their exportation from the United States to qualify for the exemption. Components will not lose their entitlement to the exemption by being subjected to operations incidental to the assembly either before, during, or after their assembly with other components.

Acceptable assembly operations are interpreted at section 10.16(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 10.16(a). Operations incidental to the assembly process are not considered further fabrication operations, as they are of a minor nature and cannot always be provided for in advance of the assembly operation. Examples of operations considered incidental to the assembly process are delineated at 19 CFR 10.16(b), which specifically provides for the cleaning and/or removal of rust, grease, paint, or other preservative coating from the U.S. components.

(c) Operations not incidental to the assembly process. Any significant process, operation, or treatment other than assembly whose primary purpose is the fabrication, completion, physical or chemical improvement of a component, or which is not related to the assembly process, whether or not it effects a substantial transformation of the article, shall not be regarded as incidental to the assembly and shall preclude the application of the exemption of such article.

Based on the information provided, it is our opinion that this provision would be applicable, provided that all of the requirements of the Customs Regulations are met. An allowance, that reflects the cost of the American supplied components, will be permitted to the dutiable value of the imported panels.

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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