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NY 893932

February 15, 1994

CLA-2-84:S:N:N1:103 893932


TARIFF NO.: 8479.89.9099

Mr. James L. Gregory
C. F. Liebert, Inc.
PO Box 1890
Blaine, WA 98231-1890

RE: The tariff classification of an Automated Sample Handling System from Canada

Dear Mr. Gregory:

In your letter dated January 17, 1994 on behalf of Andonic Devices Ltd. you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Literature submitted with your inquiry indicates the Automated Sample Handling System (ASHS) is used to process blood samples. It is composed of a series of individual modules which can also be used separately as stand-alone devices. The primary modules utilized in the ASHS are an aliquotter, a centrifuge, a sorter, and an autoloader, all of which are linked together by a system controller. Together these modules automate the handling, sorting and pre-processing of blood which will subsequently undergo further processing or analysis.

The autoloader module enables the bulk loading of specimens into the ASHS. It accepts specimen transport carriers, which hold blood sample tubes to which a bar code label has been applied. It also serves as a buffer should any of the other modules become backlogged. Up to 500 samples can be placed in the autoloader at one time.

The AutoQuot module prepares any number of measured aliquots (i.e., fractional amounts) from a single primary specimen. Aliquots are then placed into labeled and capped aliquot tubes. The centrifuge module, based on a commercially available centrifuge, is currently under development.

The automated sorter module is used to gather samples into pre-determined work station groupings. It reads the sample bar code which was placed on the sample and then directs the sample into the appropriate test group. The sorted samples remain in the sorter module until manually unloaded.

The system controller is a microcomputer which allows data entry, data collection, and database management. It also acts as an interface with a central laboratory information system. Using bar code readers, it tracks the movement of all specimens within the system, and dispatches the specimens to the other processing modules along with instructions as to what process steps should be followed.

The applicable subheading for the ASHS consisting of the above modules, imported in a single shipment, will be 8479.89.9099, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere...: other machines and mechanical appliances: other: other: other: other. The general rate of duty will be 3.7 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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