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NY 808099

March 22, 1995

CLA-2-90:S:N:N3:119 808099


TARIFF NO.: 9018.90.8000

Mr. Dan Percival
American Overseas Air Freight, Inc.
11034 S La Cienega Boulevard
Inglewood, CA 90304-1198

RE: The tariff classification of hand surgical instruments from Germany

Dear Mr. Percival:

In your letter dated March 8, 1995, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of International Hospital Supply Company, Reseda, CA.

The articles to be imported are hand surgical instruments. Seven samples and a description of each instrument have been furnished. The descriptions given in an attached document are reproduced below.

Backhaus Towel Forceps - Clamp which is used to secure a sterile towel to a sterile drape during a surgical operation. In effect, this hand-held instrument is nothing more than a clamp which holds two pieces of toweling or drape together.

Halstead Mosquito Forceps - This instrument is used to secure the skin which has been cut with a scalpel so that the tissue which has been separated is exposed and secured against movement.

Kocher Artery Forceps - has three tiny teeth which grasp the skin or the underlying fascia and again secures the positioning.

Iris Scissors - A small scissors, depending upon the surgeon, used to cut sutures or to cut small external tissues.

Boettcher Tonsil Forceps - is a forceps to grasp the tonsil prior to removing it with a scalpel or with a snare.

Lorna Towel Forceps - is essentially the same as the Backhaus Towel Forceps except that the Lorna does not have any points, is dull and grasps the towels between the two clamps.

Metzenbaum Scissors - is probably the most widely used pattern of an operating room scissors to cut the skin, deeper tissues, sutures and similar.

The above instruments are not dental instruments, they therefore cannot be classified under 9018.49.80 (as suggested in an attached document) which falls under the provision for "other instruments and appliances used in dental sciences, and parts and accessories thereof". There is a uniform and established practice for the classification of the types of instruments under consideration.

The applicable subheading for the hand surgical instruments will be 9018.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences... other. The rate of duty will be 6.3 percent.

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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