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NY 811806

July 18, 1995

CLA-2-90:S:N:N3:119 811806


TARIFF NO.: 9018.90.8000

Mr. Steven S. Weiser
Mr. Brett Harris
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
1515 Broadway - 43rd Floor
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: The tariff classification of administration sets ("filter tail subassemblies") from El Salvador

Dear Sirs:

In your letter dated June 20, 1995 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Pall Corporation, 2200 Northern Boulevard, East Hills, NY 11548.

The articles to be imported are administration sets which will be attached after importation to various filters manufactured by Pall Corporation and used in various medical procedures, including blood transfusion, intravenous therapy and open-heart surgery.

Administration sets (also called IV administration sets or solution administration sets) have various configurations to meet the requirements of different medical procedures. They generally consist of plastic tubing and such components as spikes, drip chambers, slide clamps, injection sites, Luer-lock adapters, etc.

You state that the three submitted samples are representative of 30 administration sets to be imported by your client. The three samples are standard administration sets and include such components as Luer slip/lock, drip chamber and roller clamps.

The clinical use of these administration sets is not in dispute. The administration sets are connected to an indwelling catheter so that the fluid being administered can flow into the patient's body.

The only issue is whether the administration set is an accessory to the catheter. Therefore it is not relevant to this case to discuss the difference between accessories and parts.

Headquarters' Ruling 087704 dated 9-27-90 contains the following guidelines in determining if an article is an accessory.

The term "accessory" is not defined in either the tariff schedule or the Explanatory Notes. An accessory is generally an article which is not necessary to enable the goods with which it is used to fulfill their intended function. An accessory must be identifiable as being intended solely or principally for use with a specific article. Accessories are of secondary or subordinate importance, not essential in and of themselves. They must, however, somehow contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article (e.g., facilitate the use or handling of the principal article, widen the range of its uses, or improve its operation).

Clearly an accessory relationship does not exist between the catheter and the administration set. We do not have on the one hand a principal article and on the other an article of secondary or subordinate importance, not essential in and of itself.

The catheter and the administration set both perform distinct functions that are essential to the administration of the fluid to the patient. The catheter provides access to a body cavity or the circulatory system. The administration set conducts and regulates the flow of the fluid from a source to the catheter.

The administration set is an article of commerce with its own identity and function. There was a uniform and established practice under the Tariff Schedules of the United States to classify such tubing sets under 709.27, TSUS, which provided for other medical instruments. This practice has been continued under the equivalent Harmonized Tariff Schedule number. See Headquarters' Ruling 071108 dated 6-28-83 and Headquarters' Ruling 085088 dated 3-12-90.

The applicable subheading for the administration sets 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... parts and accessories thereof... other. The duty rate will be 6.3 percent.

Articles classifiable under subheading 9018.90.8000, HTS, which are products of El Salvador are entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

Please be advised that the GSP is currently scheduled to expire at midnight on July 31, 1995, unless its provisions are extended by Congress. Claims for duty-free treatment under the GSP may not be made for merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse on or after August 1, 1995, if the program is not extended before that date.

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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