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NY B82723

March 10, 1997

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:1:119 B82723


TARIFF NO.: 9018.90.8000

Mr. Michael Mcgee
Fritz Companies, Inc.
8445 Gran Vista Drive
El Paso, TX 79907

RE: The tariff classification and status under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), of a surgical stapler from Mexico; Article 509

Dear Mr. McGee:

In your letter dated February 24, 1996 you requested a ruling on the status of a surgical stapler from Mexico under the NAFTA. The request is being made on behalf of Ethicon Endo Surgery, Inc., Cincinnati, OH.

The article to be imported is a single patient use skin stapler marketed under the name "Proximate Plus". It is made in part of metal but mostly of plastic. In its imported condition the stapler will contain between 25 and 55 stainless steel staples within its magazine. The stapler is assembled in Mexico from over 20 parts which are all of United States origin.

The applicable tariff provision for the loaded surgical stapler will be 9018.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences... parts and accessories thereof... other. The general rate of duty will be 3.2 percent.

Since the components used to manufacture the product are of U.S origin, the surgical staple will have been made entirely in the territory of the United States and Mexico using only originating materials. The merchandise will have satisfied the requirements of HTSUSA General Note 12(b)(iii). It will therefore be entitled to a free rate of duty under the NAFTA upon compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and agreements.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 181 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 181). 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.

This ruling letter is binding only as to the party to whom it is issued and may be relied on only by that party.

If you have any questions pertaining to this matter, please contact National Import Specialist Jacques Preston of this office at (212) 466-5488.


Robert B. Swierupski
Chief, Metals & Machinery Branch

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