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NY B84554

May 14, 1997

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:114 B84554


TARIFF NO.: 9001.90.9000

Ms. Linda Stohr
Linda Stohr Customhouse Broker
11099 La Cienega Blvd #258
Los Angeles, CA 90045

RE: The tariff classification of Core Optic Components from Australia

Dear Ms. Stohr:

In your letter dated April 7, 1997, on behalf of the California Institute of Technology, you requested a tariff classification ruling on core optic components.

The core optic components are polished glass pieces composed of fused silica. The core optic components are 25cm in diameter and 10cm in thickness, and weigh 22 pounds each. A total of 20 pieces of the core optic components will be imported from Australia, after polishing by a teflon-lap polishing technology which includes grinding, finishing, marking, and rough and fine polishing. The polished fused silica pieces are imported to the United States for further processing by a coating process and metrology testing.

The fused silica is a special purpose glass of high purity and homogeneity. The intended application of the completed fused silica pieces (polished and coated) will be as core optics for the Michelson-style interferometer comprising part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). The core optics will reflect the laser light in the Fabry-Perot cavities of the LIGO detectors. The LIGO project is a science research project to detect gravitational waves in the universe.

The applicable subheading for the core optic components will be 9001.90.9000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for lenses, prisms, mirrors and other optical elements, of any material, unmounted, other than such elements of glass not optically worked. The rate of duty will be 5.1 percent ad valorem.

Because the core optic components are classifiable in subheading 9001.90.9000, HTS, they may be eligible for a free rate of duty under the provisions for instruments and apparatus entered for the use of any nonprofit institution, whether public or private, established for educational or scientific purposes, and for repair components and tools for such instruments and apparatus, in HTS 9810.00.60, 65, and 67. Because the eligibility requirements for this free provision are difficult and complex, we have attached a copy of U.S. Notes 1 and 6 to Subchapter X of the HTS which describe, in detail, those requirements. The application is to be filed with the Office of Regulations and Rulings, U.S. Customs Service, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20229. However, the application form (ITA-338P) must be obtained from the Department of Commerce by telephone at (202) 482-3525 or 1660.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Barbara Kiefer at 212-466-5685.


Robert Swierupski
Chief, Metals and Machinery Branch

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