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NY D81573

September 29, 1998

CLA-2-73:RR:NC:115 D81573


TARIFF NO.: 7326.90.8585

Mr. Jack D. Mlawski
Galvin & Mlawski
440 Park Avenue South
New York, New York 10016-8067

RE: The tariff classification of a BIO-SET Infusion Cap from France.

Dear Mr. Mlawski:

In your letter dated August 21, 1998, you requested, on behalf of your client Merck & Co, a tariff classification ruling.

The subject merchandise, Bio-Set, is a medical device intended to substitute for the syringes in transferring drugs contained in a standard drug vial to infusion bags which are, in turn, connected to a catheter attached to a patient.

In your inquiry you feel that the classification should be under HTS 9018.39.00. The National Import Specialist for Medical, Surgical and Dental Instruments has reviewed your correspondence and is of the opinion that HTS 9018.39.00 does not apply. His reasons follow:
1. Per Dortland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 1994, catheters and cannulae are devices for insertion into body cavities and ducts to withdraw or introduce fluid. The metal portion of your device is inserted into a container of medicaments through its rubber cap to enable the medicment to flow out when the container is inverted (and squeezed if necessary).
2. Per the same source, syringes are used both to inject or withdraw liquids from any vessel or cavity. They are used to withdraw medicaments from a container. However, syringes are used to withdraw a measured amount of liquid, while your device will be used simply empty the container. Syringes temporarily hold the liquid in its container until it can be injected into a different locale, usually, although, as you, point out, not always, a patient's blood vessel. Your device has no container and cannot inject the liquid, but only let it drip out. 3. Looking to the channel of trade, those items are normally sold to hospitals and medical professionals for their use while yours is sold only to pharmaceutical firms for attachment to their containers filled with medicaments. 4. Your device has some vague similarity to the appliances of 9018.39. Bougies, drains, and sounds, cited in the USA statistical breakouts, are the type of devices which are sufficiently "like" those of 9018.39, not yours." The plastic provisions of the Tariff were also considered and not applicable for the following reasons: "Does not function as a cap as it is placed over the cap/stopper of the bottle.
Plastic acts as a protective covering for the metal cannulae, even as a handle for the cannula it does not impact the essential character."

Based on the above comments from other National Import Specialists it is the opinion of this office that the needle is the essential character.

The applicable subheading for the Bio-Set will be 7326.90.8585, Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States (HTS), which provides for Other articles of iron or steel other, other. The rate of duty will be 3.5% ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R.)
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 Melvyn Birnbaum at 212-466-5487.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity
Specialist Division

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