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April 21, 1999

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:105 E80324


TARIFF NO.: 9021.90.8000; 9018.90.8000

Mr. Robert Ellison
Labtician Ophthalmics, Inc.
2140 Winston Park Drive, Unit 6
Oakville, Ontario L6H 5V5 Canada

RE: The tariff classification of Lid Load related items exported from Canada

Dear Mr. Ellison:

In your letter, dated March 31, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling. No samples were submitted.

The lid load eyelid weights, specially shaped for its function and made of 99.99 percent pure gold (to minimize rejection by the body), are implanted into the upper eyelid by a surgeon to eliminate the symptom of the loss of the eyelid blinking function due to the inability of the eyelids to fully close. The underlying cause is paralysis of facial nerves.

The external sizing weights, also specially shaped for its function and made of 99.5 percent tantalum, will be imported in wood boxes containing separate compartments for six weights made to weigh exactly .2 gram apart. The Occuloplastic Surgeon will temporarily attach each to the outside of the eyelid to diagnose the severity of the condition, thus enabling the surgeon to decide what weight to implant into the eyelid. Insufficient weight will not cause the eyelids to close completely and excess weight can cause deformation of the eye itself.

The hypoallergenic adhesive strips hold the sizing weight in place during the diagnosis.

You believe that these items are classifiable under HTS 9817.00.96.

This is contrary to U.S. Note 4 to HTS Chapter 98, Subchapter 17 in that:

1. Although the condition can eventually lead to corneal ulceration and worse if eye drops or ointments are not applied on a regular basis, you have provided no evidence that the patient is suffering from a physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities as required by Note 4-a.

2. The weights are therapeutic, even curative, noting the “92 % success rate” cited in the article you supplied by Dr. Townsend. It does not affect the underlying cause, the paralysis, but it does routinely eliminate the symptom that is the problem. The sizing weights are diagnostic. They are thus both excluded by Note 4-a-iii.

The applicable subheading for the eyelid weight implants will be 9021.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for, inter alia, appliances implanted in the body to compensate for a defect. The general rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the external eyelid sizing weights will be 9018.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “other”, non-electro instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences. The general rate of duty will be free.

We are not able to rule upon the classification of the adhesive strips. We are returning your request for a classification ruling regarding the strips, and any related samples, exhibits, etc., because of non-conformity with the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177). Additional information is required as indicated below: 1. A sample of the strips, after the final packing in Canada. 2. Identification of the component materials in the adhesive strip. 3. Explanation of what makes the strips hypoallergenic. 4. Statement concerning whether the USA maker of the strips sells the “finished product”, whether or not in the same lengths, to other purchasers for other uses than attaching sizing weights. If so, who are the other purchasers and what purposes are those strips used for?

When this information is available, you may wish to consider resubmission of your request. If you decide to resubmit your request, please include all of the material that we have returned to you.

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 James Sheridan at 212-637-7037.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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