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April 13, 1999

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:114 E80530


TARIFF NO.: 9011.20.4000

Ms. Machelle Blair
Wal*Mart Stores, Inc.
702 Southwest 8th Street
Bentonville, Arizona, 72716-8023

RE: The tariff classification of Deluxe Microscope Set in Hand Carrying Case from China

Dear Ms. Blair:

In your letter dated April 2, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling. A sample of the Deluxe Microscope Set in Hand Carrying Case was submitted with the ruling request.

The submitted sample of the Deluxe Microscope Set in Hand Carrying Case, identified as vendor stock number 36698, consists of one die cast microscope with 10x, 30x, 60x objective lenses and filter turret, one microphoto, one microviewer, one projector, one drawing device, one 10x - 20x zoom eyepiece, six blank glass slides, six prepared slides, twelve cover glasses, twelve blank labels, twelve statical slide covers, one 3x and 6x magnifier, one vial of shrimp eggs, one vial of eosin, one vial of methylene blue, one vial of sodium chloride, two collecting vials, one stirring rod, one petri dish, three graduated cylinders, one scalpel, one needle, one pair of tweezers, one spatula, one dropper, one pair of safety goggles, one micro hatchery, one pair of scissors, one spare bulb, one condenser lens cap, one micro slicer, two AA batteries and an illustrated instruction manual. The items will be imported packaged together in a closed window display hand carrying cardboard box ready for retail sale.

The microscope measures approximately 11 inches in height with an eyepiece diameter (outside diameter of the lens tube) of more than 5/8 inch and a tube-length (distance between the face where the eyepiece is attached and the face where the objective is attached) of more than 4 3/8 inches. The microscope with adjustable focus has 100x - 200x, 300x to 600x and 600x to 1200x zoom power. The microscope has a lighted magnifier and requires two AA batteries to operate the bulb. The batteries are included. The microscope set includes a microphoto that uses 110 film (the film is not included), microviewer to observe a projection of the sample, projector to project the image and drawing device to trace the projected image with the help of a pencil. The size of the projected image is about 70 mm in diameter.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) set forth the legal framework in which merchandise is to be classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTS). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Goods that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRIs taken in order.

The Deluxe Microscope Set in Hand Carrying Case is a single retail package containing items that are classifiable under several separate headings or subheadings of the tariff. The Explanatory Notes represent the official interpretation of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTS) at the international level. GRI 3 applies when goods are put up for sale collectively and are classifiable under two or more headings of the tariff. GRI 3(b) covers goods put up in sets for retail sale. Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b) defines “goods put up in sets for retail sale”. Such goods: (a) consist of at least two different articles that are classifiable in different headings, (b) consist of products put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

The subject articles, in our opinion, meet the criteria for sets as the terms are defined in the cited Explanatory Notes. For the purposes of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, the merchandise constitutes a set. Having determined that the items constitute a set for tariff classification purposes, we must decide the essential character. According to the Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b), essential character may be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods. The microscope imparts the essential character to the set.

The applicable subheading for the Deluxe Microscope Set in Hand Carrying Case will be 9011.20.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for compound optical microscopes; other microscopes, for photomicrography, cinemicrography or microprojection; provided with a means for photographing the image. The rate of duty will be 3.9 percent ad valorem.

Your sample is being returned as requested.

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 212-637-7058.


Robert B. Swierupski

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