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May 7, 1999

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:MM:106 E80791


TARIFF NO.: 8419.81.9080

Mr. Stephen Leahy
Leahy & Ward, LLP
175 Derby Street - Suite 9
Hingham, MA 02043

RE: The tariff classification of meal delivery systems from France

Dear Mr. Leahy:

In your letters dated April 15 and April 28, 1999, on behalf of Servolift Eastern Corporation, you requested a tariff classification ruling. You submitted descriptive literature and a video on the subject merchandise. The video is being returned, as requested, under separate cover.

Your request asks for the classification of two general types of meal delivery systems: the Transtronic Classic and the SingleTray Transtronic or STS. These systems are designed for delivery of food service in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and the like.

Each model within the Classic group, except one, is designed to keep cold foods cold on one side of a food delivery cart and to reheat previously prepared hot foods on the other side. The hot food side heats (rethermalizes) food, prepared at an earlier time, in heating compartments containing from 16 to 24 individual aluminum shelves, depending on the specific model, with each shelf having conductive heating elements built in. The food in the cold food compartment is chilled using either a cold wall system with a built-in refrigeration unit (in the Fresh cart models) or using a passive cold system employing chill plates or by placing the cart inside a walk-in refrigerator (in the non-Fresh cart models). The Classic heated-only cart, model THC-16, has only a heated compartment with no cold compartment at all.

The STS group utilizes a single tray meal delivery system. The STS models use a different heating shelf array than the Classic models. The STS heating shelf covers two-thirds of each tray in order to allow for heating up to two-thirds of the prepared meal. There is a Fresh-type and a non-Fresh type STS system. Like the Classic system, the Fresh STS system incorporates a refrigeration unit while the non-Fresh models do not. The shelves of the STS models will not operate unless there is a tray in place. In the STS models there is a movable tray divider which separates the hot and cold food according to menu selection. This divider allows for each tray to have two areas, one hot and one cold, for up to two-thirds for each. The divider is placed on the tray and through the use of magnetic contacts in the divider and the control system, instructions are provided to the shelf as to how much the shelf should be heated. Cold foods remain cold and hot foods are rethermalized.

Based on the description of the merchandise in your submission, the principal function of these composite units is imparted by the rethermalization process and not the chilling or refrigerating function.

The applicable subheading for the Classic and STS food delivery cart systems will be 8419.81.9080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other machinery, plant or equipment for making hot drinks or for cooking or heating food. The rate of duty will be free.

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 Patrick J. Wholey at 212-637-7036.


Robert B. Swierupski

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