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NY F81194

January 24, 2000

CLA-2-59:RR:NC:TA:350 F81194


TARIFF NO.: 5911.90.0080

Ms. Linda Heidebrecht
Mitsubishi International Corporation
333 South Hope Street, Suite 2500
Los Angeles, CA 90071

RE: The tariff classification of a filter element and filter modules, that incorporate such elements into a unit, for use in waste water purification treatment, etc., from Japan.

Dear Ms. Heidebrecht:

In your letter dated December 20, 1999, you requested a classification ruling.

Your letter requests classification of two items: a filter element and a filter module which incorporates therein such filter elements. Both of these products, according to your correspondence, are designed for use in conjunction with other equipment (e.g., pumps and tanks) to be utilized in a commercial waste water treatment system for water purification. During operation, the filter module (containing the filter elements) will be submerged in untreated water to perform the filtering operation.

Specifically, the filter element, itself, consists of a series of closely spaced, microporous polyethylene hollow filament membranes, which are suspended across and connected to two plastic aeration tubes at each end. A small representative filter element, that could be used in a test laboratory was furnished. The hollow filament measured about 4 inches across and the attached aeration tubes about 4 ¾ inches long.

The filter module, itself, consists of a series of such filter elements working in tandem, which will later be encased in a metal frame for support. During operation, the filter module (containing the filter elements) is submerged in untreated water to perform the actual filtering operation. It will work as follows: Each hollow fiber membrane contains the pores through which water will pass into the fiber membrane. Most of the bacteria and suspended solids in the water will be trapped on the outer surface of the membrane. After entering the fiber membrane, the water will be sucked into and through the plastic aeration tubes. (The water will be sucked by a pump, which is part of the water treatment system or water purification system, but will not be imported with either the filter element or module).

Your letter further indicates that you plan to import different sizes of such filter elements and filter modules for commercial use, however, all will function as described above. Also, you state that you will likely import some filter modules with slightly different configurations, although all will have the same basic components and functions. This will not affect the final classification of the merchandise.

You believe that these products are properly classifiable in subheading 8421.99.0040 as “parts of machinery and apparatus for filtering or purifying water” and cite NY ruling A88742 in support of your claim. However, the therein subject material was filter membrane sheet and not in filament form as is your material. The polyethylene hollow fiber filaments of this letter measure, according to the literature, several hundred ìm in diameter, which, also from observation, is less than 1 millimeter in maximum cross sectional dimension. This filament, by its dimension, is textile by Tariff definition.

A similar filament, in size and function, was held to be a textile monofilament in the Customs Court case of Baxter Healthcare Corp. v. United States (slip Op. 98-16).

The functioning part of the filter element is textile in nature, and, as such, is considered a textile product for technical use. The filaments are made up into an article for technical use, which is under 5911.90. Section XVI, note 1(e), which covers 8421, excludes therein textile articles for technical use.

The applicable subheading for the two products will be 5911.90.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for textile products and articles, for technical uses. The duty rate will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

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 George Barth at 212-637-7085.


Robert B. Swierupski

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