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NY F87887

June 30, 2000

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:105 F87887


TARIFF NO.: 9018.49.8000

Ms. Roxanne Peiffer
Norman G. Jenson, Inc.
3950 Metro Drive Ste. 300
Minneapolis, MN 55425

RE: The tariff classification of dental acquisition and milling equipment

Dear Ms. Peiffer:

In your letter, dated June 2, 2000, for Patterson Dental, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The catalog and other information indicate that the CEREC 3 is a system that allows dentists to create ceramic tooth restorations in the dental office. In use in a given dental office, there will be one or more acquisition (imaging) units and one or more milling units. The units can be in separate rooms and typically communicate by short-range radio signals. The acquisition unit can scan either the inside of the patient’s mouth directly or a dental impression made by the dentist or dental assistant to produce a set of instructions to precisely guide the milling unit in its grinding of the ceramic cap or other tooth element that will be bonded to the patient’s other teeth. Those instructions can be stored, rather than being carried out immediately, if, for example, the milling unit has already started another job.

It is clear that when entire systems are imported, they are classifiable in 9018.49 as other instruments and appliances, used in dental sciences. They have no other use, and Explanatory Note II to Harmonized System heading 9018 clarifies that it includes the specialized equipment that is used either to determine the dimensions of the crown or other insert needed or to produce that insert for the patient. The systems are, at minimum, “functional units.” See note 3 to HTS Chapter 90.

You indicate that some shipments may have only acquisition units or milling units.

Although neither unit can perform any useful function independently, the fact that each of the two is so large and sophisticated (costing between $40,000 to $50,000 each) and so physically removed from each other in operation, it is not appropriate the consider them either parts or accessories for Tariff purpose. Each seems to be too necessary to the other in performing its distinct functions to be an accessory to the other, and it is not at all clear which would be more reasonably considered the accessory, as opposed to the main item. Even when imported separately, the capability of acquisition within the patient’s mouth for the imager and of grinding only tooth sized and shaped ceramic articles for the milling unit are, for each, sufficient to recognize them as specially designed for dental work. We note that in the “old-fashioned” dentistry described in the ENs that this equipment replaces, the equipment to produce dental impressions in a dental office are not parts or accessories of the equipment to produce the crowns, etc (routinely used by a technician miles away) and vice versa even though both processes are necessary for the patient to get a properly made insert. Since we do not consider them to be parts or accessories, it is not relevant for classification that they apparently could be classified individually in 8464 or 8537 (Note 2-a to HTS Chapter 90 distinguished.)

The applicable subheading for shipments of the Cerec 3 system and of the acquisition and milling units imported separately will be 9018.49.8080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for, inter alia, “other” instruments and appliances used in dental sciences. The general 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 James Sheridan at 212-637-7037.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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