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NY G83497

November 8, 2000

LA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:105 G83497


TARIFF NO.: 9018.49.80

Mr. Robert F. Domey
Fritz Companies
P.O. Box 2874
Champlain, NY 12919

RE: The tariff classification of a Shade Scan System from Germany

Dear Mr. Domey:

In your letter dated October 12, 2000, on behalf of Cortex Machina, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The primary elements of the import will be: 1. A hand-held CCD device that will scan an object lit by its integral, focused, fiber optic light. It is designed so that a disposable aseptic shield can be attached to avoid direct contact with the patient’s mouth. 2. A cradle for the CCD device, when not in use, which has a heating tape to keep the camera lens from fogging and a calibration target which, in conjunction with the PC, will allow color calibration to take place automatically from time to time. 3. The box which produces the light and sends it along a fiber optic cable to the hand-held device. 4. Cables to connect the output of the hand-held device to the input of a standard personal computer (which will not be part of the import). The PC must be capable of running Microsoft 95/98/NT as its operating system. 5. A foot switch, which, when pressed, will cause the PC to “freeze” a single image from the stream of video data being received. 6. CD software and a video card that will enable the PC to perform detailed color analysis of the electronic image of the scanned object.

The system as a whole, after the PC is added, is designed for use in cosmetic dentistry to measure, interpret and record the color shading of a patient’s teeth. Patients prefer the hue and saturation of replacement teeth to match as closely as possible their surrounding teeth. From its shape and size, it appears it will not be very effective in imaging the teeth that are farther back inside the mouth. However, cosmetic considerations such as color matching are of less concern for those teeth.

You propose classification in 8471.60.90 as a computer input device. This office believes it is excluded from Chapter 84 by its note 5-E. It is not a typical input device, nor is it part of an ADP system. It appears to be a machine that works in conjunction with an ADP machine, but performing a specific function, i.e., taking a digital image of a tooth.

In alternative, you propose classification in HTS 9006.59.90. However, that provides for photographic cameras, not video cameras. We note that “still image video cameras and other video camera recorders (heading 8525)” are excluded from HTS Chapter 90 by its note 1-g, but the import is neither since it lacks a storage device.

Per EN II to Harmonized System Heading 9018, it includes tools used by dental mechanics to produce replacement teeth, if those tools are not of general use. It is clear that the information derived from highly accurate color images of teeth is normally of use only to dental mechanics and dentists and will be gathered only by dentists or dental technicians. The focused optical fiber lamp, foot switch, provision for the addition of a shield, and special cradle seem to indicate that, independent of the software and video card, there is no other commercial use for this equipment. Therefore, by analogy to dental mechanics’ tools, these devices are also “Instruments and Apparatus Used in...Dental...Sciences...".

The CD software and the video card will be separately classifiable due to Note 6 to Chapter 85 of the HTS, and their value for Customs purposes will be only the value of the medium, not the value of the content. NYRL B86452, 6-19-97, noted.

The applicable subheading for the balance will be 9018.49.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “other” instruments and appliances used in dental sciences, and parts and accessories thereof. 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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