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NY H81049

June 6, 2001

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:MM:105 H81049


TARIFF NO.: 9018.90.75

Mr. Gene Taguchi
Hitachi Transport System (America), Ltd.
1640 West 190th Street
Torrance, CA 90501

RE: The tariff classification of an IV fluid, blood and blood products warmer from Japan

Dear Mr. Taguchi:

In your letter dated May 9, 2001, on behalf of Sanko Trading USA, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample Automated Medical Technologies (AMT) MaxOne Warmer Unit measures approximately 9 inches by 2 inches by 3 inches. It has a grounded electrical cord. It contains a disposable plastic cartridge with male tubing connectors at both ends.

Its purpose is to heat fluids which pass through it and then enter the patient, primarily into the blood stream, to approximately body temperature to reduce the shock that might be caused by a cold liquid. To accomplish this it has a built in electrical heater and a thermostat. It also has several rather sophisticated safety and warning circuits built-in.

You point out that another electrical warmer for fluids introduced into the body was classified in Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) subheading 8543.80 in Headquarters Ruling Letter 081132 PAM dated August 5, 1988. However, that was specifically for dialysis fluids only. Dialysis fluids enter a body cavity, not the blood stream. More importantly, that item was clearly intended for sale directly to the consumers, and its use was an option that some dialysis users chose for comfort rather than safety reasons. It was even supplied with a 12 volt connection so that it could be powered via the cigarette lighter output of an automobile.

This item’s portability is intended to be useful “when the patient is being moved from one area to another”. The return policy assumes that it will be returned by a hospital or clinic, not a consumer. Not only is the cartridge to be disposed of after each use, but the warmer is “programmed for use only a total of 100 times. The unit will not function when turned on the 101st time.” This extreme concern for contamination is characteristic of a medical use.

On balance, it appears this import will be used in the professional practice of medicine to accomplish a medically necessary task.

The applicable subheading for this item will be 9018.90.75, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “other” electro-medical instruments and appliances 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).

The sample is being returned to you in a separate mailing.

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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