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NY I80778

May 15, 2002

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:104 I80778


TARIFF NO.: 8456.10.8000; 8479.89.9897

Mr. Karl F. Krueger
Danzas AEI Customs Brokerage Services
29200 Northwestern Highway
Southfield, MI 48034

RE: The tariff classification of a laser cutting machine and parts handler from Switzerland

Dear Mr. Krueger:

In your letter dated March 28, 2002 (received April 18, 2002) on behalf of Ferronics, Inc. of Fairport, NY you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You are requesting the classification of a laser cutting machine and parts feeder when imported separately. Literature has been provided for the laser. Although there is no literature on the parts feeder, a video has been provided to supplement the description in your letter.

The Laser-Microjet is a waterjet guided laser cutting machine which is said to combine the advantages of both waterjet and laser cutting. This allows the laser to be focused more precisely for a cleaner cut and also cools the work surface. In addition to the water pump, laser source and CNC control, the machine includes a high precision work table with motors mounted on a granite bed in a welded steel frame. The parts feeder loads ferrite cores to be cut onto a jig which is then manually secured to the work table of the laser cutting machine.

You say that the literature demonstrates that the primary purpose of this machine is to cut and etch silicon wafers. Although this particular machine will be used to cut ferrite cores, you say there is no difference between this machine and one imported for the primary purpose of working silicon wafers. You believe that following Additional U. S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), the correct classification is to be determined with the use in the United States of goods of that class to which the imported goods belong and that the controlling use is the principal use. Therefore you would classify the Laser-Microjet under HTS subheading 8456.10.6000 which provides for machine tools operated by laser for use in the production of semiconductor wafers; lasers for cutting contacting tracks in semiconductor production.

The literature for the Laser-Microjet indicates that it can be used for cutting, drilling and micro-milling, engraving, thin film ablation and surface structuring. Materials that can be processed include almost all metals and their alloys, various plastics, ceramics and fibre composites. In addition to the literature, you provided an article on the waterjet-guided laser in wafer cutting which appears to indicate that this technology is in a developmental stage. In fact, this office is unaware of any waterjet-guided lasers from any other manufacturer. To our knowledge, the only use that can be confirmed and therefore at present the principal use in the U.S. for this type of machine is to work ferrite cores.

In your followup response of April 24, 2002 to questions from this office, you indicate that the Laser-microjet is made to handle many types of material including silicon wafer material, ferrites, thin films, etc. The machine will cut all the materials without modification. The difference is in the method used to hold the material on the laser table and the software programming for the specific material. Machines of a class or kind used to process semiconductor wafers have a dedicated wafer handling system. Your machine as imported is not dedicated in any way to the processing of semiconductor wafers.

The parts feeder is an independent machine used to place the ferrite cores onto spindles. The unit has its own power source and controls, and basically consists of a rotating bowl, a track, and a “finger”. The bowl feeds the donut-shaped cores one by one along the track. At the end of the track the “finger”, which appears to be a short metal bar, pushes the core into a jig. The jig is a rectangular frame containing several vertical, parallel spindles. As the core reaches the end of the jig it falls through a hole and drops onto the spindle. This process is rapidly and continuously repeated until the stack of cores reaches the top of the spindle. The jig is then indexed forward, bringing the next spindle into position. When all the spindles have been filled, the jig is manually removed from the feeder machine and placed in the laser cutter.

The applicable subheading for the Laser-Microjet, with or without the parts feeder, will be 8456.10.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for machine tools for working any material by removal of material by laser : operated by laser or other light or photon beam processes: other: other. The rate of duty will be 2.4 percent.

The applicable subheading for the parts feeder imported separately will be 8479.89.9897, HTS, which provides for machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere (in chapter 84): other machines and mechanical appliances: other: other: other: other. The rate of duty will be 2.5 percent.

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 Robert Losche at 646-733-3011.


Robert B. Swierupski

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