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NY I88124

December 4, 2002

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:N1:105 I88124


TARIFF NO.: 9033.00.0000

Mr. George Zaharatos
Marubeni America Corporation
450 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3984

RE: The tariff classification of an XY stage from Japan

Dear Mr. Zaharatos:

In your letters dated September 17 and November 1, 2001, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A XY stage physically handles the small object of interest (a semiconducter wafer for example) to position it with ultra high position on its surface (the XY plane.) You included a sales brochure, dated July 2001, prepared by Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd., which contains pictures of this and other “Nanoplane Series” XY Stages. It indicates that the stage’s movements will be controlled by a personal computer which will be connected to a host computer. We take it that your imports will not include either of those computers.

We assume the host computer will be attached to a device which includes an emitter of beams (electron, laser, ultraviolet, etc) which will strike within the small object. The purpose of striking it with the beam at a precise location will either be to make microscopic changes to it or to gain information about it from the reflections, received and analyzed by various devices. The stager moves the object to precisely the exact location needed as instructed by the computer.

You describe your import as follows: “The ultra precision XY stage, SLHUS-370, features positioning precision of less than + 10 nanometers (nm) using a non-contact linear motor drive and air bearings, that has a 370 X 370 millimeter (nm) stroke. It has a maximum speed of 300 mm per second and a position resolution of 0.69nm using the standard optical encoder. SLHUS-370 integrates a disturbance observer control system, which reduces error caused by disturbance and motion, and an anti-yawing control system for enhanced positioning precision. SLHUS-370 also incorporates a granite base and an anti-vibration stand. The country of origin is Japan.

The SLHUS-370 ultra precision XY stage ranges in application and can be used in various machines with specific functions. They include reticle and photo-mask generation, inspection, review and metrology; wafer patterning (lithographic processes); unpatterned and patterned wafer inspection, review and metrology; and FPD (Flat Panel Display) thin film deposition, inspection and repair.

We will be supplying the SHLUS-370 XY stage to semiconductor production toolmakers and flat panel display toolmakers, whose tools’ only application will be for the manufacture of Semiconductors and flat panel displays, respectively. The technologies that will accompany the SLHUS-370 for the manufacture of semiconductors include optical and thermo-optical inspection using UV, DUV (deep ultraviolet) and other laser types. Governed by the size of the defects or contaminants that are being detected, a wavelength of light will be selected in proportion. Additionally, there are applications using electron beam (e-Beam and SEM [scanning electron microscope]) and ion stream (for ultra precision repair technologies. The stage manufacturer and vendor are generally not completely privy to the toolmaker’s technology choice due to confidentiality.”

From your information, it is clear that the specifications used in the production of your import will not be supplied by the maker of the balance of the equipment used in conjunction with it by the end user, so it is not a “part” of anything by the criteria in Headquarters Ruling Letter 965546 GOB, 8/6/02. However, from the above and additional information that you supplied by telephone to NIS B. Kiefer, we believe it is reasonable to consider your item to be identifiable as suitable for use principally with the apparatus of HTS Chapter 90, noting Harmonized System General Explanatory Note III to Chapter 90, while acknowledging that it can be used in conjunction with apparatus which is clearly not classified in 90, such as those designed for ion stream repairs. On the other hand, it is apparently more designed to be used in conjunction with devices classifiable in HTS headings in Chapter 90, including 9010, 9012, and 9031 (especially .41 and .49.)

You propose classification in HTS 8479. However, this office does not agree that it is covered by that heading and it is thus not thereby excluded from Chapter 90 by its Note 2-a. We also do not believe it is excluded by its Note 1-g.

It is not covered by Note 2-b to Chapter 90 since it not identifiable as suitable for use principally with the apparatus of any one heading of HTS Chapter 90,

The applicable subheading for the 370 will be 9033.00.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “other” parts and accessories for machines, appliances, instruments or apparatus of Chapter 90. The rate of duty will be 4.4 percent ad valorem.

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

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 J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012.


Robert B. Swierupski

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