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NY J84466

May 23, 2003

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:104 J84466


TARIFF NO.: 8421.39.8030; 8417.80.0000

Mr. John McLoughlin
Ernst & Young LLP
5 Times Square
New York, NY 10036

RE: The tariff classification of gas scrubbers from Singapore

Dear Mr. McLoughlin:

In your letter dated May 5, 2003 on behalf of ATMI, Inc. of Danbury, Connecticut you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Literature has been provided for four gas scrubbing machines:

1. Vector - Wet Exhaust Gas Conditioner (Models: Ultra 3000, 3500, 5000, and 6000); 2. CDO - Controlled Decomposition Oxidation (Models: 859 and 863); 3. Novapure - Effluent Gas Scrubber (Model: EGS-237); and 4. Guardian - Gas Protective System (Models: GS-4 and GS-8)

The Vector is a wet scrubber designed to remove acidic and high particulate bearing gases commonly used in the wafer fabrication process. It features a two-stage water system. The primary stage uses a co-current, cylindrical packed-column design with high recirculating water flow while a counter-current second stage provides further treatment of the effluent gases.

The CDO oxidation and water treatment scrubbers use a combination of wet scrubbing and thermal oxidation to treat solid particulate and acid gas applications in a single unit. Initial scrubbing of soluble gases and particulate removal occurs in the primary cooling/scrubbing section and is accomplished via constant water spray. The secondary section removes additional water-soluble gases and fine particulate by employing a counter current water spray over a packed bed media. The thermal reaction section features a cylindrical liner contained within a resistance heating element.

The Novapure dry chemical scrubbers adsorb and concentrate hazardous effluent with consumable resins. This technology is typically used for ion implant applications. The unit offers a chemisorptive resin technology which irreversibly reacts with process gases and their by-products, forming non-volatile solids.

The Guardian active oxidation scrubbers are point-of-use emission abatement devices that thermally oxidize and decompose process gases. There are two main processes involved: first, waste gases are forced through a wall of flame as the gases are drawn into a combustion area; second, clean air is pumped through the machine’s oxidizer which provides oxygen for combustion and dynamically positions the flame and cools the exhaust gas stream. You indicate that the Guardian cannot properly operate if both these functions do not exist. You also state that the Guardian possesses a control which determines the amount of clean airflow that is introduced into the process.

You propose that all four types of scrubbers should be classified under HTS subheading 8421.39.8030 which provides for filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus for gases: other: other. We agree except for the Guardian. You suggest that the Guardian incorporates the characteristics of an air purifier and an incinerator. In addition to burning the hazardous gases, it mixes the toxic material with clean air. Since the functions are equally essential and the principal function cannot be determined, GRI 3(c) results in classification of the Guardian under heading 8421.

Your exhibit 4 describes the Guardian’s principle of operation. As the gases pass through the flame into the swirl chamber, they are met with a perpendicular flow of air drawn through the top of the cabinet into the combustion chamber air intake. The perpendicular airflow provides shear to the ignited spent process gases, causing them to swirl and completely mix with air. The swirling action increases the time gases spend in the reaction chamber, prevents silane from forming a self-protecting bubble, ensures complete combustion, and cools the gases before they exit the combustion chamber. A deflector forces the reacted gases into the middle of the swirl chamber to ensure that the burning process gases are well mixed with the incoming air. The reaction thermodynamics are balanced with intake airflow to keep the exhaust temperature below the high temperature limit switch, which is factory set at 392 degrees F (200 degrees C).

The General Notes to Chapter 84 of the Harmonized Tariff System’s Explanatory Notes discuss the General Arrangement of the Chapter in part (B). Item (B)(2) on page 1394 states that headings 8402 to 8424 cover the other machines and apparatus which are classified mainly by reference to their function, and regardless of the field of industry in which they are used. Based on the above description of the Guardian’s principle of operation, the introduction of the perpendicular flow of air does not appear to be a separate air filtration process. It is an aid to the complete combustion of the gases. The Guardian essentially functions as an incinerator or furnace.

The applicable subheading for the Vector, CDO and Novapure gas scrubber models will be 8421.39.8030, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for filtering or purifying machinery and apparatus for gases: other: other. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the Guardian model scrubbers will be 8417.80.0000, HTS, which provides for industrial or laboratory furnaces and ovens, including incinerators, non-electric, and parts thereof: other, except parts. The rate of duty will be 3.9 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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