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NY J87394

August 8, 2003

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:103 J87394


TARIFF NO.: 8479.89.9897

Mr. C.J. Erickson
Hodgson Russ Attorneys LLP
Carnegie Hall Tower
152 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019

RE: The tariff classification of electronic pipettes from Germany

Dear Mr. Erickson:

In your letter dated July 15, 2003 on behalf of Brinkmann Instruments, Inc. you requested a tariff classification ruling.

With your inquiry you submitted a sample of a Research Pro® 12-channel, 20-300 µl electronic pipette. According to information posted on Brinkmann’s Internet site, Eppendorf Research Pro® electronic pipettes are available in both single-channel and multichannel models. The single channel models are capable of pipetting, dispensing, reverse pipetting and diluting liquid volumes ranging from .5µl to 5ml. The multichannel units consist of four 8-channel models for liquid volumes ranging from .5µl to 1200 µl, and three 12-channel models with capacities from .5 µl to 300 µl. All models utilize a stepper motor, controlled by a microprocessor, and a piston to accurately transfer specific liquid volumes. They also incorporate an LED display unit, a tip ejector lever, and a rechargeable nickel-metal hydride battery. A rocker switch located in the pipette handle allows the user to choose the desired dispensing technique, while other switches control the speed and volume of liquid movement. In addition, the microprocessor can store up to 5 programs containing specified pipetting and dispensing sequences.

In your letter you claim that these electronic pipettes measure the flow of liquids and thus should be classified in subheading 9026.10.2080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for instruments and apparatus for measuring or checking the flow or level of liquids: electrical: other. However, the principal function of the various pipette models is to transfer precise amounts of liquid from one laboratory vessel to another. The display, microprocessor, and other electronic elements of these pipettes simply enhance their ability to perform this function. Accordingly, they are not classifiable in subheading 9026.10.2080, HTS.

As these units utilize a stepper motor to control the movement of a piston, they are mechanical devices. Therefore, the applicable subheading for the Eppendorf Research Pro® electronic pipettes 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 ad valorem.

The sample electronic pipette submitted with your ruling request will be returned to you.

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 Alan Horowitz at 646-733-3010.


Robert B. Swierupski

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