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NY J89270

October 1, 2003

CLA-2-90:RR:NC:N1:105 J89270


TARIFF NO.: 9021.39.0000

Ms. Linda Otto
Ormco Corporation
1332 South Lone Hill Ave.
Glendora, CA 91740

RE: The tariff classification and country of origin of bracket subassemblies from Mexico

Dear Ms. Otto:

In your letter dated September 19, 2003, you requested a tariff classification and county of origin ruling.

You state: “The subassembly consists of a 17-4 stainless steel slide, 17-4 stainless steel insert, and a Nickel-Titanium ‘spring’.

As background information: orthodontic brackets are bonded to a patient’s teeth. Archwire is ’threaded’through slots in the brackets. The combination of archwire and brackets moves the teeth in the desired direction.

In Damon 3 brackets, the stainless steel insert is the part of the bracket containing the slot through which the archwire is threaded. The insert also contains the slide and spring. The function of the slide is to keep the archwire in the bracket. The function of the spring is to keep the slide engaged in the closed position. To remove the archwire, the orthodontist depresses the spring and pushes the slide in a downward motion.

Ormco will import Belgian-origin Nickel-Titanium wire in coils through the port of Los Angeles (7505.22.1000). The wire will be cut and formed to exact spring specifications in the United States. (As is apparent in the enclosed drawing and sample, the finished spring does not resemble what one would consider a traditional coiled spring.)

The slides and inserts are made in Japan. Ormco will import them through the port of Los Angeles. Ormco will ship the slides, inserts, and springs to its maquiladora in Mexico for assembly into Damon 3 bracket insert subassemblies.

The Manufacturing Control Instructions the maquiladora will use to create the subassemblies are included for your reference. Per the procedure, the spring will be mounted in a staking fixture, and an arbor press will be used to place it in the insert (see 5.1-Staking insert/spring procedure). The slide will then be attached to the insert with the assistance of an assembly fixture (see 5.2-Slide insertion procedure).

Ormco will then import the bracket insert subassembly into the United States, where it will be placed in a mold. A polycarbonate substance will be injection molded around the insert subassembly to create the bracket.

Ormco will then ship the bracket with the subassembly in place back to Mexico, where the maquiladora will add a ball basing to the back of the bracket to enable it to better adhere to the tooth. The maquiladora will also color code the bracket with ink and package it before returning it to the United States as a finished product.

Ormco respectfully requests a ruling on the classification and country of origin of the Damon 3 orthodontic bracket subassemblies when imported from Mexico (prior to becoming part of the molded bracket in the United States).

The slide cost is $0.18
The insert cost is $0.55
The spring cost is $0.07

Enclosed for your reference please find a bill of material for a complete bracket, along with:

Drawing and sample of spring (part number 097-2088) Drawing and sample of slide (part number 097-2071) Drawing and sample of insert (part number 097-2061) Drawing and sample of insert sub-assembly (part number 097-0102) Drawing and sample of molded bracket (part number 097-2101) Drawing and sample of finished bracket (part number 490-4020)”

We take the sample in the envelope marked Part 097-0102, Insert Sub-Assembly, to be representative of the “Damon 3 orthodontic bracket subassemblies.”

The bracket subassemblies are assembled from parts clearly machined to your specifications, noting the minute and elaborate machine tooling on their surfaces (about .1 inch by .1 inch) so they are parts, not materials.

The applicable subheading for the bracket subassemblies will be 9021.39.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “other” dental fittings and parts and accessories thereof. The rate of duty will be free.

The Japanese slide and insert would also be classified in 9021.39.0000, noting Headquarters Ruling Letter 965546 GOB, 8-6-02, so the applicable Nafta origin tariff shift in CR 102.20-q is not met.

Since the Nafta Preference Overide in CR 102.19 has to be considered, we note that the bracket subassemblies are not entitled to Nafta Preference since those two pieces fail to meet the tariff shift in HTS General Note 12-t-90.47.

Noting CRs 102.11-b-1 and 102.18-b, the country of origin of the bracket subassemblies is Japan.

The samples are 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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