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HQ 563000

April 29, 2004

MAR-2 RR:CR:SM 563000 KSG


H. Dale Snowder
Qal-Tek Associates
3998 Commerce Cr.
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401

RE: Eligibility of TR Limiters for a duty exemption under subheading 9801.00.1010

Dear Mr. Snowder:

This is in response to your letter of March 4, 2004, addressed to the National Commodity Specialist Division, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Your letter was forwarded to our office for reply. You asked if the T.R. Limiters, which are made in the U.S., are eligible for a duty exemption under subheading 9801.00.10 of the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (“HTSUS”).


The imported article involved in this case is a TR Limiter, a microwave receiver protector tube that is used to protect the mixer diodes in a radar receiver from burning out as a result of RF power coming from other radars. Their primary use is in commercial aircraft.

The TR Limiters were manufactured in the U.S. and installed in aircraft in the U.S. The aircraft fly internationally. The TR Limiters occasionally malfunction while the aircraft is overseas. Qal-Tek wants to import the U.S.-origin TR Limiters for either repair or disposal.


Is the TR Limiter eligible for duty free status under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, upon importation into the U.S.?


Based on the facts presented, CBP has determined that the returned TR Limiters would be classified in subheading 8529.90.9520, HTSUS.

Subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, provides that products of the United States when returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad can be entered duty free, provided the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.1 are satisfied.

The Customs court held in Border Brokerage Company, Inc. v. United States, 314 F. Supp. 788 (1970), that tomatoes of American origin were entitled to duty free entry under item 800.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) (the predecessor to subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS). The tomatoes were shipped to Canada where they were unloaded, unpacked, sorted, graded by color and size, and repacked. The court stated that the test to be applied in item 800.00 cases is whether the merchandise of American origin has itself (apart from its container) been the object of advancement in value or improvement in condition while abroad.

Customs held in Headquarters Ruling Letter 556131, dated October 28, 1991, that U.S. chip capacitors sent abroad to be tested and inspected did not advance in value or improve in condition the product.

In the instant case, there is no overseas processing performed. The TR Limiters are not improved in condition or advanced in value abroad. Therefore, we find that the TR Limiters are entitled to classification under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, upon importation into the U.S., provided the applicable documentary requirements are satisfied.

We note that you mentioned in your letter that the TR Limiters contain a certain amount of radioactive materials. We recommend that you contact the appropriate U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offices to confirm that these products meet the applicable entry requirements.


The TR Limiter is eligible for duty free entry under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, upon importation into the U.S., provided the documentary requirements of 19 CFR 10.1 are satisfied.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is entered. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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