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HQ 967262

NOVEMBER 30, 2004

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 967262 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 8207.90.6000

Peter D. Alberdi
A.J. Arango, Inc.
P.O. Box 75062
Tampa, FL 33675-5062

RE: Tattoo Needles; NY J84902 Revoked

Dear Mr. Alberdi:

In NY J84902, which the Director of Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, issued to you on June 6, 2003, on behalf of Creative Sourcing and Development, Ltd., Tampa, FL, certain needles for tattoo machines were found to be classifiable as other parts of machines and mechanical appliances, in subheading 8479.90.94, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed revocation of NY J84902 was published on October 13, 2004, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 38, Number 42. No comments were received in response to that notice.


Samples of the tattoo needles submitted for our review are identical to the ones in NY J84902, except for length. They have a rubber sleeve on one end and may be either a single-tipped needle or, more typically, a group of several very small needles called sharps soldered to a needle bar. They are dipped in ink and used with hand-held, electrically operated tattoo machines which cause a vibratory action that drives the needle in an up-and-down fashion between 50 to 3,000 times a minute. This causes the needle tips to pierce the top layer of skin and deposit the ink into the second or dermal skin layer.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

Interchangeable tools for handtools, whether or not power- operated, or for machine-tools; base metal parts thereof:

Other interchangeable tools, and parts thereof:


Not suitable for cutting metal, and parts thereof:

8207.90.6000 For handtools, and parts thereof

Machines and mechanical appliances, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in [chapter 84], parts thereof:


8479.90.9495 Other


Whether needles for electrically operated tattoo machines are interchangeable tools for power-operated handtools.


Under General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), goods are to be classified according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

Initially, heading 8479 is in Section XVI, HTSUS. Section XVI, Note 1(k) excludes articles of chapter 82 and 83. Thus, if the tattoo needles at issue are goods of chapter 82 or 83, they cannot be classifiable in heading 8479. The classification expressed in NY J84902 was based on erroneous information that the tattoo machine
which utilized the needles did not have a self-contained electric or non-electric motor. In fact, it is now apparent that the tattoo machines are DC coil and spring point machines. In these devices, the coils become electromagnetic by means of current flowing from a DC power supply, via wires, in two directions, through the coils to the adjustable contact screw, and through the frame to the contact spring. Devices that operate in this fashion are known variously as linear electric motors or electrical reciprocating motors. The tattoo machines therefore qualify under heading 8467, HTSUS, as tools for working in the hand, with self-contained electric motor. See NY K87620, dated August 5, 2004. It necessarily follows that tattoo needles solely or principally used with such machines qualify as interchangeable tools for power-operated handtools, of heading 8207.


Under the authority of GRI 1, tattoo needles for electro-magnetically powered hand-held tattoo machines are provided for in heading 8207. They are classifiable in subheading 8207.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The current rate of duty under this provision is 4.3 percent ad valorem. Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUSA and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov.


NY J84902, dated June 3, 2003, is revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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