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NY K82477

February 11, 2004
CLA-2-90:RR:NC:N1:105 K82477


TARIFF NO.: 9018.90.7560

Ms. Fran Tallant
Hitachi America, Ltd. Import/Export Office 50 Prospect Avenue
Tarrytown, NY 10591-4698

RE: The tariff classification of a Proton Beam Therapy System from Japan

Dear Ms. Tallant:

In your final letter dated January 16, 2004, you requested a tariff classification ruling. No sample was submitted.

Your import is a Proton Beam Therapy System (PBTS).

The PBTS is a clinically proven localized form of radiation therapy in which a proton beam is directed solely at a tumor lying deep within the patient’s body in order to destroy the tumor. This form of radiation therapy is used to destroy cancer cells, while reducing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

Proton Beam Therapy utilizes proton beams instead of X-rays. Because protons cause little damage to the tissues they pass through, but are very effective in killing cells at the end of the path, they can deliver more radiation to the cancer while reducing side effects on nearby normal tissues.

The Proton Medical Research Center at University of Tsukuba site, which is linked to one of the sites you cited in your letter, indicates that, like x-rays, the protons do damage the cells that they pass through, but they do much more damage when they slow down after having passed through several inches of the patient’s body, stopping shortly thereafter. Unlike x-rays, there is thus no damage to the cells further inside the body than the area, normally of cancerous cells, targeted for destruction.

Your information indicates that your item does have x-ray sources, however, it appears that the x-rays are only used in subsidiary function of patient positioning, not in the therapy. We take it that your import is not involved in “cancer-fighting radiation used in X-ray therapy (protons)” as indicated in your 4-9-03 letter.

You indicate that all the imported components will be in one shipment, but not all the components will be imported.

You state, “The country of origin of 95% of the PBTS components will be Japan, the balance being the LINAC (one of the components of the Accelerator System), and some installation related equipment such as cables, distribution panels, terminal boxes etc.). The LINAC will be of U.S. origin.”

Noting General Rule of Interpretation 2-a, we consider your import to be an incomplete, unassembled PBTS.

The applicable subheading for your import will be 9018.90.7560, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “other” electro-medical instruments and appliances. The rate of duty will be free.

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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