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NY K83134

March 8, 2004
CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:103 K83134


TARIFF NO.: 8479.89.9897

Mr. Helmie A. Ashiblie
Ashiblie & Kim
13123 Rock Ridge Lane
Woodbridge, VA 22191-1021

RE: The tariff classification of an inkjet auto refill system from Malaysia

Dear Mr. Ashiblie:

In your letter dated January 20, 2004 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The Inké® Inkjet Auto Refill System is used to refill empty inkjet cartridges. The user does not have to manually puncture a hole in the original inkjet cartridge in order to refill it. He simply inserts the empty original cartridge along with the Inké® ink tank into the device’s refill tray, closes the tray and pushes the start button. The refill ink is forced from the ink tank into the cartridge by means of pressurized air. The Inké® ink tank has an ink capacity of 40ml. Filling time for a cartridge is approximately two to three minutes. The refill system is designed only for HP51645 (HP45), HP51640 (HP40) and C6615 (HP15) original cartridges. The battery-operated device measures 200mm x 125mm x 190mm and weighs 1074g. For proper storage, the protective tank should be inserted in the device when not in use. The Inké® Inkjet Auto Refill System contains the following: (1) battery-operated refill device (required 4 “AA” batteries not included), (2) three ink tanks and (3) one protective tank. In your letter, you indicate that the product will be manufactured in Malaysia and shipped from Singapore.

General Rule of Interpretation (GRI)1, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order. Goods that are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, are classifiable in accordance with GRI 3, HTS. GRI 3(a) states in part that when two or more headings each refer to a part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific, even if one heading gives a more precise description of the goods.

The instant refill kit consists of at least two different articles that are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings. It consists of articles put up together to carry out a specific activity (i.e., refill inkjet cartridges). Finally, the articles are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Therefore, the kit in question is within the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” GRI 3(b) states in part that goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a), are to be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. It is the opinion of this office that the refill device imparts the essential character to this kit.

In your letter, you suggest that the Inké® Inkjet Auto Refill System may be eligible for classification in subheading 8422.30.9140, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides, in part, for machinery for filling, closing, sealing or labeling bottles, cans, boxes, bags or other containers. Not every article which can contain something is a container for purposes of heading 8422 and, likewise, not every machine which fills an article is a container filling machine provided for in heading 8422. A bag or box is recognized as a container in the language of subheading 8422.30.91, HTS. However, an inkjet cartridge is not commonly or commercially considered to be a container. It is an article in its own right. Indeed, in this case, the cartridges being refilled are not merely ink holders. They incorporate print heads in the housings. They can be considered as being akin to the aircartridges discussed in HQ ruling 958546 dated February 5, 1996. Each aircartridge consisted of a shell filled with compressed air, a projectile and a mechanical valve. Spent aircartridges were refilled by means of a reloading press. In that case, the mechanical device for refilling spent aircartridges was classified in subheading 8479.89.95 (the precursor to current subheading 8479.89.98, HTS). Consequently, it is our opinion that subheading 8422.30.9140, HTS, does not apply to the imported Inké® Inkjet Auto Refill System.

The applicable subheading for the Inké® Inkjet Auto Refill System 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.

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 Robert Losche at 646-733-3011.


Robert B. Swierupski

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