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NY R00499

July 9, 2004
CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:104 R00499


TARIFF NO.: 8456.10.8000

Ms. Rhonda L. Jones
Heart of Texas Custom Brokers
417 East Dallas Road
Grapevine, Texas 76051

RE: The tariff classification of laser marking machines from England

Dear Ms. Jones:

In your letter dated June 28, 2004 on behalf of Spectrum Technologies PLC you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You describe UV laser wire marking machines designed for the processing of single core wires and multicore cables employed in the aerospace and other industries. The machines are capable of marking, measuring and cutting of wire from 26 AWG up to 4 AWG. All are described as class1 laser products designed for use on the open shop floor. All will be imported with powered or unpowered dereelers and coiling pans for the feeding and collecting of the wire.

Literature on the manufacturer’s website indicates that the Capris 50 Series is designed for low volume applications. The Capris 50-100 is the only bench top unit while the Capris 50-200 and 50-300 are floor standing machines. The Capris 60 is for medium to high volume production and the Capris 100 is for high volume manufacturing applications.

All models have UV solid state Nd:YAG lasers except for the Capris 100 which has a UV xenon chloride excimer laser. You state that these machines do not remove any material when marking. The laser marks the insulation material, not the metal wire itself. The laser beam is focussed through a computer controlled mask containing all the alpha-numeric characters. The cutting-to-length of the marked wire is performed mechanically, not by the laser. All models have cutting modules of some type for this purpose.

It is your opinion that the machinery should be classified under 8479.89.9897 at 2.5% as machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter.

In the wire marking technology section of the manufacturer’s website, it is indicated that there are two main groups of lasers. IR lasers interact with or process materials primarily by thermal means, i.e., by direct heating. UV/visible lasers on the other hand enable materials to be “cold” processed; they create little or no heat effect in the work piece. UV is also referred to as a “non-aggressive” process.

The cold UV laser wire marking process developed by Spectrum is based upon a change in color of TiO2 particles already contained within the wire insulation. The crystalline structure is rearranged on a microscopic scale. The rearrangement is permanent for all practical purposes. This gives the TiO2 a blackish color hence creating a marked surface. There is no burning, no significant (emphasis added) material removal or change in the wire’s mechanical or electrical properties. The mark is embedded to a depth typically of the order of 20 microns (0.0008 inch).

Subheading 8456.10.8000 of the HTS provides for machine tools for working any material by removal of material operated by laser or other light or photon beam processes. Although their purpose is to effect marking by a color change, the Capris laser wire markers do remove material, albeit a microscopic amount.

The applicable subheading for the Capris Laser Markers will be 8456.10.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for machine tools for working any material by removal of material : operated by laser or other light or photon beam processes: other: other. The rate of duty will be 2.4 percent.

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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