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NY R00805

October 7, 2004

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:104 R00805


TARIFF NO.: 8480.60.0090; 8524.39.8000; 6809.90.0000

Ms. Linda Otto
Ormco Corporation
1332 South Lone Hill Ave.
Glendora, CA 91740

RE: The tariff classification of an orthodontic system from Mexico

Dear Ms. Otto:

In your letter dated September 8, 2004 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You refer to the Insignia System as a custom orthodontic system for straightening teeth. Ormco uses custom orthodontic software to design custom appliances (orthodontic brackets, jigs, and archwire) for patients. During the course of production, Ormco and its maquiladora ship dental impressions, dental models, and electronic data between Ormco’s facilities in the U.S. and Mexico.

Prior to treatment, an orthodontist wishing to use Ormco’s Insignia system takes an impression of a patient’s teeth using a dental impression material and plastic or metal impression trays. A dental impression is a negative copy of the mouth into which plaster can be poured to create a plaster copy of the mouth. (The dental impression is itself a mold used to make the dental model.) You have attached a sample photo of a dental impression. Ormco recommends that orthodontists use a particular impression material that is a mixture of polydimethyl vinyl siloxane, polydimethyl hydrogen siloxane, silica and paraffin.

The orthodontist will send the impression to Ormco in California along with a patient prescription form. Ormco will ship the dental impression and the prescription form to Mexico where the maquiladora will pour models from the impressions using calcium sulfate hemihydrate (gypsum), and then scan the models. An operator will use software to separate the teeth from their present arch on the monitor and apply dental landmarks to the teeth. Other software will be used to place a bracket in an exact spot on each tooth that will enable the system to achieve a perfectly aligned arch. A jig or positioner is used to position each bracket. Once the brackets are perfectly set, an archwire will be placed through slots in the brackets. Ulltimately, the software creates an image of what the patient’s teeth will look like at the end of treatment: upper and lower teeth aligned and occluded, with brackets and archwires in place. This image is known as the case setup.

After the design of the arch and depiction of the orthodontic hardware on the image has been accomplished, the case setup on a CD will be sent to the U.S. along with the original patient dental impression and the gypsum model made from the impression. Each patient case setup will be saved on its own CD. The CD will contain initial and proposed images of the patient’s mouth and bracket dimension data and templates for archwire. Ormco will use the data to create the brackets, jigs and archwire.

You request the classification for the CD (if not exempt from entry under General Note 3(e)(iii) of the HTSUS), the dental impression and the dental model.

It is our opinion that General Note 3(e)(iii) would not apply in this situation. The data contained on your CD would not be considered to be business, engineering or exploration data for the purposes of this note. (For your information, the Customs valuation of the software is the cost of the carrier medium only noting TD 85-124.)

The applicable subheading for the CD will be 8524.39.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Records, tapes and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded phenomena, including matrices and masters for the production of records, but excluding products of chapter 37: Discs for laser reading systems: Other: Other. The rate of duty will be 2.7 percent.

The applicable subheading for the dental impression will be 8480.60.0090, HTS, which provides for molds for mineral materials. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the dental model will be 6809.90.0000, HTS, which provides for other articles of plaster or of compositions based on plaster: other articles. 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 Robert Losche at 646-733-3011.


Robert B. Swierupski

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