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HQ 967879

November 8, 2005

CLA-2 RR:CTF:TCM 967879ptl


TARIFF NO.: 9033.00.00

Ms. Joan Studeny
Customs Brokers/Trade Consultants
572 South Fifth Street
Pembina, ND 58271

RE: Manual Retractable Ceiling Column and Delta Equipment Manager

Dear Ms. Studeny:

This is in response to your letter, dated July 27, 2005, to the Customs and Border Protection National Commodity Specialist Division requesting a binding tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, (HTSUS) for products referred to as a “Delta Equipment Manager” and a “Manual Retractable Ceiling Column.” Your letter was forwarded to this office for response.


The first article, referred to as a “Delta Equipment Manager,” is a support system which can be used in surgical suites, surgical theaters or wherever there is a need for ready access to specialized anesthesia and/or surgical monitoring equipment, gasses/medical air, electrical power and communication service. It consists of a ceiling plate, a suspension arm, electrical outlets, outlets for various types of gasses such as nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and vacuum and evacuation gas services, and a shelf to hold various instruments. Models of the "Delta Equipment Manager" vary from a height of 9 inches to 41 inches depending on optional configurations of outlets. The “Delta Equipment Manager” is also equipped with nurse call, monitoring, video, data, phone, bed-interface, room and exam light switches as well as electrical receptacles and grounding plugs, and data/communication service conduits.

The “Manual Retractable Ceiling Column” is also intended for use in a medical environment. It is described as a high-capacity, ceiling mounted, gas and electrical service column for anesthesia and perfusion. It is configured to provide up to 10 gas services, mounted on the bottom face, and up to 18 duplex or simplex 20 amp 110v outlets.

Both products are designed to support or be used during anesthesia and/or surgical procedures. Because the products are supported from the ceiling, they provide an uncluttered floor area for more economic use of floor space and greater flexibility in room utilization.

In your ruling request, you suggest that the products would be classified in subheading 9033.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for parts and accessories for machines, appliances, instruments or apparatus of chapter 90.


What is the classification under the HTSUS of products referred to as "Delta Equipment Manager" and a “Manual Retractable Ceiling Column”?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

In HQ 954174, dated November 23, 1993, CBP (then the Customs Service) considered the classification of products referred to as “Ceiling Service Units.” The description of the articles classified in that ruling, and the uses for which they are intended, is extremely compatible with the description and uses of the “Delta Equipment Manager” and the “Manual Retractable Ceiling Column” we are considering.

HQ 954174 first addressed the possibility that the ceiling service units were considered “accessories” that are classifiable in Chapter 90. The ruling referred to HQ 087704, dated September 27, 1990, wherein this office considered the classification of "accessories" under the HTSUS, and stated as follows:

The term "accessory" is not defined in either the tariff schedule or the Explanatory Notes. An accessory is generally an article which is not necessary to enable the goods with which it is used to fulfill their intended function. An accessory must be identifiable as being intended solely or principally for use with a specific article. Accessories are of secondary importance, not essential in and of themselves. They must, however, somehow contribute to the effectiveness of the principal article (e.g., facilitate the use or handling of the principal article, widen the range of its uses, or improve its operation).

In determining whether the ceiling service units being classified should be considered accessories for tariff purposes, CBP stated:

The ceiling service units are not necessary to enable the instruments with which they are used to fulfill their intended function, as the instruments would operate and handle effectively when plugged in to ordinary wall outlets. However, by placing all instrumentation on a single base, the units facilitate the use of a room without the inconvenience of cluttering the floor with connecting cables and hoses. They also create more space around the center of activity for attendants and observers, thereby making more efficient utilization of work space. Thus, while the units do not improve the operation of any single instrument, they contribute to the effectiveness of all the instruments with which they are used. Accordingly, it is our opinion that the units in question are "accessories" for articles of chapter 90.

HQ 954174 continued to state:

Note 2 to chapter 90 governs the classification of parts and accessories for machines, apparatus, instruments or articles of chapter 90. It states that they are to be classified according to the following rules:

(a) Parts and accessories which are goods included in any of the headings of this chapter or of chapter 84, 85 or 91 . . . are in all cases to be classified in their respective headings; (b) Other parts and accessories, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, instrument, or apparatus, or with a number of machines, instruments or apparatus of the same heading . . . are to be classified with the machines, instruments or apparatus of that kind; (c) All other parts and accessories are to be classified in heading 9033.

Next, HQ 954174 determined that the ceiling service units were not "goods included" in any chapter 84, 85, 90 or 91 heading, nor were they principally used with a number of machines, instruments or apparatus of a single chapter 90 heading. For example, the units could be used in an operating room with instruments of heading 9018, HTSUS, as well as, in an intensive care unit with instruments of heading 9019, HTSUS. Thus, HQ 954174 decided it was necessary to resort to note 2(c) to chapter 90.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Co-operation Council's official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings.

With regard to note 2(c), the general EN to chapter 90 states that "[p]arts or accessories suitable for use with several categories of machines, appliances, instruments or apparatus falling in different headings of this Chapter are classified in heading 90.33 [emphasis in original]." In HQ 954174, the “Ceiling Services Units” were classified under subheading 9033.00.00, HTSUS. Because of the similarity of the goods classified in that ruling and those currently under consideration, we have determined that the instant goods should be classified under the same subheading.


The “Manual Retractable Ceiling Column” and the “Delta Equipment Manager” are classifiable under subheading 9033.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for parts and accessories not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter for machines, appliances, instruments or apparatus of chapter 90. The 2005 corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading is 4.4% ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov.


Gail A Hamill, Chief

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