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NY L88587

November 15, 2005

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:104 L88587


TARIFF NO.: 8479.89.9897

Ms. Kari Way
Biotrace, Inc.
Ruskinn Life Sciences-NorthAmerica
7537 State Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45255

RE: The tariff classification of anaerobic and hypoxia workstations from Wales

Dear Ms. Way:

In your letter dated October 27, 2005 you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Literature has been provided for anaerobic and hypoxia workstations. The anaerobic models include the Bugbox, Concept 400, Concept Plus and Concept 1000 while the microanaerobic models include the Bugbox-M and Concept 400-M. The hypoxia models include the Invivo2 200, Invivo2 400 and Invivo2 1000 and are imported with a gas mixer module which is generally mounted on the workbench next to the workstation. All models feature a rapid transfer interlock and the Ezee Sleeve port entry system (right and left hand glove ports) to allow bare hand access to manipulate samples without changing the internal environment. The interlock chamber is the most efficient means of transferring a large number of Petri dishes into the work/incubation chamber. It is fitted with locking inner and outer doors to prevent air from entering the incubation chamber. With both doors locked, the chamber is purged with nitrogen.

You state that the principal function of the anaerobic workstation is to create and maintain an oxygen free atmosphere in order to grow bacteria that will not survive if exposed to any amount of oxygen. This is accomplished by filling the chamber with anaerobic gas mix (from an attached gas tank) comprised of hydrogen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. A palladium catalyst (palladium pellets in a mesh sachet placed inside the chamber) reacts with the hydrogen to transform trace levels of oxygen into water condensation. A second gas tank of solely nitrogen is also attached to the chamber. When media is placed inside the interlock or when the user puts on the sleeves (prior to opening the port doors), a vacuum pump removes the air and oxygen free nitrogen is pumped in to replace the air. Both tanks of gas are hooked up to the chamber by way of a gas regulator and tubing fed into the chamber. (You do not supply the gas regulator or the gasses.)

The principal function of the hypoxia workstation is to create and maintain a low oxygen atmosphere in order for proteins to activate that will not activate if exposed to the higher level of oxygen (20.9%) in the atmosphere we breathe. (This low level of oxygen can be controlled between 0.2% and 20.9% in .1% increments.) The low level of oxygen is achieved by programming the gas mixer module to feed a certain level and mix of gases into the chamber.

Since you originally described the anaerobic workstations as basically “incubators” for tissue cultures which require zero oxygen and the hypoxia workstations were also described as “incubators”, we asked for additional information regarding the temperature features. You have responded that for both workstations, heating and humidity control are supporting functions. Setting and maintaining an oxygen level is the purpose of using one of these workstations. Although the term “incubator” has been used with regard to these units, the chambers are only designed to maintain a temperature similar to that of the human body because the growth chamber is intended to mimic what the growth would be inside the human body. You have also indicated that the chambers do not filter or purify and that the catalysts used therein only remove trace amounts of oxygen.

The applicable subheading for the above anaerobic and hypoxia workstations, the latter with or without the gas mixer, will be 8479.89.9897, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter: other machines and mechanical appliances: other: other: other: other. The rate of duty will be 2.5 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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