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NY R01762

April 26, 2005

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:102 R01762


TARIFF NO.: 8481.80.9015

Mr. George R. Tuttle, III
George R. Tuttle Law Offices, P.C.
Three Embarcadero Center (Suite 1160)
San Francisco, CA 94111

RE: The tariff classification of a Mass Flow Controller of unspecified origin

Dear Mr. Tuttle:

In your letter dated April 6, 2005 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Advanced Energy Industries.

The article in question is described as a Mass Flow Controller (MFC) used to regulate the flow of fluids in a variety of applications. You indicate that the MFC, which consists of a base, sensor, bypass, control valve and printed circuit board, is a closed-loop device that sets, measures and controls the flow of a particular gas or liquid. Descriptive literature was submitted.

Based on the information made available the MFC is a solenoid-actuated control valve with and integrated controller. The controller measures and compares the actual flow of fluid to a set point and generates a signal that opens or closes the control valve.

In your request you aver that the MFC is properly classified in heading 9032, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for automatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus. You offer that although the MFC incorporates a solenoid valve for controlling the flow of gases, the essential character of the apparatus is to measure and control the flow of gases.

Valves and similar appliances are provided for in HTSUS heading 8481. As you point out, the Explanatory Note to heading 8481 provides that combinations consisting of a valve and any measuring, checking or automatically controlling instrument of HTSUS heading 9032 remain in heading 8481 if the instrument or apparatus is mounted directly on the valve, and the combined article has the essential character of an article of heading 8481. If not, then the combined article is classified in HTSUS heading 9032.

We find that the MFC, which is comprised of a controller mounted directly onto a solenoid valve, has the essential character of an article of HTSUS heading 8481 because its primary function is to control the flow of a fluid. The MFC essentially is a self-operating regulator valve formed by combining a measuring apparatus with a solenoid-actuated valve and is specifically provided for in HTSUS heading 8481. Further, valves and other appliances of heading 8481 are specifically excluded from HTSUS heading 9032 by the notes to HTSUS chapter 90.

The applicable subheading for the MFC will be 8481.80.9015,HTSUS, which provides for regulator valves, self-operating, for controlling variables such as temperature, pressure, flow and liquid level. The rate of duty will be 2 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 Kenneth T. Brock at 646-733-3009.


Robert B. Swierupski

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