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NY R05025

November 7, 2006

CLA-2-90:RR:E:NC:N1:105 R05025


TARIFF NO.: 9018.39.00, 9021.90.8000

Mr. Peter E. Grove
Lausanne 1015 Switzerland

RE: The tariff classification of Easyband Implant and Control Unit, Easyband Introduction Tool System from Switzerland

Dear Mr. Grove:

In your letter dated October 9, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling. No sample was submitted.

The Easyband system, based on “FloWatch” technology consists of an implanted band which can squeeze the entrance to the stomach for the morbidly obese, a control unit, and an introduction tool.

Regarding the Easyband system, you state: “The advantages of the FloWatch technology are the following:

Telemetric operation of the implant, without lesion of the skin, thus avoiding the risk of infections and providing increased patient comfort;

Battery-free implants. No risk associated with implantable batteries (i.e., breakdown or discharge necessitating recharge or re-operation to change the batteries); reduction of space required by the implant.

Telemetric feedback on the state of the implant, improving therapeutic intervention and patient follow-up.”

You also state: “The technology uses radio-frequency to transmit energy and operating instructions through the skin to the implanted micromotor.”

Regarding the Easyband Control Unit you state: “Only trained medical personnel should perform band adjustment. The Control Unit is not dedicated to a specific implant but is designed to adjust any Easyband implant using Microchip, which identifies each unique Easyband device when implanted. The control unit works either on its rechargeable batteries or connected to mains power.”

In your letter you suggest classification under 8537.10.9070 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) for boards, panels, consoles, etc. for electric control or the distribution of electricity. However, the Easyband Control system uses a radio frequency to transmit instructions to an implanted micromotor that is controlled by means of telemetry. Therefore, it is excluded from heading 8537, HTSUS.

Note 1-h to HTSUS Chapter 90 excludes radio remote control apparatus (heading 8526). However, whether or not its providing instructions via RF would be covered by HTSUS 8526, the Control Unit also has the necessary functions of providing the energy for the micromotor which tightens or loosens the implant, which does not have a battery, and of receiving radio telemetry data from the implant. Noting Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Decision 00-1263, dated April 19, 2001, we find the only Tariff description that describes all the nonsubordinate elements of the Control Unit is as an accessory to the implant, i.e., in HTSUS 9021.

Regarding the Easyband Introduction Tool, you state that it “is used to facilitate the passage of the Easyband through the trocar during laparoscopic implantation.”

It is a rod with a handle and with attachments for the stretched out band on both ends.

The applicable subheading for the Easyband Implant and Control Unit will be 9021.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “other” Appliances which are worn or carried, or implanted in the body, to compensate for a defect or disability and parts and accessories thereof. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for your Introduction Tool system will be 9018.39.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for catheters, cannulae and the like, and parts and accessories thereof. The rate of duty will be free.

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 World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

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 J. Sheridan at 646-733-3012.


Robert B. Swierupski

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