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NY N004877

January 26, 2007



TARIFF NO.: 9018.19.5500, 9018.19.9560

Ms. Monica Gallardo
Intel Corporation
P. O. Box 58119
Santa Clara, CA 95052-8119

RE: The tariff classification of a Stethekin and Stethekin Plus from an Unspecified Country

Dear Ms. Gallardo:

In your letters dated September 5 and December 21, 2006 you requested a tariff classification ruling. No samples were submitted.

You provided a CD-ROM which you requested that we view. However, per NISA J. Wilson’s telephone call to your firm, it is a Quick Time encoded CD. Per our Technical Services Center, they are not able to program our PCs to view Quick Time encoded CDs so we have not done so.

In your September 5 letter, 4 pages in length, you requested the classification only for the “Stethekin (Personal Health Platform).” You stated, Stehekin collects a patient’s health statistics when used in conjunction with medical peripheral devices. The medical peripherals are not manufactured by Intel nor do they incorporate any Intel technology. Intel is working with manufacturers to supply compatible peripheral devices.” You proposed classification for it in HTSUS 8471.30.00.

However, in your December 21 letter, 14 pages in length plus multiple attachments, you requested the classification for the Stethekin (Personal Health Platform), imported by itself, and the Stethekin imported with medical peripheral devices, such as, we presume, the devices described elsewhere in your letter, i.e., a Blood Pressure Cuff, Weight Scale, Digital Pulse Oximeter, Peak Flow Meter (which measures the air flow velocity and volume to and from the lungs), and a Glucose Monitor. You now propose classification for both the Stethekin and what we will refer to as the “Stethekin Plus” in HTSUS 9018.90.75.

Regarding the Stethekin and Stethekin Plus, you state: “Each of these medical peripheral devices will assist a medical professional in monitoring a patient’s health via Stehekin. The patient is responsible for tracking their weight, glucose, lung capacity, blood pressure and pulse by enabling each of the peripherals and ensuring that the readings are registered in Stehekin. Stehekin cannot diagnose or obtain any of the medical data without the peripherals. Stehekin is merely collecting, displaying and storing the data.

To use Stehekin, the user must lift the LCD screen from the base and power-on the device. By using the displays on the touch-screen, the patient may navigate through the screen to either review a to-do list that the clinician updated previously, analyze the list of medications and doses required for the day, or view important reminders (e.g., a message from the clinician to the patient may read ‘Remember to take your blood pressure,’ etc.).

Communication is established between the clinician and the patient through the video camera, speakers and LCD. A ringing sound from the device will alert either part that someone is contacting them and the user will accept the call by touching the appropriate display key on the LCD screen. The video camera sits above the LCD and will enable the clinician and the patient to interact with each other through a video image display on the screen. We note that the video camera is built into Stehekin so that a separate video camera is not required. Once the communication is established, a conversation will follow between the two parties to discuss the patient’s health and update each other as needed.

The medical data obtained through the peripheral devices may be loaded onto the screen for the clinician to review. Based on the data, the clinician will monitor the patient’s health and provide medical care from afar. For example, if medical professionals find that the patient’s blood pressure has increased over a period of time, then they may choose to increase the dosage of the blood pressure medication. If clinicians notice serious weight fluctuations, then they can administer the patient a certain diet and discuss the patient’s dietary needs via a video conference on Stehekin. Any changes to the patient’s medication, like an increase in a dosage or special diet plans, may be recorded in Stehekin by the clinician so that the patient is reminded of the dosages the next time they log into Stehekin.

Stehekin’s purpose is to facilitate the monitoring of a patient from their home. The device enables the patient to interact with their health care provider without leaving their home. The health care provider is assured that the medical peripherals accurately read the patient’s medical data so that the provider may take an active role in monitoring the patient’s health.”

You also state: “The specifications for Stehekin include the following components: 40 GB hard disk drive, 512 MB of memory, Intel ICH4 I/O controller Hub with integrated LAN, four USB 2.0 ports, a Radicom Integrated v. 92 modem, Intel 82562ET controller, a ST Micro camera, built-in speakersand a built-in microphone Stehekin is Bluetooth enabled. All of these components are imported in the unit along with a power supply.”

You further state: “Stehekin measures approximately 10” (l) x 10” (w) x 4” (h) and weighs approximately 9 pounds. The device is shaped like a square and is imported in a sturdy plastic resin case with rubber moldings on the left and right sides of the screen to facilitate gripping. Two USB ports and one headset port are housed on the lower right side of the base of Stehekin as are the speakers... The back side of the base houses the following ports. Ethernet (Network), Phone, S-Video, TV, Speaker-R, Speaker-L, USB, USB, DC- power The LCD screen, which should be raised when Stehekin is in use, is housed in the same part as the microphone and camera...”

Although the Stethekin Plus is a telemetry system in that the remote clinician can review the results, telemetry measurement systems are classified based on the measuring devices per General Harmonized System Explanatory Note IV to its Chapter 90. The voice and video communication capability would ordinarily concern the measurement data so the capturing, storage, and transmission of that data is the principal function of the Stethekin Plus.

We note that the Heading to HTSUS 9018.11 and .19 includes “apparatus for checking physiological parameters.”

Headquarters Ruling Letter 961998, 5-7-99, classified a patient monitoring system, without communications capabilities, etc, in HTSUS 9018.19.55, explicitly rejecting classification in HTSUS 9018.90.75.

Since the Stethekin Plus is imported with measurers of physiological parameters, it is clearly “dedicated to medical, surgical, dental, or veterinary sciences.” See Headquarters Ruling Letters 557024, 6-30-93, and 964813, 4-30-02.

Regarding the Stethekin by itself, while it contains many elements typical of a standard computer, given its specific capabilities to utilize directly the output of measurers of physiological parameters and the built-in devices, it is also “dedicated to medical, surgical, dental, or veterinary sciences.”

Following the principle of Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 00-1263, 4-19-01, we do not find any one classification to describe all the “non-subordinate functions” of the item “per se” (except as a part or accessory of a 9018.19.55 apparatus) so its Note 2-a does not exclude it from Chapter 90. Also see General Harmonized System Explanatory Note III to its Chapter 90.

We also do not find any one “specific provision” to describe it so HTSUS Additional US Rule of Interpretation 1-c also does not apply.

The applicable subheading for the Stethekin Plus will be 9018.19.5500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for Patient Monitoring Systems. The general rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the Stethekin will be 9018.19.9560, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for, inter alia, Parts and accessories of patient monitoring systems. The general 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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