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NY N022973

February 27, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 9013.20.0000; 8456.10.8000

Mr. Luis Francisco Davila
Image Ink Jet Printing Corp.
1650 Airport Road
Suite 101
Kennesaw, VA 30144

RE: The tariff classification of Imaje 7000 Series scribing CO² laser coders from France.

Dear Mr. Davila:

In your letter dated February 4, 2008, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The Image 7000 Series scribing CO² laser coders (“Image 7000”) are installed on beverage, food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical production lines. The lasers are used to produce a traceable/permanent mark on the products.

The Imaje 7000 laser marks the surface in the following way:

Glass: The laser interaction to glass is Micro-fracturing: The pulses of light to make micro cracks in the glass and the tiny glass particle in the given spot breaks or fractures away from the surface leaving an engraved mark in the glass.

PVC: The laser interaction to PVC is Thermo chemical change. The CO² laser wavelength changes the structure of the PVC compound and changes the surface to an orange color.

Melting: The laser interaction to PETE, Polyethylene and most other plastics is melting. The laser energy burns or melts the surface of the substrate leaving behind a “burned in” mark on the surface.

Ablation: The laser interacts with paper and ink coated surfaces through ablation or material removal. The laser energy removes the top layer of ink or coated material and a different color underneath shows through providing a contrast between the two colors.

In order to comply with the American National Standards Institute (“ANSI”) standard Z136.1, the IMAJE 7000 series laser is normally positioned on a stand and placed in a guarding tunnel. The laser remains stationary. The product is conveyed into the tunnel, marked by the laser and subsequently conveyed out of the tunnel.

You state that the Imaje 7000 laser head will be imported separately in the following three configurations:

(A) Laser head alone without “ancillary equipment” such as a stand or guarding tunnel.
(B) Laser head with a stand.
(C) Laser head with a stand and guarding tunnel.

Stainless steel laser head stands (item #A23110 and item #A70292) are available for use with the IMAJE 7000 laser printer. You indicate in your letter that item #A23110 is not imported with the laser printer as it is manufactured in the United States for sale to U.S. and Canadian customers. However, item #A70292, which is manufactured in France, is available as an option for importation with the laser. It is imported for orders placed by your firm’s distributors and subsidiaries in South America. In view of these facts, this ruling will address configurations which include item #A70292. Item #A23110 will not be considered for purposes of this ruling.

The polycarbonate guarding tunnels are safety devices used with the lasers in order to comply with ANSI standard Z136.1. Tunnels are available in various dimensions to meet a customer’s requirements. They are manufactured in France in the following dimensions:

Item # Description (W x L x H mm)
A70162 Tunnel W400 L600 H400 Top Open
A70163 Tunnel W400 L900 H400 Top Open
A70165 Tunnel W400 L600 H600 Top Open
A70166 Tunnel W400 L900 H600 Top Open
A70180 Tunnel W400 L600 H400 Side Open
A70181 Tunnel W400 L900 H400 Side Open
A70183 Tunnel W400 L600 H600 Side Open
A70184 Tunnel W400 L900 H600 Side Open
A70186 Tube-Tunnel Beam Guard (France)
A70187 Tunnel Carbon Beam Stop (France)
ST3239 Tunnel, S3 Charge (France)
TUNNO Choice Tunnel NO (if not required by customer) TUNYES Choice Tunnel YES (if required by customer)

Heading 9013, HTS, provides for: "Lasers, other than laser diodes; parts and accessories thereof." The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN), page 1479, state in pertinent part:

Lasers are classified in this heading not only if they are intended to be incorporated in machines or appliances but also if they can be used independently, as compact lasers or laser systems, for various purposes such as research, teaching or laboratory examinations.

However, the heading excludes lasers which have been adapted to perform quite specific functions by adding ancillary equipment consisting of special devices (e.g., work-tables, work-holders, means of feeding and positioning workpieces, means of observing and checking the progress of the operation, etc.) and which, therefore, are identifiable as working machines, medical apparatus, control apparatus, measuring apparatus, etc. Machines and appliances incorporating lasers are also excluded from the heading.

The applicable subheading for the Imaje 7000 laser head imported separately as described above in configuration A will be 9013.20.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for lasers, other than laser diodes. The rate of duty will be 3.1 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the Imaje 7000 laser head imported as described above in configuration B or C imported with the stand and/or guarding tunnel will be 8456.10.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for machine tools for working any material, by laser or other light or photon beam, ultrasonic, electro-discharge, electro-chemical, electron-beam, ionic-beam or plasma arc processes: operated by laser or other light or photon beam processes: Other. The rate of duty will be 2.4 percent 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 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 Barbara Kiefer at 646-733-3019.


Robert B. Swierupski

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