CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083492 MBR
Mr. J. M. Abrahams
Phil Patterson Corporation
Rm. 16, Airport Terminal Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50321
RE: Intra-rumenal injector for cattle deworming
Dear Mr. Abrahams:
This is in reply to your letter of December 19, 1988, on behalf
of Syntex Agribusiness, Inc., regarding classification of the
synanthic rumen injector for deworming cattle, under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated
The rumen is the first of four stomachs of cattle. The rumen
injector is a high-impact plastic shell housing a syringe. The
syringe contains a plunger which is visible through the windows
on both sides of the injector. There is a large spring, also
visible through the window, which pushes the needle into the
rumen and injects a predetermined dose of dewormer through the
What is the classification of a rumen injector for deworming
cattle under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Chapter 90 provides for Medical or surgical instruments and
apparatus. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the
HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule.
GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:
...classification shall be determined according to the terms
of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...
Heading 9018 provides for:
Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical,
dental or veterinary sciences....
The Harmonized Commodity Description and coding System,
Explanatory Notes to Section XVIII, page 1487, state:
This heading covers a very wide range of instruments
and appliances which, in the vast majority of cases,
are used only in professional practice (e.g., by
doctors, surgeons, dentists, veterinary surgeons,
midwives), either to make a diagnosis, to prevent or
treat an illness or to operate, etc. (Emphasis added).
The Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, should be
looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTSUSA. See 54
Fed. Reg. 35128 (August 23, 1989).
Since this chapter provides for the highly regulated area of
human medical instruments and appliances, as well as items used
in veterinary medicine, there can be no question that the vast
majority of articles provided for here are used only in
professional practice by doctors.
However, this Note does not exclude some items that may be used
by other than licensed professionals. Additionally, in the area
of veterinary medicine, it is difficult to determine who is going
to utilize the merchandise at issue since it is frequently not
cost-effective for farmers to extensively use licensed
veterinarians, for example, merely to inject cattle with
dewormer. Currently, farmers are frequently inoculating,
diagnosing, and treating their own livestock, and in the process,
are practicing veterinary science.
It is Customs position that it is the nature of the instrument
or appliance that would determine classification here. Thus, to
be classifiable in chapter 90, the instrument does not have to be
principally used by licensed veterinarians, however, it must be
used principally in veterinary science.
Clearly, the rumen injector is used in veterinary science and
is therefore classifiable under subheading 9018.31.00, HTSUSA,
which provides for syringes, needles, catheters, cannulae and the
Subheading 9817.00.50, HTSUSA, provides for the duty-free entry
of machinery, equipment and implements to be used for
agricultural or horticultural purposes. This is an actual use
provision. Notwithstanding the existence of a competing
provision or provisions in the HTSUSA, articles are eligible for
classification in subheading 9817.00.50 if the conditions and
requirements thereof and any applicable regulations are met. The
rumen injector is an implement to be used for a recognized
agricultural or horticultural purpose.
The rumen injector is classifiable under the provision for
syringes in subheading 9018.31.00, HTSUSA. The rate of duty is
8.4% ad valorem. It is, however, eligible for duty-free entry in
subheading 9817.00.50 for the reasons stated above.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division