CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 086214 SER

Mr. J. Paul Richards
Johns Scientific Inc.
175 Hanson St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4C 1A7

RE: Reconsideration of Headquarters Ruling Letter 084710; Laboratory glassware

Dear Mr. Richards:

This is in reference to your request for reconsideration of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084710, dated July 31, 1989. In that ruling the merchandise at issue, laboratory glassware from Canada, was classified in subheading 7017.90.0050 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of unmarked screw threaded glassware. The merchandise will be imported empty and distributed to laboratories. The glassware usually will contain caps and stoppers designed to secure materials placed inside. Once in the United States, the containers are stated to be washed, sterilized and filled with different types of media. They are then capped, labelled and packed in shipping containers.


Is the merchandise at issue laboratory glassware of Heading 7017, HTSUS, or a container for the conveyance or packing of goods of Heading 7010, HTSUS?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the Headings and any relative section or chapter notes.


As stated in HRL 084710, Headings 7010 and 7017, HTSUS, are both use provisions. Consequently, the heading under which the subject merchandise will be classified will be controlled by the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation of goods of the class or kind to which the subject merchandise belongs. The controlling use is the principal use -- the use which exceeds any other use. Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), HTSUSA. The actual use of certain shipments of merchandise, by some importers, will not dictate a classification controlled by principal use. You state that all of the glassware presently being imported are destined to be utilized in the conveyance of materials. We do not doubt that this is true, but it is the principal use of the class or kind of this product of the entire industry that is important, not just one shipment by a singular importer.

You state, though no proof is offered, that this type of glass tube is overwhelmingly used for the packaging of media rather than for use in the laboratory. In addition, you state that all of the tubes used as laboratory glassware have a round bottom, but those used for media manufacturing are flat bottomed. We strongly disagree with this assessment. Information before this office indicates that this product is the standard tube or vial used to hold biological cultures or other scientific material within a laboratory. In addition, it is common knowledge, which is supported by an examination of the laboratory at Customs, which reveals that many glassware tubes used for laboratory purposes, are flat-bottomed.


Absent proof that the product at issue, laboratory glassware from Canada, differs from the standard form of laboratory glassware, it is properly classified in subheading 7017.90.0050, HTSUSA, as laboratory, hygienic or pharmaceutical glassware, whether or not graduated or calibrated, other, other. Articles which meet the definition of "goods originating in the territory of Canada" are subject to reduced rates of duty under the United States/ Canada Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988. If the product at issue constitutes "goods originating in the territory of Canada," the applicable rate of duty is 7.5 percent ad valorem.

Headquarters Ruling Letter 084710 is affirmed.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division