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;
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
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?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
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
Headquarters Ruling Letter 084710 is affirmed.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division