CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084710 HP
Mr. J. Paul Richards
Johns Scientific Inc.
175 Hanson St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4C 1A7
RE: Classification of glassware used to ship biological media
Dear Mr. Richards:
This is in reply to your letter of April 12, 1989, to our
New York office concerning the tariff classification of
laboratory glassware, produced in Canada, under the Harmonized
Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).
The merchandise at issue consists of unmarked screw threaded
glassware used exclusively for the conveyance of biological
media. The merchandise will be imported empty to laboratories
and others, and usually will be accompanied by caps and stoppers
designed to secure the biological material. Once in the United
States, the containers are washed, sterilized and filled with
different types of media. They are then capped, labelled, and
packed in shipping containers. You state that similar articles
used for packaging air freshener would undergo a similar process,
but skip the "washing and sterilizing step because septic
conditions would not be so critical."
Whether the glassware is a container used for the packing
and conveyance of goods under the HTSUSA?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Heading 7010, HTSUSA, provides for glass containers used
commercially for the conveyance or packing of goods. The
Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official
interpretation of the tariff at the international level.
Explanatory Note (e) for heading 7010 states that the heading
does not include:
(e) Laboratory, hygienic or pharmaceutical glassware
Similarly, the Explanatory Notes for heading 7017 provide that:
[heading 7017, nominally providing for laboratory,
hygienic or pharmaceutical glassware] excludes:
(a) containers for the conveyance or packing of goods
(heading 7010) . . . .
The issue, therefore, is whether the merchandise is laboratory
Headings 7010 and 7017, HTSUSA, are both use provisions.
Consequently, the heading under which the subject merchandise
will be classified will be controlled by the use in the United
Stats 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 Inter-
pretation 1(a), HTSUSA. The actual use of certain shipments of
merchandise will not dictate a classification controlled by
Information before this office indicates that the subject
merchandise is identical in all material respects to flat-
bottomed culture tubes threaded for a screw cap which are
principally used in a laboratory setting. Although quantities of
such tubes may be used in other applications, we have no evidence
to support a conclusion that any other use constitutes the
principal use of goods of the class or kind to which the tubes
belong, or that such tubes materially differ from tubes we
determine to be principally used in the laboratory so as to be
considered goods of a different class or kind.
As a result of the foregoing, the merchandise at issue is
classifiable under subheading 7017.90.0050, HTSUSA, as
laboratory, hygenic or pharmaceutical glassware, whether or not
graduated or callibrated, other, other. Articles which meet the
definition of "goods originating in the territory of Canada" (see
General Note 3(c)(ii)(B), HTSUSA) are subject to reduced rates of
duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement
Implementation Act of 1988. If the merchandise constitutes
"goods originating in the territory of Canada," the applicable
rate of duty is 7.5 percent ad valorem.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division