Ms. Marianne M. Handel
Project Manager; International
1690 Russell Road, Bldg 2
Paoli, PA 19301
RE: The tariff classification of a rechargeable nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery, a rechargeable nickel cadmium (NICAD) battery, a universal battery charger, a battery powered hand-held drive unit, and surgical instrument attachments (chucks, couplings, and adaptors) from Switzerland
Dear Ms. Handel:
In your letter dated August 22, 2006, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
You requested a binding classification ruling on a rechargeable nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery, a rechargeable nickel cadmium (NICAD) battery, a universal battery charger, a battery powered hand-held drive unit, and surgical instrument attachments (chucks, couplings, and adaptors). Your submission did not provide adequate information regarding the surgical instrument attachments (chucks, couplings, and adaptors). As a result, we cannot determine the classification of those items until you provide a response to the questions listed below for that merchandise. Therefore, this ruling letter will address only the classifications of the rechargeable nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery, the rechargeable nickel cadmium (NICAD) battery, the universal battery charger, and the battery powered hand-held drive unit.
The rechargeable nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery is 14.4-volts of direct current (14.4 VDC). It is designed for and installed in the standard sized Synthes (surgical) battery powered hand-held drive unit. The battery is marked “Synthes”, “Swiss”, and “Do not sterilize.”
The rechargeable nickel cadmium (NICAD) battery is in both a 12 and 14.4-volt model. It is designed for and installed in the small version of the Synthes (surgical) battery powered hand-held drive unit. The battery is marked “Synthes”, Swiss”, and “Do not sterilize.”
The universal battery charger is plugged into a 115-volt outlet and converts alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) power. The unit features four charging bays, accommodating up to 5 batteries of multiple sizes in one charge.
The battery powered hand-held drive unit is designed for surgical use by its ease of handling, precision, and one-handed operation. Each of the units is sterilized before and between procedures. The variable speed trigger and rapid assembly are optimal features for intraoperative procedures. The various hand-held drive units are a battery-powered reamer/drill, a battery-powered oscillator, a battery-powered reciprocator, and a small battery drive. Each of the units is similar to a battery-powered drill, with different sizes, torques, rpm/oscillation, and deflections. A surgeons’ choice is dependent upon procedure to be performed (drilling, sawing, cut-off, reaming, etc.).
You state that the battery powered hand-held drive unit is “similar to a battery powered drill.” And, that it is “uniquely designed for surgical use by its ease of handling, precision, and on-handed operation.” You further indicated that it can be and is routinely sterilized between each use, which is an additional indication of a “tool” that is “clearly identifiable as being for medical or surgical use,” as indicated in the General Harmonized System Explanatory Note to 9018.
You propose classification in HTSUS 9018.90.80. This office agrees that these items are not “electro-surgical” since, as in New York Ruling Letter R03683, dated April 28, 2006, the electricity is not applied directly to the body. However, we do consider them to be “electro-medical” not the “Other” of HTSUS 9018.90.80, since they use electricity to power their function.
Regarding the other items in your request, referred to by you as surgical instrument attachments, whether or not “parts or accessories identifiable as suitable for use solely or principally” with the instruments or appliances of Chapter 90, as indicated by General Harmonized System Explanatory Note III to Chapter 90, imported separately, they are excluded from that Chapter when they are, in themselves, included in any other of the Headings of Chapter 84 and 85, cited in Note 2(a) to Chapter 90.
The applicable subheading for the rechargeable nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery will be 8507.80.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Electric storage batteries, including separators therefor, whether or not rectangular (including square); parts thereof: Other storage batteries: Other.” The rate of duty will be 3.4 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the rechargeable nickel cadmium (NICAD) battery will be 8507.30.8010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Electric storage batteries, including separators therefor, whether or not rectangular (including square); parts thereof: Nickel-cadmium storage batteries: Other: Sealed.” The rate of duty will be 2.5 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the universal battery charger will be 8504.40.9550, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Electrical transformers, static converters (for example rectifiers) and inductors… Static converters: Other: Rectifiers and rectifying apparatus: Other.” The rate of duty will be 1.5 percent ad valorem.
The applicable subheading for the battery powered hand-held drive unit, will be 9018.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Other: Electro-medical instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical or veterinary sciences and parts and accessories thereof.” The rate of duty will be free.
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).
If you are requesting a binding classification ruling on all of the following surgical instrument attachments, additional information will be needed in order to determine their classification.
Jacobs chuck with key (530.730)
Jacobs chuck, keyless (530.731)
Adaptor for radiolucent drive (530.741)
Quick coupling for drill bits (530.750)
Large quick coupling (530.760)
Quick coupling for k-wires (530.790)
AO ASIF reaming attachment (530.780)
Hudson reaming attachment (530.782)
Modified trinkle reaming attachment (530.783)
Trinkle reaming attachment (530.784)
Please provide a response to each of the following questions regarding the surgical instrument attachments.
1 - In your letter, you indicate that you are seeking a classification determination on the “attachments.” You provided literature for the numerous products notated above. However, your letter only makes reference to the chucks, couplings and adaptors. Please clarify whether you are only inquiring about the chucks, couplings and adaptors or was it your intention to include the reaming attachments also? As a result of your response to this question, please respond to the following three questions accordingly.
2 - Attachments are said to “transfer or increase the drive unit speed while controlling torque”. Please explain how this is done. Do the above attachments contain any type of electrical components in and of themselves or are they merely holders for tools such as drill bits? Do the items in question differ in any way from the chucks and adaptors used with regular power tools (e.g., material of composition)?
3 – Regarding the adaptor for radiolucent drive: Does the adaptor or drive contain any optical elements/cameras/radioactive substances? If so, what are they? Does this drive operate with a pneumatically powered hand tool rather than a battery powered unit? Explain in detail how this drive works. Does it hold a drill bit?
4 – Regarding the quick coupling for k-wires: Does this coupling accept a cannulated drill bit along with the k-wire? Is the k-wire located inside the drill bit? Explain in detail how the k-wire is inserted and removed.
5 – Please provide any additional information about each item that you are seeking a binding ruling on, which will adequately enable this office to determine the classification of.
If you decide to resubmit your request, please submit your response to the above questions along with all of the material that we have returned to you. Kindly refer to this ruling rejection number R04697 and limit your submission to 5 items of the same class or kind. Your resubmission should be mailed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Customs Information Exchange, 10th Floor, One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119, attn: Binding Rulings Section. If your request was submitted electronically and the information required does not involve sending a sample, you can re-submit your request and the additional information electronically.
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 Linda M. Hackett at 646-733-3015.
Robert B. Swierupski