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CBP Rules on Origin of Needle Electrodes for Government Procurement Purposes

Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of subdermal needle electrodes tubing that may be offered to the U.S. government under an undesignated government procurement contract. Any party-at-interest may seek judicial review of this determination by Aug. 30. CBP issues country of origin advisory rulings and final determinations as to whether an article is or would be a product of a designated country or instrumentality for the purposes of granting waivers of certain “Buy American” restrictions in U.S. law or practice for products offered for sale to the U.S. government.

According to CBP, the subject good is a high-tensile strength stainless steel wire that serves as a physical connection between a patient and medical diagnostic equipment that records and/or elicits neurophysical biopotentials. The fully assembled, packaged product consists of the needle electrode, the leadwire, a miniscule amount of solder, a heat shrink tube, a protective cover for the needle, and packaging. The needle electrode is manufactured entirely in the U.S. or Japan using U.S. or Japanese stainless steel material and the leadwire is made in Korea. Other components are made in Japan, China, or the U.S. All components are exported to China for additional assembly and packaging.

CBP concludes in ruling HQ H296072 that the needle electrode determines the essential character of the finished product and that the name, character, and use of this component remain unchanged after the assembly and processing operations that occur in China. As a result, CBP states that the country of origin of the finished product is the U.S. or Japan, depending on the country of origin of the needle electrode.

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