On June 28, 2010, the CIT issued its decision in Applied Bio Systems (A Division of Applera Corporation) v. United States. The Court granted CBP’s motion for summary judgment and held that CBP had properly classified the imported merchandise, certain thermal cyclers and thermal cycler parts, under HTSUS heading 8419, which includes “machinery, plant or laboratory equipment… for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature” as well as “parts thereof.” It rejected Applied Bio System’s claim that the merchandise should have been classified under HTSUS heading 9032, which includes “[a]utomatic regulating or controlling instruments and apparatus” as well as “parts and accessories thereof.”

In reaching its decision, the CIT explained that, while HTSUS heading 9032 “describes the elements of a thermal cycler that direct heating and cooling [it] does not describe the elements that actually heat and cool.” The lack of this description, according to the CIT, resulted in an incomplete description of the imported merchandise, whereas HTSUS heading 8419 does provide a complete description of a thermal cycler.