Apparatus for the transfer of liquid droplets (Tariff notice 7)

Check the new tariff classification for the precise transfer of liquid droplets.

A new regulation dated 15 April 2019 was published on 25 April 2019

This is not considered a change in UK practice.

New regulation

An apparatus for the precise transfer of liquid droplets (also known as ‘liquid handler’) measuring approximately 540 × 680 × 930 mm and weighing approximately 128 kg.

The apparatus consists of 2 devices for receiving microplates (source plate and destination plate), 2 deionisation rods and an ultrasound head incorporated in a compact housing with a control LED, a small display and an emergency button.

The apparatus utilises the Acoustic Droplet Ejection (ADE) method which uses sound energy (targeted ultrasonic pulses) to move ultralow volume of droplets of liquid from a source plate to an inverted destination plate with extremely high precision and accuracy.

The system transfers droplets of 2,5 nano-litres per ejection enabling the transfer of larger volumes of liquid. Multiple droplets are ejected from the source at up to 500 times per second.

The apparatus is used in the preparation of samples in laboratory sites to transfer specific volumes of reagents from one microplate to another.

Classification (Combined Nomenclature (CN) code)

Code 8479 89 97


Classification is determined by general rules (GIR) 1, 3(b) and 6 for the interpretation of the CN and by the wording of CN codes:

  • 8479
  • 8479 89
  • 8479 89 97

The apparatus is a composite product within the meaning of GIR 3(b) and it is to be classified according to the component that gives the product its essential character.

Despite the fact that measuring and analysing are necessary in order to ensure a precise dosing of the volume of liquid, it is the exact dosing, using ultrasound, of the ejected droplets that is considered to be the function that gives the apparatus its essential character.

Classification under heading 9026 as instruments or apparatus for measuring or checking the flow, level, pressure or other variables of liquids or gases is excluded as measuring and analysing are ancillary functions of the apparatus.

The apparatus is therefore to be classified under CN code 8479 89 97 as other machines and mechanical appliances having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere.

Contact details

Tariff Classification
Customs Directorate
10th Floor South East
Alexander House
21 Victoria Avenue
SS99 1AA


This Tariff Notice is published for information purposes only.

Published 29 April 2019