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HQ 082049

June 20, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082049 LS 828412


TARIFF NO.: 7615.10.70

Michael O'Neill
O'Neill & Whitaker, Inc.
1809 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

RE: Tariff classification of "single backpack aluminum ware cook kit"

Dear Mr. O'Neill:

Your inquiry, dated February 5, 1988, concerning the tariff classification of an aluminumware cook kit, was referred to this office for a direct reply to you. Your request was submitted on behalf of Coleman Company, Inc.


The merchandise consists of a "single backpack six-piece aluminumware" cook kit, stock number 810-720, which consists of the following items: a 5-1/2 inch in diameter 24 ounce bowl with lid; two 4-1/2 inch in diameter plates; one 4-1/2 inch in diameter 14 ounce bowl; one 5 inch in diameter 16 ounce cup or bowl; and a vinyl zippered carry bag or case specially shaped to fit these components. The bowls and plates are designed for camping use so that they fit one into another to form a compact article which fits into the case for easy storage, transport, and handling. Each of the bowls have folding handles and the carry bag also has a handle. The literature inserted between the bowls states that the aluminumware is for camping and domestic use. The kit is imported from the People's Republic of China.


What is the proper classification provision under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA) for the aluminumware cook kit?


Classification of products under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that
classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Since there is no specific heading which provides for kits consisting of the above-mentioned items, we refer to GRI 3 which applies to goods consisting of articles classifiable under two or more headings.

The competing headings are 7615 and 7616, HTSUSA. Heading 7615 provides for "Table, kitchen or other household articles and parts thereof, of aluminum." Heading 7616 provides for "Other articles of aluminum." GRI 3(a) states that the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred over headings providing a more general description. Since heading 7615 provides a more specific description than heading 7616, the articles are classifiable in heading 7615. The heading "table, kitchen or other household articles," read as a whole, applies to the subject items because the items are for table and/or cooking use. The Explanatory Note to heading 7615 states that the heading covers the same types of articles as are described in the Explanatory Notes to headings 7323 and 7324, particularly the kitchen utensils, sanitary, and toilet articles. Heading 7323 covers table, kitchen or other household articles made of iron or steel. The Explanatory Note to heading 7323 states that the heading includes the same types of goods "for use in hotels, restaurants, boarding-houses, hospitals, canteens, barracks, etc." Among the examples of articles for kitchen use are saucepans, preserving pans, and stew pans. Plates and soup dishes are listed among the examples of articles for table use. Heading 7323 also includes lids which are considered parts of any of the items listed in the Explanatory Notes.

To further support our inclusion of the subject items in heading 7615, we look to the Explanatory Note to heading 7615 which states that the heading also covers aluminum cooking or heating apparatus similar to that described in the Explanatory Note to heading 7417. Heading 7417 covers "cooking or heating apparatus of a kind used for domestic purposes, non-electric, and parts thereof, of copper." The Explanatory Note to heading 7417 states that the heading covers small appliances such as petrol, paraffin, spirit stoves which are "normally used for travelling, camping, etc. and for certain household uses." Since aluminum cooking and heating apparatus are (1) considered to be within the category of "table, kitchen or other household articles," and (2) include such items used for travelling and camping, we believe
that heading 7615 is also intended to cover other table, kitchen and household articles, such as the instant items, which are used for travelling and camping.

Since GRI 6 provides that, for legal purposes, GRI's 1 through 5 are applicable for classification of goods at the subheading level, the term "classifiable under two or more headings" in GRI 3 is satisfied if at least two of the articles fall under different eight-digit subheadings. The bowls appear to be suitable for kitchen use as well as table use, i.e., they can be used for cooking as well as serving and eating. However, because each of them has handles and one of them has a lid, they appear to be designed for kitchen use, and more specifically for cooking. Thus, the bowls and accompanying lid are classifiable in subheading 7615.10.70, HTSUSA, which provides for "Table, kitchen or other household articles and parts thereof: Cooking and kitchen ware: Not enameled or glazed and not containing nonstick interior finishes: Other." The plates are clearly used for serving and eating. They are therefore classifiable in subheading 7615.10.90, HTSUSA, which provides for "Table, kitchen or other household articles: Other" (i.e., other than cooking and kitchen ware).

GRI 3(b), which provides for the classification of goods put up in sets for retail sale, states:

Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, state in Note (X) to Rule 3(b) that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings; [hereinafter criterion (a)]

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; [hereinafter criterion (b)] and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. [hereinafter criterion (c)]

Criterion (a) is satisfied since the articles are classifiable under two different eight digit subheadings. Criterion (b) is also met since the bowls, plates, and lid are put up together to carry out the specific activity of cooking, preparing, and eating food while camping or while outdoors. Criterion (c) is met since the items, which are sold in a specially shaped carry bag or case, are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. Therefore the aluminumware cook kit is considered to be a set.

In order to classify the set in the appropriate eight digit subheading, we must determine which component, or components taken together, give the set its essential character. Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) provides that the essential character may be determined by "the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods." Since the three bowls and one lid which are designed for cooking constitute the greatest bulk, weight, and quantity of the six items, the set is classifiable under subheading 7615.10.70, HTSUSA, which provides for cooking and kitchen ware.

GRI 5(a) provides:

Camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character;

The Explanatory Note to GRI 5(a) states that the rule covers only those containers which: (1) are specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles; (2) are suitable for long-term use and serve to protect the article when not in use; (3) are presented with the article for which they are intended; (4) are of a kind normally sold with the article; and (5) do not give the article its essential character.

Since the vinyl carry bag meets all the criteria set forth in the above-stated Explanatory Note, it is classifiable together with the cook kit under subheading 7615.10.70, HTSUSA.


For the foregoing reasons, the cook kit and accompanying carry bag are classifiable in subheading 7615.10.70, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 4.0 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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