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HQ 082568

December 7, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082568 MBR


TARIFF NO.: 8419.81.50

Mr. Herbert J. Lynch
Sullivan & Lynch, P.C.
156 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02109

RE: Four models of pressureless convection steam cooking appliances for restaurants and institutions

Dear Mr. Lynch:

This is in reply to your letter of May 9, 1988, on behalf of Garland Commercial Industries, Inc., requesting classification of four models of pressureless convection steam cooking appliances, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The articles presented for classification are as follows:

1. Pronto, model CA1E, is a compact pressureless convection steam cooking appliance designed for counter top use. It contains an electrically operated steam generator. Its size and physical appearance resemble a microwave oven.

2. Cyclone, model CC2GE18, is a pressureless convection steam cooker featuring two cooking compartments (piggy-back style) mounted on a steel modular cabinet base. The cabinet base houses an electrically operated steam generator.

3. Triple, model CT1E, is a pressureless convection steamer/oven with a self-contained electric steam generator. This model utilizes steam or dry heat or a combination thereof.

4. Combination Cyclone, model CC2 GE, is a combination unit consisting of a steam cooker and a tilting table kettle. It is mounted on a modular cabinet base containing an electrically operated steam generator.

All four models are manufactured by Garland Commercial Industries, Inc. The above items are designed to be attached to water supply lines and are of the type used in restaurants, hospitals, universities and similar institutions. They are considered non-domestic (non-household) equipment.


What is the classification of convection steam cooking appliances under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

...classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...

Subheading 8419.81 provides for:

Machinery, plant or laboratory equipment, whether or not electrically heated, for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating, cooking, roasting, distilling, rectifying, sterilizing, pasteurizing, steaming, drying, evaporating, vaporizing, condensing or cooling, other than machinery or plant of a kind used for domestic purposes.... Other machinery, plant or equipment: For making hot drinks or for cooking or heating food.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 8419, HTSUSA, pages 1174, 1175, state:

The following are examples of machinery and plant which... are covered by Part (I) of this Explanatory Note [items includable in this heading]: (17) Specialized heating or cooking apparatus which are not normally used in the household (e.g., counter-type coffee percolators, tea or milk urns, steam kettles, etc., used in restaurants, canteens, etc.; steam-heated cookers, hot-plates, warming cupboards, drying cabinets, etc.

There are two competing subheadings for classification of the pressureless steam cooking appliances. The subheadings are 8419.81.50 and 8419.81.90, HTSUSA. These subheadings provide for:

8419.81.50 Other cooking stoves, ranges and ovens

8419.81.90 Other: Of a type used in restaurants, hotels and similar locations

The Explanatory Notes provide no direction as to what characterizes "cooking stoves," "ranges" and "ovens." Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, page 837, (1984), defines "oven" as: "An enclosed compartment supplied with heat and used for cooking food and for heating or drying objects placed within." Webster's II, Id., defines "heat" as: "1. a form of energy associated with the motion of atoms or molecules in solids and capable of being transmitted through solid and fluid media by conduction, through fluid media by convection, and through empty space by radiation."

All four models in question meet the above definition of "oven" because they are enclosed compartments (with a door), supplied with convection heat and are used for cooking food. Furthermore, they look and act like conventional ovens except they are faster and more efficient by using steam convection as a heat source. However, they can not brown or bake foodstuffs.

The Combination Cyclone, model CC2 GE, is a combination unit consisting of a steam convection oven and a direct steam tilting table kettle. The Explanatory Notes, page 1174, describe vessels, vats, etc., of various kinds for heating or cooling:

(A)(2) Single wall vessels, vats, etc., incorporating provision for direct heating (including heating by perforated steam coils) other than such vessels normally used in the household. In general, the industrial types are distinguished by their large size and solid construction, or the provision of filters or condensing domes or of mechanical devices such as agitators or tippers.

The direct steam tilting table kettle has provision for direct heating, is of large size, solid construction and has a tipping device. Therefore, when imported without the steam convection ovens, the steam tilting table kettle is classifiable under 8419.81.90, HTSUSA, which is the provision for cooking equipment of a type used in restaurants, hotels or similar locations.

Each of the competing subheadings under consideration describe part only of the Combination Cyclone. However, Section XVI, Note 3, HTSUSA, which by operation of GRI 6, governs the classification of merchandise in the subheadings of heading 8419, states that unless the context requires otherwise, composite machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together to form a whole and other machines adapted for the purpose of performing two or more complementary or alternative functions are to be classified as if consisting only of that component or as being that machine which performs the principal function.

The principal function of this appliance can be determined, in this case, by the appliance's design. The combination Cyclone steam cooker and tilting table kettle has two ovens, one on top of the other, and only one tilting table kettle. In this case, we find that the presence of two ovens makes the principal function of this item to be that of the ovens.


The Pronto (model CA1E), Cyclone (model CC2GE18), Triple (model CT1 E) and the Combination Cyclone (model CC2 GE) are classifiable under the provision for other cooking stoves, ovens and ranges in subheading 8419.81.50. The rate of duty is free.


John Durant, Director

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