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HQ 084084

June 21, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084084 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6810.19.1000

Ms. Mary Chou
Import Manager
Seino America, Inc.
8645 Aviation Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90301

RE: Classification of agglomerated marble tiles & slabs

Dear Ms. Chou:

This is in reply to your letter of March 14, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of agglomerated marble tile and slabs, produced in Taiwan, under the Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of mechanically isotropic tiles and slabs of ap proximately 94 percent natural marble aggregate bonded with approximately 6 percent synthetic polymer resin. To produce these tiles, the chips are mixed by vacuum in an
"epicyclic mixer" at 25 degrees Celsius, and then "vibropressed." It is assumed that the tiles will be imported at a thickness of less than 3.2 centimeters.


Whether the merchandise at issue should be classified as marble or artificial stone for tariff purposes under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated


Heading 6802, HTSUSA, provides for natural monumental or building stone (except slate) which has been worked beyond the stage of normal quarry products. For the purposes of Chapter 68, HTSUSA, however, if an artificial binding is added to natural marble, the marble is no longer considered to be natural but is considered artificial stone. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff schedule at the international level. Explanatory Note 68.02 states, in pertinent part:

[a]rticles such as slabs, tiles, etc., obtained by agglomerating pieces of natural stone with cement or other binders (e.g., plastics), .. . are classified as artificial stone articles in heading 68.10.

Heading 6810, HTSUSA, covers moulded, pressed or centrifuged articles of cement, concrete, or artificial stone. Explanatory Note 68.10 defines artificial stone as

... an imitation of natural stone obtained by agglomerating pieces of natural stone or crushed or powdered natural stone (limestone, marble, granite, porphyry, serpentine, etc.) with lime or cement or other binders (e.g., plastics). [emphasis added]

We are of the opinion that when the marble chips are mixed with the synthetic polymer resin in an epicyclic mixer, this is considered a pressing process. The merchandise at issue is therefore classifiable under Heading 6810, HTSUSA, as an article of artificial stone.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 6810.19.1000, HTSUSA, as articles of cement, of concrete or of artificial stone, whether or not reinforced, tiles, flagstones, bricks and similar articles, other, floor and wall tiles. The applicable rate of duty is 21 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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