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HQ 084608

August 24, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084608 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6810.11.0000; 6810.19.1000; 6810.99.0000

Mr. Melvin E. Lazar

Barnes, Richardson & Colburn

475 Park Avenue South

New York, NY 10016

RE: Classification of stone agglomerated with plastic resins

Dear Mr. Lazar:

This is in reply to your letter of April 28, 1989 to our New York office,
concerning the tariff classification of stone agglomerated with plastic resins,
manufactured by PBI/Plastibeton, Inc., produced in Canada, under the Harmonized

Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of granite or quartz stone articles
agglomerated with plastic resins. The products made from these stone articles, and
the only products covered by this ruling are Polymer-Granite~ counter tops,

Plastibeton| Channel Systems, and Polymer-Granite~ Paving Stones. The Polymer-

Granite~ base material is composite stone made from 95 percent granite and quartz,
and five percent petrochemicals. Through a computerized system, the base material
is conveyed, pumped, dried, weighed, metered, and blended with over a dozen raw
materials. Sheet products are then manufactured in a continuous process of
forming, curing, gauging, polishing, cutting, and finishing. You state that the
paving stones and channel systems are used solely for street improvement and
outdoor patio areas, and for housing electrical cables, respectively.


What is the classification of the agglomerated stone under the HTSUSA?

Heading 6802, HTSUSA, provides for natural monumental or building stone

(except slate) which has been worked beyond the stage of normal quarry products.

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

... 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).

We are of the opinion that the merchandise at issue is of artificial stone, and is
classifiable under Heading 6810, 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 .. ..

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in
accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Subheading 9403.20.0020, HTSUSA, provides for parts of counters and other
furniture. Note 3 to Chapter 94, HTSUSA, narrows the scope of " parts" in Heading

9403 by stating that

(a) * * * references to parts of goods do not include references to
sheets or slabs (whether or not cut to shape but not combined with
other parts) of glass (including mirrors), marble or other stone or of
any other material referred to in chapter 68 or 69. [emphasis
added]. You state that the counter tops in their imported condition
will consist purely of agglomerated stone, and will not include any
pieces or materials designed to facilitate attachment of the counter
tops to their applicable body parts. Based upon this information, it
is our opinion that the counter tops imported alone are not classifiable
as parts of furniture under Chapter 94, HTSUSA, but as other articles
of artificial stone.
Channel Systems

You state that while the bulk of the channel systems will be imported solely
as agglomerated stone, a small percentage will also include plastic dividers.

GRI 3 states, in pertinent part:

When by application of Rule 2(b) [goods of more than one material or
substance] or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable
under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(b) 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) [which
requires that goods be classified, if possible, under the more
specific of the competing provisions], shall be classified as if
they consisted of the material or component which gives them
their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

It is clear that the agglomerated stone material provides the channel systems
with their essential character. The channel systems are designed to house or
protect electrical cables and pipes. See PBI Brochure on Polymer -Granite~ Products
at 18. It is the strength and resistance of the stone which accomplishes this; the
dividers only serve to avoid entanglements. Therefore, the channel systems are
also classifiable as other articles of artificial stone.

Paving Stones

Subheading 6810.19.10, HTSUSA, provides for floor and wall tiles. Subheading

6810.11, HTSUSA, provides for building blocks and bricks. Subheading 6810.19.50,

HTSUSA, provides for other similar articles, including flagstones . The issue is
therefore whether the paving stones are considered tiles under the HTSUSA, and,
if so, whether they can be classified as "floor tiles" for the purposes of Subhead-
ing 6810.19.10. Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary (1984), aids us
in our quest as follows:
tile (t-il) n. ... 1. A thin, flat, or convex slab of material, as baked clay
or plastic, laid in rows to cover walls, floors, and roofs.

3. A hollow fired clay or concrete block used for building walls.
flagstone ... A flat, fine-grained, hard, evenly- layered stone split into
slabs for use in paving.
You state that the sole uses of the paving stones are for outdoor patio
construction and street improvement projects. It seems clear that Websters'
definition of tiles, supra, would apply. In addition , though not dispositive, we have
observed "paving tiles" in the stream of modern commerce. Therefore, the paving
stones, through one of its two "sole purposes," could be classified as tiles under


You contend that as the paving stones are used exclusively in an outdoor
context, classification as floor or wall tiles is incorrect. This argument is without
basis. Items in the shape of tiles may be used in either an indoor or outdoor
setting; i.e., a kitchen floor, a plaza, a patio, or a street. The paving stones at
issue are not similar to "paving tiles" as used in modern commerce; these are
normally thick, interlocking bricks. The instant merchandise has the appearance
of indoor floor tile, with a smooth top and a pleasant appearance . Whether used
indoor or out (you state that patios are a primary use of the stones), it is our
opinion that the "paving stones" can be considered floor tiles for the purposes of
classification under HTSUSA.

You also state that you have the capability to manufacture, and indeed have
advertised, what you label as "floor tiles." While this may be true, it would not
affect the classification of the aforementioned paving stones. Additional U.S. Note

2 to Chapter 68, HTSUSA, limits tiles to articles less than 3.2 centimeters in
thickness. You state that the thickness of the paving stones to be imported into
the United States ranges between one and two inches. Therefore, following the
above-mentioned analysis, those paving stones imported at a thickness less than

3.2 centimeters would be considered floor or wall tiles under subheading

6810.19.1000 HTSUSA, and those stones over 3.2 centimeters thick would fall under

6810.11.0000, HTSUSA, as articles similar to paving tiles and flagstones, building
blocks and bricks.


As a result of the foregoing, the counter tops and channel systems are
classifiable under subheading 6810.99.0000, HTSUSA, as articles of cement, of
concrete or of artificial stone, whether or not reinforced, other articles, other. The
applicable rate of duty is 4.9 percent ad valorem. The paving stones under 3.2
centimeters in width are 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 20 percent per square meter. The paving stones 3.2
centimeters and greater in width are classifiable under subheading 6810.11.0000,

HTSUSA, as articles of cement, of concrete or of artificial stone , whether or not
reinforced, tiles, flagstones, bricks and similar articles, building blocks and bricks.

The applicable rate of duty is 4.9 percent ad valorem. It has come to our attention that the instant merchandise is already in port,
and at this time, may be entering the customs territory of the United States. While
this situation is normally not subject to a binding ruling letter under the District

Ruling Program, we have taken the position that, in the interests of administrative
manageability, we will rule on this merchandise. It is stressed, however, that this
binding classification pertains only to those articles herein described; any other
products possibly being simultaneously imported are not addressed .


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