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HQ 085075

November 17, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085075 DRR


TARIFF NO.: 8516.79.00

Mr. John Pellegrini
Ross & Hardies
529 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10017

RE: Classification of a potpourri scenter; reconsideration of NYRL 836817, dated March 6, 1989

Dear Mr. Pellegrini:

This is in reference to your letter dated July 12, 1989, requesting the reconsideration of NYRL 836817. In that letter, dated March 6, 1989, the potpourri scenter at issue was classified under subheading 6912.00.50 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue is a potpourri scenter. It is comprised of a glazed ceramic base with openings to allow light to pass; an electric light fitting with a 40 watt light bulb and a six foot power cord; a circular glazed ceramic bowl with a vented cover and a small quantity of potpourri. The bowl is designed to hold four or five ounces of warm water and one or two tablespoons of potpourri. The temperature of the water is maintained by the light bulb. The scent of the potpourri is released into the air through the vents in the cover. Light from the bulb passes through the holes in the base. Your letter indicates that you believe that the item should be classified in subheading 9405.40.80, other electric lamps and lighting fittings, under GRI 3(b) or GRI 3(c).


Whether the item at issue is classifiable under subheading 6912.00.50, HTSUSA, ceramic household articles, subheading 8516.79.00, HTSUSA, other electro-thermic appliances, or subheading 9405.40.80, HTSUSA, other electric lamps and lighting fittings.


Classification under the HTSUSA is according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. Explanatory Note 85.16 states that perfume or incense heaters and heaters for diffusing insecticides are considered electro-thermic appliances. Although electro-thermic devices are usually heated by electrical heating resistors and microwave producing tubes, the potpourri scenter at issue is heated by electricity, i.e., a 40 watt light bulb, and may be classified under this heading.

Heading 6912, HTSUSA, provides for ceramic household articles. In light of the fact that the base, bowl and lid of the scenter are ceramic, it could also be classified under Heading 6912, HTSUSA, but classification under this provision would be less specific than classification under either Heading 8516, HTSUSA, or Heading 9405, HTSUSA, if the latter applies.

Heading 9405, HTSUSA, provides for lamps and light fittings which are used to illuminate an area. In contrast, the merchandise at issue provides negligible illumination, but rather uses the light fixture to heat the water and potpourri mixture. Therefore, the merchandise does not fall within the purview of Heading 9405.


The potpourri scenter at issue is classified under subheading 8516.79.00, HTSUSA, as other electro-thermic appliances, with a duty rate of 5.3 percent ad valorem.

New York Ruling 836817, dated March 6, 1987, is hereby overruled.


John Durant, Director

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