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HQ 085429

January 4, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085429 DRR 842712


TARIFF NO.: 6810.19.10

Mr. Mike Field
Geo. S. Bush & Co., Inc.
1400 Exchange Building
821 Second Avenue
Seattle, Washington, 98104

RE: Classification of wall and floor tiles

Dear Mr. Field:

This is in reference to your letter dated September 1, 1989, requesting, on behalf of your clients Fabienne and Rodrigo Pereira, the classification of various floor and wall tiles under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of 12 x 12 inch wall tiles and smaller mosaic or cube type tiles, approximately 1 x 1.5 inches. The tiles are made of quartz agglomerated with plastic resins. They will be imported from France, either already formed as tiles or as loose granules which are mixed with resins at the time of application to a floor or wall surface.


Whether the tiles at issue are classifiable under subheading 6810.19.10, HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise is in accordance with 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 relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 6810, HTSUSA, provides for articles of cement, of concrete, or of artificial stone, whether or not reinforced, tiles, flagstones, bricks and similar articles.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA may be consulted for guidance as to the correct interpretation of the various HTSUSA provisions. The Explanatory Notes for subheading 6810 state that "Artificial stone is an imitation of natural stone obtained by agglomerating pieces of natural stone or crushed or powdered natural stone...with lime or cement or other binders (e.g. plastics)." The Explanatory Notes for subheading 6802 state that "Articles such as slabs, tiles, etc., obtained by agglomerating pieces of natural stone with cement or other binders (e.g. plastics) and statuettes, pillars, cups, etc., made of molded and agglomerated stone powder or granules, are classified as artificial stone articles in heading 68.10." Although the term "tile" normally refers to articles which range in size from 12 to 18 inches on a side, there is nothing in the language of the Heading or Explanatory Notes which would preclude the classification of the smaller mosaic tiles in question as tiles under Heading 6810. Additional U.S. Note 2 to chapter 68 states that the tiles classified in subheading 6810.19 may not be 3.2 centimeters or more in thickness, a standard met by the tiles in question, but no minimal standard is set for the surface area of the tiles.

However, when imported as separate elements, the granules and resin do not have the essential characteristic of the tiles and could feasibly be formed into other articles. The separate elements are therefore classifiable separately and not as unfinished tiles under the provisions of GRI 2. Subheading 3214.90.5000, HTSUSA, provides for glaziers' putty, grafting putty, resin cements, caulking compounds and other mastics; painters' fillings; nonrefractory surfacing preparations for facades, indoor walls, floors, ceilings or the like. Subheading 2506.10.0050, HTSUSA, provides for quartz (other than natural sands); quartzite, ..., other.


The tiles at issue, when imported as tiles are classifiable under subheading 6810.19.10, HTSUSA, as articles of...artificial stone..., tiles..., Other, floor and wall
tiles, with a duty rate of 21 percent ad valorem. When imported as loose granules and resin, the items are classified separately. The granules are classified under subheading 2506.10.0050, HTSUSA, as quartz, other, free of duty. The resin is classified under subheading 3214.90.5000, HTSUSA, as ... resin cement ... other, other, with a duty rate of 11 percent ad valorem.


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