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HQ 087114

August 3, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087114 AJS


TARIFF NO.: 7020.00.00

Mr. Kevin M. Diran
Armen Cargo Services Inc.
P.O. Box 280661
San Francisco, CA 94128

RE: Glass cubes, pyramids and bars for glass decorative articles. Glass Products, Inc. v. U.S.; H. Rep. No.100-576; parts not specifically provided for within a heading.

Dear Mr. Diran:

Your letter of April 4, 1990, requesting a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), has been referred to this office for reply.


The articles in question include a 25x25 mm cube, 15x15 mm cube, 20x20 mm pyramid and a 40x40 mm bar of glass. All of these articles are used as components for the manufacture of decorative glass articles such as trains, churches and spinning machines. This ruling request is limited only to these components and not the finished products. You stress that the articles are never sold in their imported form and that they are only used to make the finished articles.


Whether the articles in question are classifiable within heading 7013, HTSUSA, which provides for glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes; or classifiable within heading 7020, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of glass.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 7013, HTSUSA, provides for glassware of a kind used for indoor decoration. Explanatory Note (EN) 70.13 states that this heading covers articles of glassware and lists as examples of these items; table or kitchen glassware, toilet articles, office glassware and glassware for indoor decoration. However, parts of these articles are not specifically provided for within this heading. The articles in question are parts of glassware used for indoor decoration and are not decorative or ornamental items in their own right. Therefore, they are not accurately described by the terms of this heading and cannot be classified therein.

The Court of International Trade (CIT) previously ruled in a case covering merchandise very similar to that at issue. Glass Products, Inc. v. United States (Glass Products), 10 CIT 253 (1986). This case involved the classification of crystal votive cups chiefly used in the household as parts of decorative articles. The competing tariff provisions at issue were item 546.60, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), which provided for household glassware and item 548.05, TSUS, which provided for articles not specially provided for of glass. As in the present case, item 546.60 did not provide for parts of household glassware. The CIT relied upon the well established principle "that a tariff provision which does not specifically provide for parts does not include them", and rejected the classification of glassware parts as household glassware. Glass Products at 255. See also Ruth F. Sturm, Customs Law and Administration, section 54.9 at 38 (1990); Murphy & Co. et al. v. United States, 13 Ct. Cust. Appls. 256, T.D. 41201 (1925); Herman Miller Clock Co. v. United States, 22 CCPA 332, T.D. 47363 (1934); United States v. Lyons Transport, 45 CCPA 104, C.A.D. 681 (1958); United States v. Paul M.W. Bruckmann, 65 CCPA 90, C.A.D. 1211, 582 F.2d 622 (1978). Instead, the CIT classified the crystal cups within item 548.05, TSUS, as articles of glass.

While this ruling is not binding precedent on Customs under the HTSUSA, Congress has indicated that earlier tariff rulings must not be disregarded in applying the HTSUSA. The conference report to the 1988 Omnibus Trade Act states that "on a case-by- case basis prior decisions should be considered instructive in interpreting the HTS[USA], particularly where the nomenclature previously interpreted in those decisions remain unchanged and no dissimilar interpretation is required by the text of the

HTS[USA]." H. Rep. No. 100-576, 100th Cong., 2D Sess. 548 (1988) at 550. We consider the analysis in Glass Products instructive in interpreting the HTSUSA in this instance. Glass Products involves the predecessor provisions under the TSUS of the HTSUSA headings at issue in the present case. Both the texts of item 546.60 and subheading 7013.99.50, and item 548.05 and subheading 7020.00.00 are substantially similar.

The established principle of "parts" classification relied upon in Glass Products is also more than simply a prior decision issued under the TSUS. In addition, it is a principle of statutory interpretation whose application is not limited solely to the TSUS but which can be applied to the HTSUSA as well. As stated previously, TSUS decisions can only be instructive when the text of the HTSUSA does not require a dissimilar interpretation. The text of GRI 1, which mirrors the principle of "parts" classification, requires classification to be determined by the terms of the headings. In other words, if the terms of a heading do not contain a provision for parts then parts cannot be classified within that heading. Thus the instructive use of the principle of "parts" classification is appropriate in this case and required by the HTSUSA.

Subheading 7020.00.00, HTSUSA, provides for other articles of glass. EN 70.20 states that "[t]his heading covers glass articles (including glass parts of articles) not covered by other headings of this Chapter or other Chapters of the Nomenclature." The articles in question are glass parts of articles and not covered by any other heading. Therefore, they satisfy the terms of this heading and are classifiable therein.

A question has been raised as to whether these articles are decorative in their own right and thus, even if not classifiable as parts, should still be classified as decorative household articles. Although this argument has merit, in view of the fact that these articles are never sold individually, we find that their use by themselves as decorative articles would be fugitive at best. We must reject this argument.


The glass parts in question are classifiable within subheading 7020.00.00, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of glass dutiable at the rate of 6.6 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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