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HQ 088182

March 1, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 088182 jlj


TARIFF NO.: 4419.00.4000

Ms. Sarita W. Tao
Lorrex Health Products
1170 Broadway, Suite 215
New York, New York 10001

RE: Revocation of DD854860; Classification of wooden spoons

Dear Ms. Tao:

On July 20, 1990, our Ogdensburg District Office issued to you ruling DD 854860, classifying certain wooden spoons imported from China, under subheading 4421.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Upon further review, that ruling is determined to be in error.


The merchandise at issue, fabricated from wood, is flat, spoon shaped and 3-5/8 inches in length. You state that the spoons are sold to hospitals, nursing homes, food institutions and consumers. The spoons are used to feed patients and are discarded after one use.

DD 854860 classified the instant spoons under subheading 4421.90.6000, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of wood: other: toothpicks,skewers, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, tongue depressors, drink mixers and similar small wares.


Are the instant wooden spoons classified under the provision for wooden spoons in subheading 4419.00.4000, or as tongue depressors and similar small wares in subheading 4421.90.6000, HTSUSA?


Comparing the wooden spoon shaped articles with tongue depressors for purposes of tariff classification, the latter are long, flat and of uniform width throughout their length (with the exception of rounded tips). They are intended for medical or dental use, to enable a doctor or dentist to examine the mouth, throat or teeth by pressing the tongue down with a depressor. You have previously obtained a ruling from the District Director of Pembina, North Dakota (DD 854780 of August 10, 1990), covering tongue depressors measuring 6 inches in length and a uniform 3/4 inches in width, which classified the tongue depressors in subheading 4421.90.6000, HTSUSA.

The instant spoon is short, flat and has a wider rounded area (the spoon part) at one end. It measures only 3-5/8 inches in length and is not uniform in width, having a handle measuring approximately 3/4 inch at one and a spoon part measuring approximately 1 inch in width at the other end. Both the handle end and the spoon part have rounded edges. The sample is the type of wooden spoon commonly used in ice cream stores; it is obviously intended to be used for eating.

In terms of the legal issue, Heading 4419 covers tableware and kitchenware, of wood. Subheading 4419.00.0000, HTSUSA, is an eo nomine provision for forks and spoons. The Explanatory Notes (EN) for Heading 4419 state:

This heading covers only household articles of wood,...which are of the nature of tableware or kitchenware.
It does not, however, cover goods which are primarily ornamental in character....

The heading includes: spoons....

The EN make it clear that the distinction is between household articles, including spoons, and ornamental articles, rather than household and institutional articles.

Eo nomine provisions cover all forms of the named article unless the provision contains a limitation or there is a contrary legislative intent, judicial decision or administrative practice. Nootka Packing Co. v. United States, 22 CCPA 464, T. D. 47464 (1935). An eo nomine provision must, unless a legislative intent to the contrary is clearly indicated, be preferred to terms of general description and and to designations which are broader and less specific. United States v. Astra Trading Corp., 44 CCPA 8, C. A. D. 627 (1956).

Subheading 4421.90.6000 covers other articles of wood, with certain exemplars spelled out. Inasmuch as that subheading is a provision which is both broader in scope and less specific than subheading 4419.00.4000, the latter eo nomine provision must be chosen over the former general provision.


Based on the reasoning and cases set forth above, the instant wooden spoon is hereby classified as a spoon in subheading 4419.00.4000, HTSUSA, dutiable at the rate of 5.3 percent ad valorem.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are revoking DD 854860 to reflect the above classification effective with the date of this letter. However, if, after your review, you disagree with the legal basis for our decision we invite you to submit any arguments you might have with respect to this matter for our review. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of the date of this letter.

This notice to you should be considered a revocation of DD 854860 under 19 CFR 177.9 (d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to DD 854860 (19 CFR 177.9 (d) (2) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your client's merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, DD 854860 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this revocation in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it.

If such a situation arises, your client may, at its discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John Durant, Director

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