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HQ 088389

APRIL 3,1991

CLA-2 CO: R:C:F 088389 JGH


TARIFF NO.: 6911.10.8000

Richard Baldassarre
RJB International
630 Marlow Drive
York, Pa. 17402

RE: Classification status of porcelain spice jars

Dear Mr. Baldassarre:

This is in reference to your inquiry concerning the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States (HTSUS), of porcelain spice jars from China.


You describe the merchandise as 12 styles of porcelain houses, each named for a different spice- e.g.-oregano, nutmeg, parsley, garlic, bay leaves, chives, onion, paprika, etc.. The porcelain jars are sold in sets, together with a wooden rack. One set consists of 4 jars and a one-tier rack; another with 8 jars and a two-tier rack; and the third with 12 jars and a three-tier rack. They are intended to be decorative containers for various spices. The sample jar submitted is about three inches high and two inches wide, with a removable top, which has a plastic gasket for a tight fit. The jar is decorated like a house, with the front labeled "Cinnamon."


Whether the decorative spice jars are classifiable as oranamental articles of porcelain in subheading 6913.10.50, HTSUS, or other tableware, kitchenware of porcelain or china in subheading 6911.10.80, HTSUS.


You state that the products are collectibles and that you are marketing the jars as decorative display items.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUS provide interpretive guidelines of the various tariff provisions at the international level. The Explanatory Notes for heading 6913 state that the heading covers articles which have no utility value and are wholly ornamental, or the utility value of the product is clearly subordinate to the ornamental.

The notes point out, however, that if the decorated articles serve a useful purpose no less efficiently than their plainer counterparts, they are classifiable in heading 6911 or 6912 as household articles or kitchenware.

An examination of the sample spice jar shows that it is intended to hold a particular spice and to be utilized in the kitchen, even though intended as a collectible. The capacity of the jar and the fact that the top has a tight seal, to insure freshness of the contents, illustrates that it is designed to serve a useful function no less efficiently than its plainer counterpart. Furthermore, in view of the intended use of the spice jar, it is considered as kitchenware rather than a household article.


The decorated spice jar is classifiable in the provision for other tableware and kitchenware of porcelain, in subheading 6911.10.80, HTSUS. The rate of duty is 26 percent ad valorem.


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