United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1991 NY Rulings > NY 0860554 - NY 0860681 > NY 0860620

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

NY 860620

March 01 1991

CLA-2-70:S:N:N3D:226 860620


TARIFF NO.: 7013.99.5000

Mr. Howard M. Paull
Attorney at Law
Sharretts, Paley, Carter and Blauvelt
67 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: The tariff classification of a glass potpourri holder from Taiwan

Dear Mr. Paull:

In your letter dated February 19, 1991, on behalf of Kmart Corporation, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

This product is a glass potpourri holder with a pewter lid. The body of this household article, the greatest portion of its surface area, consists of glass. Furthermore, the function of the merchandise (holding potpourri material) is clearly represented by the glass portion of the product, not the pewter lid. The essential character of the product is represented by the glass body. Note General Rule of Interpretation 3(b) of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. The pewter lid is secondary in importance.

The applicable subheading for the potpourri holder will be 7013.99.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for glassware of a kind used for...toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes...other: other: other: valued over thirty cents but not over three dollars each. The rate of duty will be thirty percent ad valorem.

In your letter you argue that this product should be classified as an ornament of base metal in subheading 8306.29.0000, HTS, based on the classification applicable to the pewter lid. Your position is incorrect because the essential character of this merchandise is represented by the glass body, not the pewter lid. The body of a product used to hold items within the household represents the article's essential character. The lid does not represent the essential character of the merchandise.

You contend that your position is supported by ruling 085075, 11-17-89. However, ruling 085075 is completely irrelevant to the instant merchandise. Your ruling request concerns a composite good consisting of two materials (a glass body and a base metal lid). We have determined that the essential character of this composite good is represented by the glass portion of the merchandise. However, ruling 085075 did not involve the issues of essential character or component material.
In ruling 085075, an electric potpourri scenter with a ceramic bowl was classified as an electro-thermic domestic appliance in subheading 8516.79.0000, HTS. The circumstances of that ruling are not similar to your ruling request. In ruling 085075, the heading for electro-thermic domestic appliances was simply found to be more specific than the heading for ceramic household appliances. Furthermore, the function of the item and the Explanatory Notes for heading 8516 dictated classification as an appliance. Neither essential character nor component material was ever an issue in ruling 085075. Thus, the instant merchandise is completely unrelated to the product and issues covered by ruling 085075.

Your argument that this merchandise is classifiable in heading 8306 is negated by the Explanatory Notes to that heading which state: "If such decorated articles serve a useful purpose no less efficiently than their plainer counterparts, they are classified as domestic goods rather than in this group [HTS 8306]." Since this item is clearly a useful potpourri holder and is sold as such, it could not be classified under the provision for ornaments in 8306.

For all the reasons indicated above, we maintain that this merchandise is classifiable as glassware in 7013.99.5000, not as an ornament of base metal in 8306.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: