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HQ 950609

January 7, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950609 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 3924.10.5000, 8205.51.3030, 7013.39.2000, 8211.92.2000

Mr. Dan Timney
Yamato Customs Brokers U.S.A., Inc.
353 Point San Bruno Blvd.
South San Francisco, CA 94080

RE: Kitchen Organizer Set; Plastic Kitchenware in heading 3924; Household Handtools in heading 8205; Kitchen Glassware in heading 7013; Knives with cutting blades in 8211

Dear Mr. Timney:

This is in response to your letter of September 16, 1991 submitted on behalf of your client, CGS International of San Leandro, CA. Your inquiry requests the proper classification of a kitchen organizer set under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You submitted a sample with your request for a binding ruling.


The article is described as a "27 piece ultimate organizer set" and consists of four measuring cups, five measuring spoons, one can opener, one bottle opener, one vegetable peeler, five melamine tools (spatula, slotted spoon, ladle, serving spoon, fork), one beater whipper (also known as a whisk) and eight spice bottles. All the articles are attached to a revolving holder that rests on a table or counter.

The measuring cups, measuring spoons, tools and holder are plastic. The whisk is steel. The can opener, bottle opener and vegetable peeler are composed of plastic and steel. The glass spice bottles have plastic screw caps. The article is imported from Taiwan.


Whether the components of the kitchen organizer form a set for tariff purposes and, if they do not form a set, what are the applicable HTSUSA headings for its individual components.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. The majority of imported goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

The kitchen organizer consists of several articles. The fork, ladle, slotted spoon, serving spoon, spatula, measuring spoons, measuring cups and plastic organizer are classifiable in heading 3924, HTSUSA. The can opener, bottle opener and whisk are classifiable in heading 8205, HTSUSA. The peeler is classifiable in heading 8211, HTSUSA. Finally, the spice bottles are classifiable in heading 7103, HTSUSA.

Since the HTSUSA provides for each of these articles in separate headings, classification is determined by applying GRI 3(a) which explains, in pertinent part, that when goods are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings, the articles are to be classified in the heading which provides the most specific description of the good in question. However, all headings are regarded as equally specific when each refers to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale.

In determining whether the kitchen organizer qualifies as a set put up for retail sale, Explanatory Note X to GRI 3(b) provides that goods put up in sets for retail sale means goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

The kitchen organizer meets criteria (a) and (c), but does not meet criterion (b). The articles included in the kitchen organizer are used for divergent purposes. Although the articles classifiable as plastic kitchenware, handtools or knives relate to the preparation or serving of food or drink, the spice bottles are principally used to store food. See Headquarter's Ruling 087727. Since the components of the kitchen organizer are put together to carry out several different activities or to meet various needs, they do not satisfy criterion (b) in Explanatory Note X to Rule 3(b). Since the kitchen organizer fails as a set, we return to GRI 1 to classify each component of the kitchen organizer separately.


The individual components of the kitchen organizer are classified as follows. The fork, ladle, slotted spoon, serving spoon, spatula, measuring spoons, measuring cups and organizer are classifiable in subheading 3924.10.5000, HTSUSA, as, "[t]ableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics: Tableware and kitchenware: Other," at a general column one rate of duty of 3.4 percent ad valorem.

The bottle opener, whisk and can opener are classifiable in subheading 8205.51.3030, HTSUSA, as, "[h]andtools...not elsewhere specified or included...Other handtools...and parts thereof: Household tools, and parts thereof: Of iron or steel: Other (including parts), Kitchen and table implements," at a general column one rate of duty of 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The peeler is classifiable in subheading 8211.92.2000, HTSUSA, as, "[k]nives with cutting blades, serrated or not (including pruning knives),...: Other: Other knives having fixed blades, and parts thereof: With rubber or plastic handles: Kitchen and butcher knives," at a general column one rate of duty of 1 cent each plus 5.7 percent ad valorem.

The spice bottles are classifiable in subheading 7013.39.2000, HTSUSA, as, "[g]lassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes (other than that of heading 7013 or 7018) (con.): Glassware of a kind used for table (other than drinking glasses) or kitchen purposes other than that of glass-ceramics: Other: Other: Valued not over $3 each," at a general column one rate of duty of 30 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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