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HQ 951617

July 22, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 951617 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 7013.39.20

Mr. John P. Donohue
Donohue and Donohue
421 Chestnut Street
5th Floor, The Bank Building
Philadelphia, PA 19106

RE: Non-electric coffeemakers; headings 4823, 3924, 7013; GRI 3(b); Explanatory Note (VIII) to GRI 3(b); GRI 3(c); NYRL 835664; HRL 952139

Dear Mr. Donohue:

This is in response to your letter dated March 11, 1992, your file 1323-001, requesting the tariff classification of the "10 Cup Cone Filter Coffeemaker" and the "6 Cup Cone Filter Coffeemaker" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter together with the samples were referred to this office for preperation of a response.


Samples of the "10 Cup Cone Filter Coffeemaker" and "6 Cup Cone Filter Coffeemaker" (hereinafter referred to as "coffeemakers") were submitted for examination. You stated in your letter that over 50 percent of the total value of the components are of Mexican origin and all the assembly and packaging operations will be performed in Mexico.

The coffeemakers will consist of three component parts: (1) a glass coffee pitcher, (2) ten paper coffee filters, each designed to filter approximately two to ten cups of coffee, and (3) a plastic coffee filter cone designed to hold and filter two to ten cups of ground coffee and the accompanying water.

The instructions for the coffeemakers state that the plastic filter cone fits over the glass carafe and a paper filter is placed in the cone. Ground coffee is placed in the paper filter and then hot water is poured into the filter. The coffee precipitates through the filter and drips through a hole in the cone and into the glass carafe. When all the coffee has filtered through the cone, this cone is removed, the heat retaining lid is placed on the carafe and the coffee is ready to be served. ISSUE:

Are the coffeemakers classified in heading 3924, HTSUS, as other household articles of plastics, or in heading 7013, HTSUS, as glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes?


The classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings 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 be applied, taken in order.

The three possible headings for classification of the coffeemakers are the following:

Heading 7013 Glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes.

Heading 3924 Tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics.

Heading 4823 Other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, cut to size or shape, etc....

None of the above headings specifically describe the coffeemakers at issue. Therefore, the coffeemakers cannot be classified based on GRI 1.

GRI 2 provides the following:

(b) ... Any reference to goods of a given material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to goods consisting wholly or partly of such material or substance. The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3 governs the classification of goods which are prima facie classifiable within two or more headings and provides the following:

When, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

Each of the headings at issue refer to only part of the subject merchandise. Therefore, the headings are regarded as equally specific and the classification of the coffeemakers cannot be determined by the application of the doctrine of relative specificity.

GRI 3(b) provides the following:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, page 4, states that:

(VIII) The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In the instant case, the essential character of the coffeemakers is not readily apparent. The filter cone is specially designed to concentrate the coffee grounds so that, as the water is poured, the grounds are concentrated under the flow of water and complete saturation occurs. The coffee then filters through a hole in the cone and into the glass carafe. Therefore, it is the plastic cone filter that allows the coffee to be made. However, the coffeemakers are not only designed to make coffee, they are also designed to hold and serve the coffee. This function is performed by the glass carafe. In addition, the glass carafe constitutes the largest portion of the coffeemakers' surface area and it is also the weightier material.

When the component which gives the products at issue their essential character cannot be determined, classification is ascertained by utilizing GRI 3(c). GRI 3(c) provides the following:

(c) When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

The headings that equally merit consideration are headings 3924 and 7013, HTSUS. Therefore, the coffeemakers are classified in heading 7013, HTSUS.

In your letter you state that New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 835664, dated February 2, 1989, which dealt with the classification of a "One Cup Coffeemaker", supports the position that the coffeemakers are classified in subheading 3924.10.50, HTSUS. We have reviewed our position in NYRL 835664 and have decided that it is incorrect. As a result, NYRL 835664 has been revoked by Headquarters Ruling Letter 952139, a copy of which is enclosed.


The "10 Cup Cone Filter Coffeemaker" and the "6 Cup Cone Filter Coffeemaker" are classified in subheading 7013.39.20, HTSUS, which provides for glassware of a kind used for table (other than drinking glasses) or kitchen purposes other than of glass ceramics, other, other, valued not over $3 each. The rate of duty is 30 percent ad valorem. If valued over $3 but not over $5 each, the rate of duty is 15 percent ad valorem under subheading 7013.39.50, HTSUS. If valued over $5 each, the rate of duty is 7.2 percent ad valorem under subheading 7013.39.60, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division?

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