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HQ 951999

August 31, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 951999 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 7013.99.90

Mr. Gregory E. Zitzer
Willitts Designs
1129 Industrial Avenue
Petaluma, CA 94952

RE: Water globes; GRI 3(b); Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b); essential character; HRL 087878

Dear Mr. Zitzer:

This in response to your letter dated June 4, 1992, in which you requested a tariff classification for the "Star Trek Snowfall" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The subject product is described as the "Star Trek Snowfall" and it measures 6-1/4 inches high. This product is comprised of a plastic base containing batteries and lights. Attached to the top of the base is a water filled glass globe. Inside the glass globe is a poly resin plastic figure of the space ship "Enterprise". Iridescent flakes are also present inside the globe. The light from the base is projected into the globe. On the front of the base are the words "Star Trek" and an insignia.

The importer submitted the following breakdown of the values of the water globe's component parts:

Glass shell $.36
Poly resin plastic figure $.91
Plastic base $.86
Lights and battery compartment $1.55
Rubber stopper $.20


What is the HTSUS classification of the "Star Trek Snowfall" water globe?


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 subject water globe is a composite good as it is composed of several different components. GRI 2 addresses classification of composite goods and states, in pertinent part, 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 states, in pertinent part, 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:

(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.

Headquarters Rulings Letter (HRL) 087878, dated May 20, 1991, dealt with the classification of a "Santa Snow Dome." This article consisted of a glass dome filled with water that contained a polyurethane figure depicting Santa Claus in a winter snow scene. When the dome was shaken, small white particles scattered and fell on the scene to depict a snowfall. The dome measured 6 inches high and had a base with a diameter of approximately 4-3/8 inches. The value of the snow dome components were as follows: polyurethane base-$1.83; polyurethane decorations-$1.20; glass with water $.39; other parts $1.06.

HRL 087878 held that this article was considered to be a composite good. The role the glass dome played in relation to the use of the goods, its weight and bulk strongly suggested that the dome imparted the essential character to the article. Therefore, the "Santa Snow Dome" was classified in subheading 7013.99.80, HTSUS, which provides for "[g]lassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes (other than that of heading 7010 or 7018): [o]ther glassware: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther, valued over $3 but not over $5 each."

It is our position that the glass dome in this case also represents the essential character of the "Star Trek Snowfall". The glass dome plays an essential role in relation to the use of the goods. It is the glass dome that encloses both the water and the figure. Additionally, although the dome does not provide as much weight as the base, it does provide a substantial amount of the bulk of the item. Thus, the "Star Trek Snowfall" water globe is classified in heading 7013, HTSUS.


The "Star Trek Snowfall" is classified in subheading 7013.99.90, HTSUS, which provides for "[g]lassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes (other than that of heading 7010 or 7018): [o]ther glassware: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther, valued over $5 each." The rate of duty is 7.2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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