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HQ 952144

December 30, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952144 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 6913.90.2000

Mr. Steve Salvi
Salvi Artworks
P.O. Box 16307
Columbus, Ohio 43216

RE: Ceramic Art Paintings; Not Paintings Executed Entirely by Hand

Dear Mr. Salvi:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of June 21, 1992, concerning the tariff classification of articles identified as ceramic art paintings, to be imported from China. Photographs of the articles were submitted with your inquiry.


The articles at issue are paintings executed on a series of square ceramic bases, which are glazed and fired. The sides of each ceramic base measure approximately six inches. The paintings' subjects include portraits, still lives, animals, and/or abstracts, and vary in size, depending upon the scope and nature of the particular painting. (Any custom framing, plaques, and/or mounts for the paintings are the products of U.S. manufacture and labor.)


Whether the ceramic art paintings are classifiable as paintings under heading 9701, HTSUSA; as glazed ceramic wall tiles under heading 6908, HTSUSA; or as other ornamental ceramic articles of ceramic tile under heading 6913, HTSUSA. -2-


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all 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 (EN's) 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.

Heading 9701, HTSUSA, provides, in part, for "[p]aintings, drawings and pastels, executed entirely by hand, other than drawings of heading 4906 and other than hand-painted or hand- decorated manufactured articles;...." The EN to heading 9701 confirms that hand-decorated manufactured articles, such as ceramic wares (among other items), are not included in this heading.

The fact that these ceramic articles incorporate hand- painted subjects does not mandate their classification as paintings executed entirely by hand. The items are actually craft articles produced, at least in part, by a manufacturing process (that being preparation, shaping, drying, firing, and finishing). The articles are therefore not classifiable as paintings under heading 9701, HTSUSA.

Heading 6908, HTSUSA, provides, in part, for "[g]lazed ceramic flags and paving, hearth or wall tiles...." and heading 6913, HTSUSA, provides for "[s]tatuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles:...." The EN to heading 6913 indicates, in pertinent part, that the heading covers a wide range of ceramic articles designed essentially for the interior decoration of homes, offices, assembly rooms, churches, etc. Included are articles which have no utility value but are wholly ornamental, such as haut or bas reliefs and ornaments for mantelpieces and shelves (animals, symbolic or allegorical figures, etc.).

In comparing headings 6908 and 6913, HTSUSA, heading 6908 does not accurately describe the hand-painted ceramic tiles because they are not commonly used for facing walls but are
wholly ornamental with no utility value. See the EN to heading 6907. The description of ornamental ceramic articles in heading 6913, HTSUSA, comfortably fits the subject items.

It is our determination that the hand-painted ceramic articles are classified in subheading 6913.90.2000, HTSUSA, the provision for statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles...of ceramic tile.


The ceramic art paintings are classified under subheading 6913.90.2000, HTSUSA, the provision for "[s]tatuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles: Other: Other: Of ceramic tile." The applicable duty rate for this subheading is 4.2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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