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HQ 952300

October 28, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952300 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6802.92.00

District Director
United States Customs Service
101 East Main St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

RE: Protest and request for further review no. 1401-92-100081; subheading 6802.91; marble; limestone; geological composition of stone; commercial definitions of stone; HRLs 085266, 086894 and 088467

Dear Sir:

The following is our response to the Protest and Request For Further Review No. 1401-92-100081, dated June 6, 1992, concerning the classification of stone products under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The merchandise at issue is "Italian Rose Dims", "Serpeggiante Italia Dims" and "Filetto Rosso Dims" stone products. The stones measure 12 inches by 12 inches by 3/8 inches. The stones are calibrated, polished and bevelled.

A Customs laboratory tested a representative sample of the above stones and determined that the stones were geologically composed of limestone. The laboratory found that the stone had one polished surface and the sides were cut but not polished. The edges were bevelled 0.0354 to 0.0394 inch.

Upon importation, the stones were liquidated in subheading 6802.92.00, HTSUS, which provides for "[w]orked monumental or building stone (except slate) and articles thereof, other than goods of heading 6801;...[o]ther: [o]ther calcareous stone." The rate of duty is 6% ad valorem.

The protestant argues that the stone should be classified in subheading 6802.91.05, HTSUS, which provides for "[w]orked monumental or building stone (except slate) and articles thereof, other than goods of heading 6801;...[o]ther: [m]arble: [s]labs. The rate of duty is 2.8% ad valorem.


Are the stone products classified as other calcareous stone in subheading 6802.92.00, HTSUS, or as marble slabs in subheading 6802.91.05, HTSUS?


Headquarter's Ruling Letter (HRL) 085266, dated September 20, 1989, dealt with the classification of tiles that were invoiced as marble. A laboratory analysis determined that the tiles were geological limestone, not geological marble. Since limestone and marble are distinct stones with different geological properties, HRL 085266 held that polished limestone was not classifiable as marble in subheading 6802.91, HTSUS; rather, it was classifiable in subheading 6802.92, HTSUS. Therefore, despite the fact that polished limestone is often referred to as "marble" in the trade, it was the geological definition that was used in determining the tariff classification of the tiles under the HTSUS. See also HRL 086894, dated November 23,1990, which classified "Prairie Green Granite" and "Cambrian Black Granite" in subheading 6802.99, HTSUS, based on their geological compositions of diorite and basalt, respectively; HRL 088467, dated January 30, 1991, which classified three stones claimed to be marble in subheading 6802.92, HTSUS, based on their geological compositions of limestone and dolomite, respectively.

Therefore, under the HTSUS, stone products are classified according to their geological composition, not their trade name, commercial description or use. In the instant case, as the laboratory report has revealed, the stones are composed of geological limestone, not geological marble. Thus, the stones cannot be classified as marble in subheading 6802.91. The stones must be classified as other calcareous stones in subheading 6802.92.00, HTSUS.


The protest should be denied. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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