United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1994 HQ Rulings > HQ 0953261 - HQ 0953453 > HQ 0953384

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 953384

September 14, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 953384 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 7020.00.00

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
Lincoln Juarez Bridge, Building #2
P.O. Box 3130
Laredo, Texas 78044-3130

RE: Protest No. 2304-92-100135; glasses for half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale; 7013.29.60; condition as imported; U.S. v. Citroen; HRL 088579; parts; Willoughby Camera; yard-of-ale; Riekes Crisa

Dear District Director:

This is in response to the Application for Further Review of Protest No. 2304-92-100135, which pertains to the tariff classification of glasses for half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). A further submission dated August 27, 1993, regarding an August 20, 1993, meeting, and samples were submitted for consideration.


The glasses at issue are in the shape of either a tall drinking glass or vase. The half-yard-of-ale glass is 18" tall and holds 25 oz. of liquid, and the foot-of-ale is 12" tall and holds 12 oz. of liquid. After importation, the majority of glasses are fitted with wooden stands and sold. A small portion of the glasses are sold as replacements.

The entries of the glasses were liquidated starting March 13, 1992, under subheading 7013.29.60, HTSUS, which provides for drinking glasses valued over $5.00 each. In a protest timely filed on May 26, 1992, Crisa Corporation, contends that the glasses are properly classified under subheading 7020.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of glass.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

7013.29.60 Glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes (other than that of heading 7010 or 7018)...Drinking glasses, other than of glass- ceramics...Other...Other...Valued over $3 each...Other...Value over $5 each (7.2%)

7020.00.00 Other articles of glass (6.6%)


Are the glasses for the half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale properly classified as drinking glasses under subheading 7013.29.60, HTSUS, or as other articles of glass under subheading 7020.00.00, HTSUS?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states in part that "for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...." Classification is based upon the condition of the articles at the time of importation. United States v. Citroen, 223 U.S. 407 (1911).

The issue to be decided is whether, in their condition as imported, the glasses are a part of the half-yard-of-ale or foot- of-ale. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 088579, dated May 23, 1991, this office stated that "a part is generally an article which is an integral, constituent or compound part, without which the article to which it is joined could not function." See also, United States v. Willougby Camera Stores, Inc., 21 CCPA 322, 324, T.D. 46 (1933), cert. denied, 292 U.S. 640 (1934).

This issue has been addressed by the U.S. Court of International Trade in Riekes Crisa Corp v. United States, 14 CIT 235 (1990). Riekes Crisa classified a glass for the yard-of-ale as articles not specially provided for, of glass, in item 548.05, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) (the precursor provision to subheading 7020.00.00, HTSUS). The court stated that the glass was only a part of the completed yard-of-ale and, therefore, could not be classified as a drinking glass in items 546.56 and 546.59, TSUS, depending upon the value of the article (the precursor provision to subheading 7013.29, HTSUS). The court stated that "[t]he evidence established that the imported articles are not substantially complete in their condition as imported, since the omission of the wooden stand is very signifi- cant to the overall functioning of the complete article." The court relied heavily on the evidence that in its imported condi- tion the glass could not stand unless placed on the accompanying wooden stand. Therefore, the glass was found to be a part of an article and could not be classified as a drinking glass.

Congress has indicated that earlier tariff decisions must not be disregarded in applying the HTSUS. The conference report to the Omnibus Trade Bill of 1988, stated that "on a case-by- case basis prior decisions should be considered instructive in interpreting the HTS[US], particularly where the nomenclature previously interpreted in those decisions remain unchanged and no dissimilar interpretation is required by the text of the HTS[US]." H. Rep. No. 100-576, 100th cong., 2d Sess. 548, 550 (1988). Since the subject nomenclature in the TSUS (items 546.56 and 546.59) and HTSUS (heading 7013) are similar, because they are the respective tariff provisions which cover drinking glasses, and the articles at issue in Riekes Crisa and the instant case are similar, we find that Riekes Crisa is instructive.

In rendering its decision, the court in Riekes Crisa referred only to the "Yard-of-Ales." The protestant contends that half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale were included within the scope of Riekes Crisa. The protestant has submitted a letter from the plaintiff's counsel in Riekes Crisa which states that the case was brought to contest the tariff classification of the entire "family-of-ales." In support of this contention, the protestant states that the court ordered an entry of the half- yard-of-ale to be reliquidated pursuant to its decision. As evidence, the protestant has submitted the "Judgment Order" in Riekes Crisa to show that style number 2326 which is described as "yard-of-ale" was reliquidated pursuant to the courts finding. However, the protestant submitted product brochures which state that style number 2326 is actually a half-yard-of-ale. Additionally, protestant has submitted "Decision and Judgment Upon Agreed Statement of Facts" in Riekes Crisa Corp., v. U.S., case no. 78-1-00193 dated November 1, 1991, and case no. 78-5- 00755 dated October 29, 1991, which reliquidated style no. 2326, "half-yard-of-ale", pursuant to Riekes Crisa, supra.

The protestant contends that classification of the glasses for the half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale under heading 7013, HTSUS, is inconsistent with Riekes Crisa, because Riekes Crisa was concerned with the classification of glasses for the entire "family-of-ales", and not just the glass for the "yard-of-ale." However, if we do not find that Riekes Crisa case dealt with the "family-of-ale", the protestant submits that the reasoning in Riekes Crisa is applicable to the instant case. Except for the size, the glasses for the half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale have the same characteristics and are imported, sold, and used in the same manner as the glass for the yard-of-ale.

We do not find that Riekes Crisa dealt with the glasses for the entire "family-of-ales." We are limited to the language of the court which dealt only with the glass for the "Yard-of- Ales." If the court meant to include the half-yard-of ale or foot-of-ale, it would have specifically stated that it was examining the glasses for the entire "family-of-ales." Regardless of this, we are of the opinion that the glasses at issue are similar to the glass for the yard-of-ale and, therefore, the reasoning in Riekes Crisa should be analyzed.

Like Riekes Crisa, the protestant has submitted evidence that the glasses are not substantially complete in their condition as imported, since the omission of the wooden stand is very significant to the overall functioning of the completed article. The Riekes Crisa court relied heavily on evidence that the yard-of-ale glass could not stand unless placed in the wooden stand. Although the glasses at issue can stand alone and, at first glance, may look like drinking glasses, they do not have the characteristics necessary to function as drinking glasses.

Generally, in glassware stability is provided either by designing the base of the article with a diameter at least equal to the diameter of the top opening (e.g., stemware) or by designing an article with a base heavy enough to counterbalance the weight of the rest of the article (e.g., tumblers). Neither of these methods is used with the glasses at issue. The glasses at issue are capable of standing alone when filled with ale, however they are very susceptible to tipping over. The glasses, with their long necks and with the diameter of the top opening larger than the diameter of the base, are not stability designed to stand alone. Stability is not built into the glass article itself, as with a drinking glass, but is designed to be provided by the separate wooden stand.

The protestant has submitted brochures which depict the entire yard-of-ale, half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale. The merchandise is marketed and sold as an article which consists of two components, the stand and the glass. The protestant does state that, at times, the glasses are sold individually as replacement parts. However, the wooden stand is necessary for the proper use of the article. Moreover, the glasses account for less than 50 percent of the total cost for the half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale.

Based on the above analysis and Riekes Crisa, we are of the opinion that the glasses at issue are considered parts of the half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale. It is well established that where there is no provision for parts of articles under a tariff provision, imported merchandise held to be parts will not be subject to classification thereunder. As heading 7013, HTSUS, does not provide for parts of drinking glass, classification under that heading is impossible. Therefore, the glasses are classifiable under subheading 7020.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of glass.


The glasses of the half-yard-of-ale and foot-of-ale are classified under subheading 7020.00.00, HTSUS, as other articles of glass. The protest should be granted. 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

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: