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HQ 954933

July 26, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 954933 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 7010.90.50

Mr. Dennis Heck, Director
Trade Services
Tower Group International, Inc.
5420 West 104th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90045

RE: Multi-faceted (octagonal and hexagonal) shaped glass containers; U.S. Additional Note 1(a); EN 70.10; HRL 087359

Dear Mr. Heck:

This is in response to your letter of August 27, 1993, on behalf of H & H Glass Inc., requesting a ruling regarding the classification of various multi-faceted (hexagonal and octagonal) shaped glass containers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Samples and product brochures were submitted for our review.

According to that letter and your letter of January 24, 1994, several styles of these glass containers are the subject of pending protests. Section 177.1(a)(1) of the Customs Regulations [19 U.S.C. 177.1(a)(1)], states, in pertinent part, that:

...Generally, a ruling may be requested under the provisions of this part only with respect to prospective transactions--that is, transactions which are not already pending before a Customs Service office by reason of arrival, entry, or otherwise.

Therefore, all currently protested styles will be handled in accordance with the protest procedures set forth in Part 174 of the Customs Regulations [19 CFR Part 174]. This ruling will apply to the octagonal and hexagonal shaped glass containers which are not subject to pending protests.


The articles in question are various styles of multi-faceted (hexagonal and octagonal shaped) glass containers. You state that they are made of ordinary disposable recyclable glass, have standard glass industry finishes and were produced by an Automated Individual Section Container Forming Machine, which uses a variety of stock molds to produce containers by pressure and blown compressed air.

You further state that the containers are sold by the importer to various distributors who then sell the containers to food packers. The food packers exclusively use the containers to package, convey, market and sell jams, jellies, honey, sauces, mustards, salsa and other food products. The containers, which are very inexpensive, are not sold to household consumers until filled.

The containers are described as follows:

1. CP Series Octagonal: 2. GC Series Octagonal: ITEM CAPACITY ITEM CAPACITY
CP-04 32.00ml GC-165 236.56ml

3. RP Series Hexagonal:

RP-25 118.28ml
RP-26 45.00ml
RP-27 55.00ml
RP-28 110.00ml
RP-29 190.00ml
RP-30 354.84ml


Are the subject octagonal and hexagonal shaped glass containers classifiable as containers for the conveyance or packing of goods?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states, in pertinent part, that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Heading 7010, HTSUS, provides for [c]arboys, bottles, flasks, jars, pots, vials, ampoules and other containers, of glass, of a kind used for the conveyance or packing of goods; preserving jars of glass; stoppers, lids and other closures, of glass.

This is a use provision and as such, according to Additional U.S. Note 1(a), HTSUS, [i]n the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires-- a tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use. Therefore, the principal use of the articles at the time of importation in the United States, will determine the article's classification.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be consulted. The ENs, although not dispositive nor legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128, (August 23, 1989). EN 70.10, pgs. 933-34 states, in pertinent part, that:

[t]his heading covers all glass containers of the kinds commonly used commercially for the conveyance or packing of liquids or of solid products (powders, granules, etc.).

[t]hese containers remain in this heading even if they are ground, cut, sand-blasted, etched or engraved, or decorated (this applies, in particular, to certain perfume or liqueur bottles), banded, wickered or otherwise trimmed with various materials (wicker, straw, raffia, metal, etc.); they may also have tumbler-caps fitted to the neck. They may be fitted with drop measuring devices or may be graduated, provided that they are not of a kind used as laboratory glassware.

They include...

(B) Jars, pots and similar containers for the conveyance or packing of certain foodstuffs (condiments, sauces, fruit, preserves, honey, etc.)...

These articles are usually made of ordinary glass (colourless or tinted) by pressure in a mould usually followed by blowing with compressed air. They generally have a large opening, a short neck (if any) and as a rule, a lip or flange to hold the lid or cap. Some of these containers, however may be closed by corks or screw stoppers...

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087359, dated August 8, 1990, Customs created a scope for the class of glass containers commercially used to convey solid or liquid products. The ruling stated, in pertinent part, that:
the key phrase in this instance is "commonly used commercially for the conveyance" of liquids. The root word of "commercially" is commerce which is described as the exchange or buying and selling of commodities. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, (1986) and The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, (1983). The root word of "conveyance" is convey which is described as to carry, bring or take from one place to another; transport; bear. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, (1983) and Webster's Third New International Dictionary, (1986).

Therefore, for a glass container to be classifiable under heading 7010, HTSUS, as a container for the conveyance or packing of goods, it must be part of the exchange or buying and selling of commodities and it must be used to convey a product to a consumer who uses the product and then discards the container.

We are of the opinion that the distribution of the containers from the importer to distributors who then sell all of the containers to various food packers indicates that the containers are used to commercially convey food stuffs to a consumer. Additionally, the containers' lack of decoration, or uncommon lid indicate that they are the type of containers that, when emptied, will be discarded by the consumer. Finally, the containers are made of ordinary glass by pressure in a mold, have a large opening, a short neck, and a flange. Therefore, the containers are classifiable in heading 7010, HTSUS, specifically subheading 7010.90.50, HTSUS.


The subject octagonal and hexagonal shaped containers are classifiable in subheading 7010.90.50, HTSUS, as containers for conveyance or packing of goods.


John Durant, Director

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