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HQ 955040

January 28, 1994
CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955040 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 8306.21.00

Bettie Jo Shearer
Wholesale Supply Company, Inc.
P.O.Box 24600
Nashville, Tennessee 37202

RE: Bud vases clad with semi-precious metal; PC 885623, 886859; En 83.06

Dear Ms. Shearer:

This is in response to your letter of August 20, 1993, requesting review of pre-classification determinations PC 885623 and 886859 concerning the classification of two bud vases under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


Both bud vases have a base metal of zinc alloy. Item 122RB is described as a goldplated and crytal baroque style bud vase. Item 157GYE is described as a silver-plated fan shaped antique style bud vase. According to your letter, PC 885623, dated May 3, 1993, classified item 157GYE under subheading 7907.90.30, HTSUS, which provides, in pertinent part, for other articles of zinc of a type used for household, table or kitchen use. Further, PC 886859, dated June 9, 1993, classified item 122RB under 8306.21.00, HTSUS, which provides, in pertinent part, for statuettes and other ornaments of base metal, plated with precious metal.


Are the subject vases classifiable as other articles of zinc used for household, table or kitchen use, or as ornaments of base metal plated with precious metal?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. 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. Chapter 83, HTSUS, provides for miscellaneous articles of base metal. Heading 8306 provides, in pertinent part, for statuettes and other ornaments of base metal.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be consulted. The Explanatory Notes (EN), although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128, (August 23, 1989). En 83.06, pg. 1122, provides in pertinent part for:


This group comprises a wide range of ornaments of base metal (whether or not incorporating subsidiary non-metallic parts) of a kind designed essentially for decoration, e.g., in homes, offices, assembly rooms, churches, gardens... This group covers articles which have no utility value but are wholly ornamental, and articles whose only usefulness is to contain or support other decorative articles or to add to their decorative effect, for example:

...(3) Table-bowls, vases, pots,...

It is our opinion, that the only usefulness for the vases in question is to contain or support other decorative articles, namely flowers. Therefore, the vases are classifiable in heading 8306, HTSUS.

Classification to the eight digit level is dependent upon whether the article is plated with semi-precious or precious metal. These vases are plated with silver and gold, both precious metals, and are therefore classifiable in subheading 8306.21.00, HTSUS, which provides for [b]ells, gongs and the like, nonelectric, of base metal; statuettes and other ornaments, of base metal; photograph, picture or similar frames, of base metal; mirrors of base metal; and base metal parts thereof: [s]tatuettes and other ornaments, and parts thereof: [p]lated with precious metal and parts thereof.


Both of the subject vases are classifiable in subheading 8306.21.00, HTSUS, with a general column one rate of duty of 6.5 percent. Pursuant to section 177.9(d)(1), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.9 (d)(1)], PC 885623 is modified regarding item 157GYE.


John Durant, Director

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