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HQ 955544

March 31, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955544 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 7013.39.20

Ms. Mona Webster
Target Stores, Import Department CC-10F
33 South Sixth Street
P.O. Box 1392
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440-1392

RE: Glass spice jars and rack; DD 841416 revoked; EN 70.13; HRL 087727

Dear Mr. Webster:

This is in reference to DD 841416, dated June 6, 1989, in which you were advised by the District Director of Customs, Buffalo, NY, of the classification of glass spice jars and holding rack under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed revocation of DD 841416 was published March 2, 1994, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 9.


The article subject to DD 841416 was a 2-tiered 12 1/2" long spice rack which held 12 corresponding clear glass 118 milliliter jars. The racks were made of wood and plastic covered wire mesh. The jars had plastic perforated screw-on lids and 24 different spice labels. DD 841416 classified the rack and jars in subheading 7010.90.50, HTSUS, which provides for glass containers of the kinds commonly used commercially for the conveyance or packing of liquid or solid products.


Are the subject spice jars and rack classifiable as containers used for the commercial conveyance of liquid or solid products under the HTSUS?


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.

Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087727, dated September 21, 1990, concerned the classification of a spice rack consisting of 12 glass bottles with caps, set in a wire and wood rack. It held that the essential character of the spice rack and glass jars was the glass jars because the rack was used simply to hold the jars while the jars themselves stored and dispensed spices.

Once it was determined that the glass jars imparted the essential character to the imported article, the proper heading in Chapter 70, HTSUS, for glass, had to be determined. Two possible headings were considered. Heading 7010, HTSUS, which provides, in pertinent part, for glass containers of the kind commonly used commercially for the conveyance or packing of liquid or solid products, and heading 7013, HTSUS, which provides for glass used for table/kitchen or similar purposes.

According to HRL 087727, heading 7010, HTSUS, only applies to food and beverages jars used to convey or market solid or liquid food products to consumers. Additionally, jars of this heading are usually discarded after their contents are consumed. After applying the above mentioned criteria to the spice jars in question, HRL 087727 held that the jars are not usually discarded after a particular spice is used. Instead, this type of jar is reused to store and dispense additional portions of its original spice.

This determination is consistent with the Explanatory Notes to heading 7013, HTSUS. 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. See, T.D.89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128, (August 23, 1989). EN 70.13, pg. 936, lists salt cellars as exemplars for heading 7013, HTSUS, and HRL 087727 determined that spice jars are similar to them.

Therefore, HRL 087727 found that the spice jars in the spice rack were classifiable in heading 7013, specifically subheading 7013.39.20, HTSUS, which provides for glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration, or similar purposes: [o]ther: [o]ther: [v]alued not over $3 each, with a corresponding duty rate of 30 percent ad valorem.

The reasoning and conclusions of HRL 087727 continue to apply to spice jars imported in a spice rack. Therefore, the spice rack with jars which was the subject of DD 841416 is classifiable in subheading 7013.39.20, HTSUS.


The subject spice rack with jars is classifiable in subheading 7013.39.20, HTSUS. The general column one rate of duty is 30 percent ad valorem.

DD 841416, dated June 6, 1989, is hereby revoked. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director

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