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HQ 956118

July 11, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 956118 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 6809.90.00

Ms. Sherry Baker
Wholesale Supply Company, Inc.
International Department
7100 Service Merchandise Drive
Brentwood, TN 37027

RE: Silver-plated praying hands; plaster; electroplated silver; GRI 1; EN 68.09

Dear Ms. Baker:

This is in response to your letter dated March 8, 1994, regarding the tariff classification of silver-plated praying hands under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). A sample was submitted for our examination.


The subject silver-plated praying hands is a figurine of two hands with robe cuffs at the wrists folded in prayer. The figurine, which is 4 3/4 inches by 3 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches, is made of plaster and has been electroplated with silver. You have provided the cost breakdown as follows:

Plaster 1.14
Hardener 0.93
Electroplating 1.43
Box 0.15

Total 3.65


What is the tariff classification of the silver-plated praying hands under the 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 terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...."

Heading 6809, HTSUS, provides for "Articles of plaster or of compositions based on plaster...." In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HCDCS) Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be consulted. The ENs, although not dispositive are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See, T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 68.09 (pg. 904) states that:

This heading covers articles of plaster or of plastering materials....

These articles may be dyed, varnished, waxed, lacquered, bronzed, gilded or silvered (by any process), or sometimes coated with asphalt; they may also be reinforced. The heading includes panels, boards, sheets or tiles, sometimes faced with paperboard, used in the building industry; and moulded articles such as casts, statues, statuettes, rosettes, columns, bowls, vases, ornamental goods, industrial moulds (emphasis added).

In this case, the article under consideration is a plaster figurine which has been electroplated with silver. Pursuant to EN 68.09, plaster articles may be silvered by any process and may included statuettes and ornamental goods. The plaster, silver- plated, praying hands figurine is of the class or kind of article classifiable under heading 6809, HTSUS. Specifically, it is classified under subheading 6809.90.00, as other articles of plaster or of compositions based on plaster.


The silver-plated praying hands are classified under subheading 6809.90.00, HTSUS, as other articles of plaster or of compositions based on plaster, dutiable at the Column 1 rate of 5 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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