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HQ 956672

August 29, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 956672 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 6802.91.30

Stephen S. Spraitzar, Esq.
The Law Offices of George R. Tuttle
Three Embarcadero Center, Suite 1160
San Francisco, California 94111

RE: Alabaster worked monumental or building stone and articles thereof; EN 68.02

Dear Mr. Spraitzar:

This is in reference to your letter dated June 29, 1994, on behalf of The Basic Source, Inc., regarding the tariff classification of alabaster articles under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Additional submissions dated July 19 and 27, 1994, were taken into consideration in rendering this decision. Two samples and illustrative literature were submitted for our examination.


The articles under consideration are five alabaster articles which you describe as follows:

1. Panelume Alabaster Architectural Panel Square (Tile), item number SQ-0808-105, measuring 8" x 8" x 1/2". The Square is used as panelling.
2. Panelume Architectural Panel Rectangle (Slab), item number RT-0812-105, measuring 8" x 12" x 1/2". The Slab is used as panelling.
3. Pendant Luminaire, item number 23-020-186/A, measuring 30" in diameter. This item is in the shape of a bowl and used as a lighting diffuser which is imported without any metal hardware or electrical fittings.
4. Wall Sconce, item number 51-714-103, measuring 17" wide. This item is in the shape of a half bowl and is used as a lighting diffuser. It includes a metal bar imbedded and glued into the diffuser and a wall bracket both of which allow wall mounting. It does not contain any electrical fittings. 5. Wall Sconce, item number 51-818-182CF, measuring 18" wide which is used as a wall lighting diffuser. As imported, it does not include the two metal strips which fit over the alabaster slab or any electrical fittings.

You contend that the Panelume Alabaster Architectural Panel Square and Rectangle are properly classified under subheading 6802.91.30, HTSUS, as other alabaster worked monumental or building stone and articles thereof, and the Pendant Luminaire and Wall Sconces are classified under subheading 9405.99.40, HTSUS, as other parts of lamps and lighting fittings. You state that entries of the Pendant Luminaire and Wall Sconces have been recently rate advanced by Customs under subheading 7116.20.20, HTSUS, as other articles of semi-precious stones and that protests have now been filed.


What is the tariff classification of the alabaster articles 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 6802, HTSUS, provides for "Worked monumental or building stone (except slate) and articles thereof, other than goods of heading 6801; mosaic cubes and the like, of natural stone (including slate) whether or not on a backing; artificially colored granules, chippings and powder, of natural stone (including slate)...."

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, 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. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 68.02 (pgs. 897-898) states that heading 6802, HTSUS includes such articles as:

...steps, cornices, pediments, balustrades, corbels and supports; door or window frames and lintels; thresholds; mantelpieces; window sills; doorsteps; tombstones; boundary stones and milestones, bollards; panoramic indicators (enamelled or not); guard posts and fenders; sinks, troughs, fountain basins; balls for crushing mills; flower pots; columns, bases and capitals for columns; statues, statuettes, pedestals; high or low reliefs; crosses; figures of animals; bowls, vases, cups; cachou boxes; writing-sets; ashtrays; paper wights; artificial fruit and foliage, etc....

The heading also covers small prepared mosaic cubes and the like of marble, etc., for various floor or wall coverings, etc., whether or not backed with paper or other materials. It further includes artificially coloured granules, chippings and powder of marble or of other natural stones (including slate) (e.g., for shop window displays), but untreated pebbles, granules, chipping and coloured natural sands fall in Chapter 25 (emphasis added).

Based on the information submitted, we are of the opinion that the Panelume Alabaster Architectural Panel Square and Rectangle are of the class or kind of articles classifiable under heading 6802, HTSUS, as they are used as panelling in buildings. Therefore, they are classified under subheading 6802.91.30, HTSUS, as other alabaster worked monumental or building stone and articles thereof.

Pursuant to Part 177, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 177), we are unable to issue a binding ruling concerning the other three alabaster articles. As you known, a binding ruling is, generally, given under the provisions of 19 CFR Part 177 "...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. See, section 177.1, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.1).

With respect to the rate advanced entries of the alabaster articles at issue, for which you have now filed protests, they will be processed pursuant to Part 174, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 174).


Panelume Alabaster Architectural Panel Squares and Rectangles are classified under subheading 6802.91.30, HTSUS, as other alabaster worked monumental or building stone and articles thereof, which is dutiable at the Column 1 rate of 5.3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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