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HQ 950225

December 21, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950225 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 2208.30.3030

District Director of Customs
P. O. Box 1641
Honolulu, Hawaii 96806

RE: Request for Further Review of Protest 3201-91-100123, dated July 25, 1991, Concerning Royal Salute Blended Scotch Whisky in a Ceramic Flagon

Dear Mr. Roberts:

This ruling is on a protest that was filed against your decisions of May 1, 1991, in the liquidation of two entries covering the referenced item.


Although the protest does not specify which of the 3 types of scotch whiskey covered by the subject entries are covered by the protest, we understand that only the "Royal Salute" comes in a ceramic flagon. We, therefore, are limiting this request for further review to that item.

The article under consideration is "Royal Salute Blended Scotch Whisky" in a dark blue ceramic flagon with a capacity of 750 milliliters. The front of the flagon has embossing which present a representation of a man on horseback holding a sword and other embossed decorations. An oval label on the front of the bottle reads "Royal Salute, 21 years Old Blended Scotch Whisky". Other labels are affixed to the front and rear of the bottle. These labels are: 1. A representation of a shield; 2. An indication that the producer was founded in 1801; 3. A historical
annotation as to the derivation of the name Royal Salute; and 4. Identification of the U.S. importer. The concave bottom of the flagon shows the name and location of the producer of the whisky and the flagon's producer. It also indicates that the flagon is a liquor bottle which holds 750 ml. The flagon has a stated value of œ2.99. The bottle comes in a cloth drawstring bag with the words "Chivas Brothers" embroidered in gold on one side. The other side of the bag has the words "Royal Salute" similarly embroidered thereon.


Is the ceramic flagon containing Royal Salute Blended Scotch Whisky separately classifiable from its contents or is it classifiable in the same manner as its contents?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the heading and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

Since there is no question as to the classification of the whiskey itself or the cloth bag, we will not consider them in our discussion. Also, since we understand that only "Royal Salute Scotch Whisky" is the one of the 3 brands of scotch whiskey covered by the protested entries which comes in a ceramic bottle, we are limiting our discussion thereto.

In considering the question as to whether the flagon is separately dutiable from its contents we considered GRI 5. Paragraph 5(b), which is herein pertinent, provides that containers entering with the goods shall be classified with the goods if they are of a kind normally used for packing such goods unless the packing materials or packing containers are clearly suitable for repetitive use.

We note that this issue was previously considered in HRL 082955, dated May 29, 1990. In that ruling we found that the subject flagon met the requirements for classification with the whiskey contained therein.

The merchandise herein appears to be exactly the same as the merchandise in the previous ruling.


The "Royal Salute Scotch Whisky" blue flagon is classifiable under subheading 2208.30.3030, HTSUSA, with its contents and is dutiable with its contents at a general rate of duty of 5.3›/proof liter. Imports under this subheading may be subject to a Federal Excise Tax (26 U.S.C. 5001) of $13.50 per proof gallon and a proportionate tax at the like rate on all fractional parts of a proof gallon.

Since reclassification of the merchandise as indicated above will result in the same rate of duty as claimed you are instructed to allow the protest in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and provided to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial rulings Division

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