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HQ 955156

November 18, 1993
CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 955156 KCC


TARIFF NO.: 9810.00.15

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
Main & Stebbins Streets
Post Office Building
P.O. Box 1490
St. Albans, Vermont 05478

RE: Protest No. 0201-93-100241; sterling silver chalice and paten; regalia; EN 83.06; U.S. Note 2, Subchapter X, Chapter 98

Dear District Director:

This is in response to the Application for Further Review of Protest No. 0201-93-100241, which pertains to the tariff classification of a sterling silver chalice and paten under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The entry of the chalice and paten was liquidated on April 9, 1993, under subheading 8306.21.00, as statuettes and other ornaments of base metal, plated with precious metal. In a protest timely filed on June 8, 1993, the protestant contends that the chalice and paten are classified under subheading 9810.00.15, HTSUS, as regalia.

The competing subheadings are:

8306.21.00 Bells, 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...Statuettes and other ornaments, and parts thereof...Plated with precious metal, and parts thereof.

9810.00.15 Articles imported for the use of an institution established solely for religious purposes...Regalia.


Are the chalice and paten classified as statuettes and other ornaments of base metal, plated with precious metal under subheading 8306.21.00, HTSUS, or as regalia under subheading 9810.00.15, 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 the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...."

In understanding the language of the headings of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HCDCS) Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive, are to be used to determine the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989). EN 83.06 (pg.1122) states that this heading:

...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...

The 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:...

(2) Articles for religious use such as reliquaries, chalices, ciboriums, monstrances or crucifixes.

The chalice and paten are classifiable under subheading 8306.21.00, HTSUS. However, Chapter 98, HTSUS, provides an additional U.S. classification that grants preferential treatment to qualifying articles. Subheading 9810.00.15, HTSUS, allows regalia to enter the U.S. duty-free. U.S. Note 2, Subchapter X, Chapter 98, HTSUS, defines regalia as:

The term "regalia" as used in this subchapter, (subheadings 9810.00.15 and 9810.00.45) embraces only such insignia of rank and office emblems or other articles as may be worn upon the person or borne in the hand during public exercises of the institution, and does not include articles of furniture or fixtures, nor regular wearing apparel, nor personal property of individuals.

Both the chalice and paten are used during the Consecration of the Host in the Christian Mass. They are also borne in the hand during other public religious exercises, i.e., processions to carry both consecrated and unconsecrated hosts, of Roman Catholic and other Christian Churches. Therefore, as the chalice and paten are borne in the hand during religious ceremonies, they are considered regalia and are classifiable under subheading 9810.00.15, HTSUS.


The solid sterling silver chalice and paten are classifiable as regalia under subheading 9810.00.15, HTSUS. The protest should be granted.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis, Freedom of Information Act and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Divisional

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