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HQ 956577

April 17, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:M 956577 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 3406.00.00

Mr. Arlen T. Epstein
Serko & Simon
One World Trade Center, Suite 337
New York, N.Y. 10048

RE: Candle in a jar; NYRLs 888752, 885353, 889763

Dear Mr. Epstein:

This is in response to your letter of June 9, 1994, on behalf of Russ Berrie & Company, Inc., requesting a ruling regarding the classification of a candle in a jar under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). A sample was submitted. We regret the delay in responding.


The subject article, identified as item number 14223, is comprised of a glass jar that contains a candle wick and candle wax. The candle wax was poured in the jar as a liquid and has solidified to take the shape of the jar. The jar measures approximately 4 5/8" high and 2 «" in diameter. The jar lip is surrounded by a rubber gasket which aids in creating a seal when the bail and trigger closure attached to the lid is closed. The candle measures approximately 3" high and 2 «" in width. You indicate that the glass jar is valued at $0.94 and the candle at $0.40.


Are candles in bail and trigger closure jars classifiable as preserving jars of glass under heading 7010, HTSUS, or as candles under heading 3406, HTSUS?


The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1, HTSUS, states, in pertinent part, that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. The headings under consideration are as follows:

7010 Carboys, bottles, flasks, jars, pots, vials, ampoules and other containers, of glass, of a kind used for the conveyance or packing of goods; preserving jars of glass; stoppers, lids and other closures, of glass

3406 Candles, tapers and the like

The physical characteristics of the glass jar indicate that it is described by the "preserving jars of glass", portion of heading 7010, HTSUS . Heading 3406, HTSUS, describes the candle. Inasmuch as the combination candle and glass jar is a composite good described by more than one heading, it cannot be classified according to GRI 1. When goods cannot be classified by applying GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied where appropriate.

GRI 2 (b) states, in pertinent part, that any reference in a heading to a material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to mixtures or combinations of that material or substance with other materials or substances. The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3 states that when, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

The combination candle/bail and trigger jar cannot be classified according to the relative specificity provision of GRI 3(a) because the applicable headings describe only part of the article and are thus considered equally specific. Therefore, GRI 3(b) must be applied.

GRI 3 (b) states, in pertinent part, that:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

In general, essential character has been construed to mean the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is; that which is indispensable to the structure, core or condition of the article. In understanding the language of the headings and Explanatory Notes (ENs) of The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive, or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See, T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN VIII to GRI 3(b), pg. 4, provides further factors which help determine the essential character of goods. Factors such as bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods are to be considered, though the importance of certain factors will vary between different kinds of goods.

Generally, it is our opinion that in instances where an article consists of an inexpensive container in which a wick has been placed and liquid candle wax has been poured thereby taking the shape of the container, the candle portion (wax and wick) imparts the essential character of the article. In New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 888752 dated August 18,1993, a bail and trigger jar that contained a wick and in which was poured wax that took the shape of the jar, was classified as a candle. Additionally, see NYRL 885353 dated May 18, 1993, where it was determined that the essential character of an article that was comprised of a glass jar with cork closure, a wick and strawberry scented liquid candle wax which had been poured into the jar and solidified, was the candle. See also: NYRL 889763 dated September 17, 1993. As in the foregoing rulings, it is our opinion that the candle imparts the essential character to the subject candle in a jar. At importation, the candle is the portion that distinguishes the article's character as a whole. Any subsequent use of an inexpensive jar such as this would be fugitive.

Inasmuch as the candle portion of the candle in a jar provides the article's essential character, we find that it is classified under subheading 3406.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for candles, tapers and the like.


The candle in a jar is classifiable under subheading 3406.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for candles, tapers and the like. It has a column one general duty rate of 4.6% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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