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HQ 956788

November 1, 1994
CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 956788 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 6810.99.00

Ms. Kristi Gladding, Assistant Import Manager Fritz Companies, Inc.
550-3 Eccles Avenue, SO.
San Francisco, CA 94080

RE: Picture Frames; DD 899477; EN 68.10; NY 874122

Dear Ms. Gladding:

This is in response to your letter of July 21, 1994, requesting reconsideration of DD 899477, dated July 12, 1994, in which the District Director of Customs, Baltimore, Maryland, classified a photo frame as a ceramic decorative article under subheading 6913.90.50, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


By letter of June 22, 1994, on behalf of Institutional Financing Services, you requested the tariff classification of an article identified as "Item #276 ALL STAR" ceramic photo frame. Based upon your description, the article was classified under subheading 6913.90.50, HTSUS, which provides for other ornamental ceramic articles. You now request reconsideration of DD 899477 because you claim item # 276 is not composed of ceramic materials.

The article under consideration is approximately 3 1/2" by 4 1/2" picture frame described as item #276 "All Star Photo Frame". Surrounding the 2 1/2" by 2" clear portion of the frame are various molded pieces of sports equipment including baseball bats, a baseball, football helmet, soccer ball, basket ball and football. A molded banner with the words "ALL STAR" appears above the clear portion of the frame. The frame is backed with felt covered cardboard. According to your letter of July 21, 1994, the frame consists, by weight, of 66% poly resin, 21% stone powder, and 13% plastic base.


What is the proper classification of the picture frame?


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...."

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System ENs may be utilized. 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 the HTSUS. See, T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 68.10 (pg. 905) states that:

Artificial stone is an imitation of natural stone obtained by agglomerating pieces of natural stone or crushed or powdered natural stone (limestone, marble, granite,porphyry, serpentine, etc.) with lime or cement or other binders (e.g., plastics). Articles of artificial stone include those of "terrazzo", "granito", etc...

The heading includes, inter alia, ...vases, flower pots,architectural or garden ornaments; statues, statuettes, animal figures; ornamental goods...

The articles of this heading may be bushed, ground, polished,varnished, bronzed, enamelled, made to imitate slate, moulded or otherwise ornamented,....

EN 68.10 indicates that stone agglomerated with plastics is to be classified as artificial stone in heading 6810, HTSUS. We are of the opinion that the uniform blending of the stone, i.e., stone powder, and the binding material, i.e., polyester resin is a decisive characteristic of a product classifiable as an article of agglomerated, artificial stone. See New York Ruling (NY) 874122 dated May 20, 1992, in which a sculpture and bookends made of artificial resin were classified under subheading 6810.99.00, HTSUS.

If the subject articles are composed of agglomerated stone powder and binders, they are classifiable under heading 6810, HTSUS, specifically subheading 6810.99.00, which provides for articles of cement, of concrete or of artificial stone, whether or not reinforced: Other articles: Other. However, if they are ceramic, they are classifiable under subheading 6913.90.50, HTSUS, as other ornamental ceramic articles.


If the picture frame is composed of agglomerated stone powder and binders, it is classifiable under subheading 6810.99.00, HTSUS, as other articles of artificial stone. This provision has a column one rate of duty of 4.9% ad valorem.

However, if the picture frame is ceramic, it is classifiable as other ornamental ceramic articles according to the holding of DD 899477.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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