United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1995 HQ Rulings > HQ 956809 - HQ 956911 > HQ 956827

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 956827

November 7, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 956827 RFA


TARIFF NO.: 7419.99.50

Mr. Jeff Rhodes
Riro Company
P.O. Box 275
Lincolnville Center, ME 04850

RE: Unfinished Brass Plaques; Sign-plates; Name-plates; Articles of Copper; Headings 7419, 8306, and 8310; EN 83.10; NY 890587, revoked

Dear Mr. Rhodes:

This is in reference to NY 890587, issued to you on September 27, 1993, by the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, in which the tariff classification of brass plaques was determined under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. No. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993)(hereinafter, "section 625"), notice of the proposed revocation of NY 890587 was published on October 5, 1994, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 39/40. No comments were received. Our decision in this matter is set forth below.


The merchandise consists of polished and lacquered brass plaques in various shapes and sizes. After importation, the plaques will be engraved and blackened with names and or numbers.


Are the brass plaques, which are not engraved, classifiable as decorative ornaments, as sign- or name-plates, or as other articles of copper under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

In NY 890587, dated September 27, 1993, Customs in New York assumed that the subject brass plaques were decorative in nature based upon the description of the plaques in your letter of September 7, 1993. Accordingly, the plaques were classified under subheading 8306.29.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[b]ells, gongs and the like, nonelectric, of base metal; statuettes and other ornaments, of base metal; photograph, picture or similar frames, of base metal . . . : [s]tatuettes and other ornaments, and parts thereof: [o]ther. . . ." The column one, general rate of duty is 5 percent ad valorem.

After receiving additional information from your company on May 5, 1994, Customs has learned that the plaques are not other decorative ornaments, but are intended to be used as sign or name-plates. The plaques, after importation, are engraved and blackened according to the end-user's specifications. Sign plates and name plates are classifiable under subheading 8310.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for: "[s]ign plates, name plates, address plates and similar plates, numbers letters and other symbols, and parts thereof, of base metal, excluding those of heading 9405. . . ."

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the Customs Cooperation Council's official interpretation of the HTSUS. While not legally binding, the ENs 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. 89-80, 54 Fed.Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 83.10, page 1126, states in pertinent part:
this heading covers base metal plates which bear (by enamelling, varnishing, printing, engraving, perforation, stamping, moulding, embossing, shaping or any other process) words, letters, numbers or designs giving all the essential information required for a sign-plate, name-plate, advertising plate, address-plate or other similar plate. It is a characteristic of such plates that they are normally designed to be permanent fixtures (e.g., road sign-plates, advertising plates, machine name-plates) or to be used many times (e.g., cloakroom tokens and tags).

The heading does not include: (a) [p]lates not bearing letters, numbers or designs, or bearing only particulars incidental to the essential information which is to be added later (e.g., headings 7325, 7326, 7616, 7909). . . .

Based upon the information provided and the guidance of EN 83.10, we find that the subject brass plates are excluded from classification under heading 8310, HTSUS, because they are not engraved with the essential information at the time of importation. Articles of base metal which are not engraved are classified according to its metal component. The plates are made of brass which is an alloy of copper. Articles of copper are provided for under heading 7419, HTSUS. The subject brass plates which are polished and lacquered are classifiable under subheading 7419.99.50, HTSUS, which provides for other articles of copper which are further worked. Therefore, the classification of the brass plates in NY 890587 is revoked.


The brass plates are classifiable under subheading 7419.99.50, HTSUS, which provides for: "other articles of copper: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther. . . ." The column one, general rate of duty is 5 percent ad valorem.

NY 890587, dated September 27, 1993, is revoked. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations [19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)].


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: