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HQ 958520

April 4, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 958520 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 9401.91.60; 7018.90.50; 7013.99.50

Port Director
U.S. Customs
610 S. Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60607

RE: Protest 3901-95-100274; Glass oil lamp parts and glass figurines; EN 94.05, 70.13, 70.18; HRL 950837

Dear Port Director:

The following is our decision regarding Protest 3901-95-100274 concerning your action in classifying and assessing duty on various glass oil lamp parts and glass figurines under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Pictures of the articles were provided for our examination.


According to descriptions and additional information supplied by protestant, the glass oil lamp parts are manufactured by the free blowing or lamp working process while the figurines are either lamp worked, free blown or made from molds.

The free blowing process involves placing glass in molten form on the edge of a blow pipe. A glassworker then blows into the free end of the blowpipe creating a round shape with the molten glass at the other end of the pipe. The glassworker then uses other tools or twists the blow pipe to create the desired designs. Lamp working involves heating rods of annealed glass over a flame and then shaping the molten glass to form small figurines, etc. Molding involves pouring molten glass into molds to create a shape.

Protestant's additional information, including a submitted invoice, indicate that the articles with style numbers, 100401, 100407A, 100496B, 100590B, 100655, 100679A, 100681C, 100689A, 101410-101426, 100705C, 101583A, 101593, 101715 and 101716, are receptacles created for oil lamps. The remaining glass figurines, identified by style number, were produced in the following manner:
Molded Lamp worked Free blown

100646-51 100636 101466-48
100873 100770-71
101515-18 101300B

The entry was liquidated on November 14, 1994, under subheading 7013.99.50, HTSUS. The protest was timely filed on February 9, 1995. Protestant contends that the articles are classified as lamp worked glassware under subheading 7018, HTSUS. The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

7013.99.50 Glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes (other than that of heading 7010 or 7018): Other glassware: Other: Other: Valued over $0.30 but not over $3 each.....................................30%

7018.90.50 Glass beads, imitation pearls, imitation precious or semiprecious stones and similar glass small wares and articles thereof other than imitation jewelry; glass eyes other than prosthetic articles; statuettes and other ornaments of lamp-worked glass, other than imitation jewelry; glass microspheres not exceeding 1 mm in diameter: Other:

9405.91.60 Lamps and lighting fittings including searchlights and spotlights and parts thereof, not elsewhere specified or included; illuminated signs, illuminated nameplates and the like, having a permanently fixed light source, and parts thereof not elsewhere specified or included: Parts: Other..................................................................6.5%


Are the various glass oil lamp pieces classifiable as parts of lamps or lighting fittings under subheading 9405.91.60, HTSUS? Are the glass figurines classifiable as lamp worked glass articles under subheading 7018.90.50, 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...." GRI 6, HTSUS, provides in pertinent part, that the classification of goods in subheadings of the same heading shall be according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, by appropriate substitution of terms, according to GRIs 1 through 5, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

All three subheadings prima facie describe the glass oil lamp parts. Inasmuch as the glass oil lamp parts are prima facie described in three different subheadings, they 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.

GRI 3 states, in pertinent part, that when 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.

In an effort to determine which heading more specifically describes the glass oil lamp parts, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be consulted. The ENs, although not dispositive nor legally binding, 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 94.05, pgs 1580-1583 states, in pertinent part, that:

Lamps and lighting fittings of this group can be constituted of any material (excluding those materials described in Note 1 to Chapter 71) and use any source of light (candles, oil, petrol, paraffin or kerosene, gas, acetylene, electricity, etc.)...

This heading covers in particular:

(5) Portable lamps (other than those of heading 85.13), e.g.: hurricane lamps; stable lamps; hand lanterns; miners' lamps; quarrymen's lamps...

The heading also covers identifiable parts of lamps and lighting fittings, illuminated signs, illuminated name-plates and the like, not more specifically covered elsewhere, e.g.:

(7) Lamp glasses or chimneys (bottle-necked, etc.)...

EN 70.18 pgs. 941-942 states, in pertinent part, that:

This heading covers a range of widely diversified glass articles, most of which are used, directly or after further processing, for ornamental and decorative purposes. These include:

(G) Statuettes and other ornaments (other than imitation jewellery) obtained by working glass in the pasty state with a blow-pipe. These articles are designed for placing on shelves (animals, plants, statuettes, etc.). They are generally made of clear glass (lead crystal, strass, etc.) or "enamel" glass.

EN 70.13 pgs 936-936a states, in pertinent part, that:

This heading covers the following types of articles, most of which are obtained by pressing or blowing in moulds:

(4) Glassware for indoor decoration and other glassware (including that for churches and the like), such as vases, ornamental fruit bowls, statuettes, fancy articles (animals, flowers, foliage, fruit, etc.), table centres (other than those of heading 70.09), aquaria, incense burners, etc., and souvenirs bearing views.

These articles may be e.g., of ordinary glass, lead crystal, glass having a low coefficient of expansion (e.g., borosilicate glass) or of glass ceramics (the latter two in particular, for kitchen glassware). They may also be colourless, coloured or of flashed glass, and may be cut, frosted, etched or engraved, or otherwise decorated...

Subheading 9405.61.90, HTSUS, provides for glass parts of lamps or lighting fixtures, specifically lamp glasses. Protestant's description of the article indicates that it is a lamp glass. Alternatively, subheadings 7018.90.50 and 7013.99.50, merely provide for a variety of glass articles depending on their means of manufacture. Therefore, we are of the opinion that subheading 9405.61.90, HTSUS, provides the most specific description of the glass oil lamp parts.

Both subheading 7013.99.50 and 7018.90.50, provide for glass figurines. However, heading 7018 provides for figurines created by certain processes. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950837 dated May 4, 1992, Customs defined two of the processes used to make articles described by heading 7018. HRL 950837 defined lamp working and free blowing.

In glass blowing, a long straight hollow tube is used to gather and work molten glass, partly by blowing into the tube. The blowpipe is spun to shape the glass object further by centrifugal force, or by a tool, in which case the blowpipe acts as a spindle for turning. The McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, Volume 2. See also, Two Hundred Years of American Blown Glass, by Helen and George S. McKearin, Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1950. In addition, in Flameworking-Glassmaking for the Craftsman, by Frederic Schuler, Chilton Book Company, the technique of free- blowing is discussed on page 7:

Free-blowing (or offhand blowing) is more difficult, requiring rather elaborate and expensive facilities. This technique was invented around 50 B.C. (glassmaking was already 1500 years old then). The glass is manipulated at the end of a hollow iron pipe (the blowpipe or blowiron), which is about four feet long. Molten glass is made within a refractory container in a furnace, either by remelting marbles or chunks of glass, or by fusing together the raw materials that form glass. The fluid glass is wound upon or "gathered" on the tip of the hollow iron pipe. It is then shaped and manipulated, inflated, tooled, sheared, and spun out or forced in, etc....

The dictionary definition of lamp working states that it is the process of fashioning objects from glass tubing and cane softened to workability over the flame of a small lamp. The definition states that it should be compared with glassblowing, which is defined as an art of shaping a mass of glass by inflating it through a tube after the glass has been heated to a viscid state. Webster's Third New International Dictionary. In Flame-working Glassmaking for the Craftsman, Frederic Schuler writes the following regarding lamp working:

This book will concentrate on Flame working techniques, but will describe both Flame working and free-blowing. The technique of Flame working, or reheating glass rod or tubing or other pieces of glass, was once called "lamp working." This method was used as early as 1660 to shape microscope lenses; the simple burners were derived from small oil lamps. With this technique, the glass was heated in a relatively small area where pieces were to be sealed, enlarged, or changed in some manner. The cool ends of the glass were held in the hands, which controlled the rotation and position of the fluid central portion. Today, with a simple workbench, a few tools, and burner which uses gas with oxygen or air, this procedure shapes marvelous jewels of glass in a direct manner.

In Phaidon Guide to Glass, by Felice Mehlman, lamp working is defined as follows:

Working at the lamp: For making small glass objects such as toys, trinkets and beads, the craftsman would work "at the lamp", where rods of annealed glass could be heated in the concentrated flame of an oil lamp (or later, a Bunsen burner) and shaped by tools.

As explained above, a blow-pipe is associated with the technique of glass blowing / free-blowing. The fact that the glass pieces are not worked in the pasty shape by a blow-pipe is not dispositive of whether they are lamp-worked. EN 70.18 describes the free blowing process and names one of its tools. Additionally, EN 70.18 includes lamp working by name. Therefore, we are of the opinion that glassware made from both processes, which meet the other requirements of heading 7018, are classifiable under the heading. The figurines made from the free blowing or lamp working processes are classifiable under heading 7018, specifically, subheading 7018.90.50, HTSUS.

Finally, EN 70.13 clearly indicates that glass articles shaped by molds are described by heading 7013. Therefore, the articles produced by shaping in a mold are classifiable under subheading 7013.99.50, HTSUS.


The protest should be GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. The glass oil lamp parts are classifiable under subheading 9405.61.90, HTSUS, with a column one duty rate of 6.5% ad valorem. The lamp worked and free blown figurines are classifiable under subheading 7018.90.50, HTSUS, with a column one duty rate of 6.6% ad valorem. The molded figurines are classifable under subheading 7013.99.50, HTSUS, with a column one duty rate of 30% ad valorem.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed, with the Customs Form 19, 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, Freedom of Information Act, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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