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HQ 958837

June 18, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 958837 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 7006.00.40; 7013.99.70

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
555 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA 94111

RE: Protest 2809-95-101638; mirrored glass decorative appliques; ENs 44.14, 70.06, 70.09; HRLs 088088, 086405

Dear Port Director:

The following is our response to Protest 2809-95-101638 concerning your actions in classifying and assessing duty on mirrored glass decorative appliques, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Samples were submitted for our review.


The subject articles consist of mirrored glass decorative appliques of various shapes. They are between 4 and 6" long and 2 and 4" wide. All are backed with a thin metallic coating. Some are additionally backed with wood, cut to shape. The mirrored glass portion is decorated over the entire surface and has low reflective properties. These articles are designed for mounting on the frames of standard mirrors of domestic origin to provide an ornate finished product.

Protestant entered the mirrored glass decorative appliques under heading 7004, HTSUS. The entries were liquidated on October 6, 1995, under heading 7013, HTSUS. A protest was timely filed on November 29, 1995. The headings under consideration are as follows:

4414 Wooden frames for paintings, photographs, mirrors or similar objects.

7004 Drawn glass and blown glass, in sheets, whether or not having an absorbent, reflecting or non-reflecting layer, but not otherwise worked

7006 Glass of heading 7003, 7004 or 7005, bent, edge worked, engraved, drilled, enameled or otherwise worked, but not framed or fitted with other materials

7009 Glass mirrors, whether or not framed, including rear-view mirrors

7013 Glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes (other than that of heading 7010 or 7018)


Are the mirrored glass decorative appliques classifiable as sheets of glass, worked sheets of glass, mirrors or decorative glassware?


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.

Protestant entered the articles under heading 7004, HTSUS, which provides for unworked sheets of drawn glass and blown glass. However, in the November 29, 1995, submission, protestant acknowledges that heading 7004, HTSUS, does not describe the subject article and withdraws claim to that classification. Instead, plaintiff claims that all of the appliques are classifiable as edge worked glass of heading 7006, HTSUS, or in the alternative, that the appliques without a backing are classifiable under heading 7006, HTSUS, and the wooden backed appliques are classifiable under heading 7009, HTSUS, as mirrors.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) may be utilized. 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 70.06, p. 930, states:

This heading covers glass of the types referred to in headings 70.03 to 70.05 which has been subjected to one or more of the processes mentioned below. The heading does not, however, include...glass in the form of mirrors (heading 70.09).

The heading includes:

(A) Bent or curved glass such as the special glass (e.g., for display windows) which is obtained by hot-bending or hot-curving (in a suitable furnace and over moulds) flat glass sheets, with the exception, however, of the bent or curved glass of heading 70.15.

(B) Glass with worked edges (ground, polished, rounded, notched, chamfered, bevelled, profiled, etc.), thus acquiring the character of articles such as slabs for table-tops, for balances or other weighing machinery, for observation slits and the like, for signs of various kinds, fingerplates, glasses for photograph frames, etc., window panes, glass fronts for furniture, etc.

(C) Glass perforated or fluted as a subsequent operation, etc.

(D) Glass which has been surface worked after manufacture, for example, glass subjected to obscuring processes (sand-blasted glass, or glass rendered dull by treatment with emery or acid); frosted glass; glass engraved or etched by any process; enameled glass (i.e., glass decorated with enamel or vitrifiable colours); glass bearing designs, decorations, various motifs, etc., produced by any process (hand painting, printing, window transparencies, etc.) and all other glass decorated in any other way, except glass hand painted so as to constitute a painting of heading 97.01.

This heading covers not only flat glass in the form of semi-finished products (e.g., sheets without any particular purpose), but also articles of flat glass designed for a specific purpose, subject to their being neither framed, backed, nor fitted with material other than glass. The heading thus includes, inter alia, fingerplates (for doors or switches) made entirely of bevelled or perforated glass and signplates, even when bevelled, coloured or bearing designs or other decorations. [italics added]

On the other hand, glass sheets set in wood or in base metal, designed for framing photographs, pictures, etc., fall in heading 44.14 or 83.06 respectively; decorative glass mirrors, whether or not framed, with printed illustrations on one surface, fall in heading 70.09 or 70.13...

The mirrored glass decorative appliques with wooden backing are specifically excluded from this heading. The mirrored glass decorative appliques without a backing have surfaces which have been worked after manufacture. Furthermore, they are articles which will be used to decorate the edges of mirrors. Therefore, we find that the mirrored glass decorative appliques without a backing are described by heading 7006, HTSUS, specifically subheading 7006. 00.40, HTSUS, which provides for glass of heading 7003, 7004 or 7005, bent, edge worked, engraved, drilled, enameled or otherwise worked, but not framed or fitted with other materials: other:other.

EN 70.06 suggests that glass sheets set in wood are classifiable under heading 4414, HTSUS. EN 44.14, p. 634, states:

This heading covers wooden frames of all shapes and dimensions, whether cut in one piece from a solid block of wood or built up from beadings or mouldings. The frames of the heading may also be of wood marquetry or inlaid wood.

Frames remain in this heading if fitted with backs, supports and plain glass...[ emphasis added]

The subject articles merely have a backing of wood and are not framed with wood, therefore, they are not classifiable under heading 4414, HTSUS.

Protestant suggests that the wooden backed mirrored glass decorative appliques are classifiable as mirrors. We disagree. EN 70.09, p. 933, states, in pertinent part, that:

...This heading covers mirrors in sheets, whether or not further worked. It also includes shaped mirrors of any size, for example, mirrors for furniture, for interior decoration, for railway carriages, etc.; toilet mirrors (including hand or hanging mirrors); pocket mirrors (whether or not in a protective case). The heading further includes magnifying or reducing mirrors and rear-view mirrors (e.g., for vehicles). All these mirrors may be backed (with paperboard, fabric, etc.), or framed (with metal, wood, plastics, etc.), and the frame itself may be trimmed with other materials (fabric, shells, mother of pearl, tortoise-shell, etc.). Mirrors designed for placing on the floor or ground (for example, cheval-glasses or swing-mirrors of the type used in tailors' fitting rooms or in footwear shops) also remain in this heading in accordance with Note 1 (b) to Chapter 94.

This heading also covers mirrors, whether or not framed, bearing printed illustrations on one surface, provided they retain the essential character of mirrors. However, once the printing is such as to preclude use as a mirror, these goods are classifiable in heading 70.13 as decorative articles of glass...

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086405 dated April 16, 1990, we determined that the essential character of a mirror is to provide a reflection so one may check their appearance. In addition, in HRL 088088 dated October 9, 1991, we stated that a "mirror" is a polished or smooth substance or surface that forms images by reflection. Protestant indicates that the articles are used to decorate larger mirrors and the reflective capacity of the subject articles is far less than that intended for mirrors. Our examination of the samples indicates that the wooden backed mirror glass decorative appliques bear surface illustrations which do not accurately reflect one's appearance. All of this information indicates that the subject articles do not retain the essential character of a mirror. Therefore, they are precluded from classification under heading 7009, HTSUS, and are classifiable under heading 7013, HTSUS, specifically subheading 7013.99.70, HTSUS, as other decorative glass articles.


The mirrored glass decorative appliques without backing are classifiable under subheading 7006.00.40, HTSUS, with a column one duty rate of 4.9% ad valorem. The wooden backed mirrored glass decorative appliques are classifiable under subheading 7013.99.70, HTSUS, with a column one duty rate of 7.2% ad valorem. Therefore, you should deny the protest, except to the extent reclassification of the merchandise as indicated above results in a net duty reduction and partial allowance.

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 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 this decision must be accomplished prior to the mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of this 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 to 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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