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HQ 958866

April 16, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:MM 958866 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 8306.29.00

Mr. Robert Persily
Director of Import Operations
Freight Brokers International Inc.
1200 Brunswick Ave
PO Box 960219
Inwood, NY 11096-0219

RE: Copper Tabletop Water Garden: EN 83.06: NYRL 815143

Dear Mr. Persily:

This in response to your letter of June 12, 1995, to the Customs Service Office in New York, N.Y., on behalf of Unique Arts, requesting the classification of a hand crafted copper tabletop water garden under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The letter, together with a sample, was forwarded to this office for a reply.


The tabletop water garden consists of a four leaf shaped copper fountain unit connected through copper "stems" to a plastic water reservoir and pump powered by an electric cord and 3-pronged plug, a copper planter and a decorative rock package. The literature included with the sample describes the article as an "indoor fountain".

During operation, the pump is placed in the copper planter and the reservoir is filled with water. The four "leaves" are strategically angled so that water will flow over each "leaf" and back into the reservoir. Silk flowers and small rocks are placed in the planter surrounding the pump and reservoir. When plugged in, the water is pumped from the reservoir through the "stem" and flows over each descending "leaf" and back into the reservoir. This process continually repeats itself until the fountain is unplugged.

What is the classification of the tabletop water garden 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, 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.

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, Customs consults the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs). The ENs, although not dispositive, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise. Customs believes that they should be consulted for guidance in determining the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Heading 8306, HTSUS, provides, in pertinent part, for statuettes and other ornaments, of base metal. EN 83.06, pgs 1122-23, states, in pertinent part, that :



This group comprises a wide range of ornaments of base metal (whether or not incorporating subsidiary non-metallic parts) of a kind designed essentially for decoration, e.g., in homes, offices, assembly rooms, churches, gardens...

The group covers articles which have no utility value but are wholly ornamental, and articles whose only usefulness is to contain or support other decorative articles or to add to their decorative effect, for example:

(1) Busts, statuettes and other decorative figures; ornaments (including those forming parts of clock sets) for mantelpieces, shelves, etc. (animals, symbolic or allegorical figures, etc.); sporting or art trophies (cups, etc.); wall ornaments incorporating fittings for hanging (plaques, trays, plates, medallions other than those for personal adornment); artificial flowers, rosettes and similar ornamental goods of cast or forged metal (usually of wrought iron); knick-knacks for shelves or domestic display cabinets.

(3) Table-bowls, vases, pots, jardinieres (including those of cloisonne enamel).

The group also includes, in the circumstances explained below, certain goods of the two following categories even though they have a utility value:

(A) Household or domestic articles whether they are potentially covered by specific headings for such goods (i.e., headings 73.23, 74.18 and 76.16) or by the "other articles" headings(e.g., in the case of articles of nickel and tin in particular)...

(B) Articles, other than household or domestic articles, of the type which would otherwise fall in the collective headings at the end of each of the Chapters for metals (e.g., smokers' sets, jewel cases, cigarette boxes). These goods are classified in this group if clearly designed primarily for ornamental purposes.

Customs is of the opinion that the tabletop garden is a base metal decorative article. It has no utility value but is wholly ornamental. Its only usefulness is to contain or support, other decorative articles, specifically a fountain and silk flowers.

This finding is consistent with New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 815143 dated October 16, 1995, in which Customs determined that an indoor wooden planter and fountain was classifiable under subheading 4421.90.98, HTSUS, as an other article of wood. The tabletop water garden is classifiable under heading 8306, specifically subheading 8306.29.00, HTSUS.


The tabletop water garden is classifiable under subheading 8306.29.00, HTSUS, which provides, in pertinent part, for statuettes and other ornaments of base metal and has a column one duty rate of 3% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Appeals

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