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HQ 960274

OCTOBER 9, 1997

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 960274 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 7003.19.00, 9902.70.03

Mr. Port Director of Customs
200 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29464-2611

RE: I.A. 2/97; Textured Rolled Glass Sheets; Green Glass; Glass, Not Finished or Edge Worked; Unfinished Glass Ceramic Stove Tops; Heading 7006.00, Glass, Edge-Worked; Chapter 70, Note 2; HQ 959112

Dear Port Director:

In a memorandum, dated January 8, 1997 (CLA-1 PD:C JT), submitted at the request of Eurokera North America, you ask that we confirm the proper classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of certain rolled glass sheets with rounded edges. Samples were submitted.


The merchandise is rolled glass in sheets for use as surfaces for cooking stoves. The glass is yellow-green in appearance and the sheets are imported from 840 mm to 880 mm wide and 800 mm to 1300 mm long. The submitted sample is rectangular in shape with the edge on one side rounded smooth.

The manufacturing process involves drawing molten glass from the furnace in continuous sheets in the widths indicated. In the earliest stages of the rolling operation, edge rollers fire polish the edge of either one or two sides of the glass. This is a melting process which rounds the edges smooth, possibly so that they cool first to allow the glass to be gripped at the edges. The rolling operation continues as forming rollers impart a "stippled" pattern consisting of numerous small bumps to the other side. The glass sheets are then annealed, quickly cooled, then crosscut online to their final imported lengths. In their condition as imported, the glass is referred to as "green glass."

After importation, the glass is cut to stove top size and all four edges ground into a so-called pencil edge which makes the edges less rounded and slightly rougher. This is said to provide safety and strength for the cook top. The glass is then printed with a cook top design and fired, which converts them to a glass-ceramic state. The resulting final product is a glass ceramic stove top.

In a letter, dated June 22, 1995, the importer notes that finished stove tops are classifiable free of duty in subheading 8516.90.65, HTSUS, as top surface panels which are parts for cooking stoves. He expresses the opinion that the rolled glass sheets are unfinished articles for tariff purposes, having the essential character of complete or finished stove tops, and should be similarly classified. Subsequently, in a letter dated March 31, 1997, counsel for the importer asserts that notwithstanding the presence of the rolled edge or edges, the rolled glass sheets are not otherwise worked for tariff purposes. This is because Chapter 70, Note 2, HTSUS, states that for purposes of headings 7003, 7004 and 7005 glass is not regarded as "worked" by reason of any process in has undergone before annealing and, further, that cutting to shape does not affect the classification of glass in sheets. He concludes the glass is not worked in any manner before rolling and, therefore, is classifiable in subheading 7003.19.00, HTSUS, as rolled glass, in sheets, not otherwise worked. Merchandise so classified is eligible for duty-free entry under subheading 9902.70.03, HTSUS.

Other Customs officers express concern that rounding of the edges of these glass sheets may not be an inevitable part of the rolling process, as counsel asserts, but may in fact be intentional. This raises the issue of whether an intentional rounding of the edges during rolling makes them edge-worked or otherwise worked.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

7003 [r]olled glass, in sheets or profiles, whether or not having an absorbent, reflecting or non-reflecting layer, but not otherwise worked:

Nonwired sheets:

7003.19.00 Other

7006.00 Glass of heading 7003, 7004 or 7005, bent, edge-worked, engraved, drilled, enameled or otherwise worked...:


7006.00.40 Other

9902.70.03 Rolled glass in sheets, yellow-green in color, not finished or edgeworked, textured on one surface, suitable for incorporation in cooking stoves, ranges or ovens described in subheading 8516.60.40 (provided for in subheadings 7003.12.00 or 7003.19.00) ISSUE:

Whether rounding of one or more edges during the rolling of glass sheets makes them otherwise worked.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 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, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80. 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Chapter 70, Note 2(a), authorizes, but does not identify, processes to which glass can be subjected before the annealing stage that will not exclude it from heading 7003. However, certain ENs at p. 1015, include within heading 7006, glass of heading 7003 that is edge-worked or otherwise worked, and list as
examples glass that has been ground, polished, rounded, notched, chamfered, beveled, profiled, etc.(Emphasis added). In our opinion, to accord proper deference to the mandate of Note 2(a), the polishing or rounding operations listed in the heading 7006 ENs must be limited to those which occur after the annealing stage. In this regard, HQ 959112 is a memorandum to the Chief, National Commodity Specialist Division, New York Seaport, dated August 15, 1996, in which we agreed with the National Import Specialist's opinion that glass with chamfered edges is considered glass with worked edges provided for in HTS heading 7006. In our opinion, this decision is consistent with the analysis above, as chamfering is a mechanical notching process performed after the glass has hardened and is no longer malleable, i.e., after the annealing stage.

Our decision is based in part on counsel's statements on pp. 1 and 2 of a letter to us, dated March 31, 1997, that the edge rolling of the glass sheets occurs before the annealing stage. We understand that all glass articles must go through an annealing or heat-treatment cycle after forming and cooling as annealing prevents harmful stresses from freezing into the glass. However, the internal advice applicant, through counsel, should satisfy you, either by a flow chart, or by other credible evidence, that the rolling of one or more of the edges of the glass sheets smooth, in fact occurs before the annealing stage.


Under the authority of GRI 1, rolled glass in sheets, as described, is provided for in heading 7003. It is classifiable in subheading 7003.19.00/9902.70.03, HTSUS.

You should mail this decision to counsel for the internal advice applicant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. On that date 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, the Freedom of Information Act, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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