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HQ 962170

September 17, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962170 PH


TARIFF NO.: 7013.99.50; 9701.10.00

Mr. Scott D. Noe
Tower Group International
821 2nd Avenue, # 1400
Seattle WA 98104-1476

RE: Suncatcher; painting executed entirely by hand; glassware for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration; HQs 958885; 089401; 086166

Dear Mr. Noe:

This is in reference to your request on behalf of Arctic Circle Enterprises, Inc., to the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, N.Y., dated August 4, 1998, for a ruling as to the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of "suncatchers." A sample was provided. Your letter was referred to this office for reply.


The merchandise under consideration, referred to as "suncatchers" because they are typically hung in a window or doorway to catch sunlight and illuminate it, consist of a circular piece of glass 4" in diameter with a metal rim to which a light metal chain is attached. The glass is painted with a green background on which there is painted a scene with a mailbox, bird, hill, house, and yard. You state that the design for the painting is created and hand-painted on a piece of clear glass. This article is used as a model from which the merchandise is made. The processes used to make the merchandise are: 1. clear glass is hand-cut to the shape of the model; 2. the outline of the design is painted by "freehand", using a black latex paint; 3. paint in various colors is hand-painted in the sections of the outlined piece of glass; and 4. a pewter rim with chain is added by hand to the painted pieces of glass.

The HTSUS 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: ... Other: ... Valued over $0.30 but not over $3 each.

The 1998 general column one rate of duty for goods classifiable under this provision is 30% ad valorem.

9701.10.00 Paintings, drawings and pastels, executed entirely by hand, other than drawings of heading 4906 and other than hand-painted or hand-decorated manufactured articles; collages and similar decorative plaques; all the foregoing framed or not framed: Paintings, drawings and pastels.

Goods classifiable under subheading 9701.10.00 receive duty-free treatment.


Whether the "suncatchers", executed entirely by hand, are classifiable as glassware of a kind used for indoor decoration or similar purposes in subheading 7013.99.50, HTSUS, or paintings, drawings and pastels in subheading 9701.10.00, HTSUS.


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, taken in order.

"Suncatchers" similar to those under consideration were considered in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 958885 dated June 16, 1997. That ruling noted that in HQ 089401 dated September 4, 1991, we had stated, in effect, that even if such "suncatchers" were painted entirely by hand, they were hand-painted manufactured glass articles not included in subheading 9701.10.00, HTSUS. In proceedings that followed in the Court of International Trade, Joan Baker Designs v. United States, Court No. 92-03-00204, the Customs Service agreed with the Department of Justice that the paintings were not painted manufactured articles and stipulated that the painted "suncatchers" were classified in subheading 9701.10.00, HTSUS, as paintings executed entirely by hand. The decision in Court No. 92-03-00204 was published without a formal opinion as an Abstracted Classification Decision as reported in Volume 29, No. 5, of the Customs Bulletin, dated February 1, 1995. Also, see the Abstracted Classification Decisions for Court Numbers 92-01-00694, 93-01-00017, 93-08-00482, and 94-04-00209, as reported in Volume 29, No. 8, of the Customs Bulletin dated February 22, 1995.

Accordingly, because the decisions of the Court are controlling, in HQ 958885 we held "suncatchers" like those under consideration (executed entirely by hand) are classified in subheading 9701.10.00, HTSUS, as paintings executed entirely by hand. We noted that HQ 089401 was modified by operation of law in accordance with the Court decisions cited above.

If not executed entirely by hand, the "suncatchers" would be classified in subheading 7013.99.40, 7013.99.50, 7013.99.80, or 7013.99.90, HTSUS, depending on value (see HQ 086166 dated April 9, 1990, and the unmodified portion of HQ 089401).


The "suncatchers", executed entirely by hand, are classifiable as paintings, drawings and pastels in subheading 9701.10.00, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director

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