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NY C87704

June 9, 1998

CLA-2-44:RR:NC:2:230 C87704


TARIFF NO.: 4420.90.8000; 7013.39.2000; 0712.20.4000; 0712.90.6500; 0712.90.8080; 0904.12.0000; 0904.20.6090; 0909.20.0000;
0910.91.0000; 0910.99.4000; 2103.90.8000

Mr. Brett Ian Harris
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 245 Park Avenue, 33rd floor
New York, NY 10167-3397

RE: The tariff classification of a wooden birdhouse cabinet with spices in glass storage jars from China

Dear Mr. Harris:

In your letter dated May 11, 1998, on behalf of your client, Shonfeld's (USA) Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The ruling was requested on a product called a Wooden Birdhouse with Spices, Item No. ch-1002. A sample was submitted, which will be returned to you as you requested. The sample consists of a wooden cabinet measuring approximately 17-3/4 inches high by 11-3/4 inches wide by 4-3/4 inches deep. The cabinet is styled like a birdhouse with the top of the cabinet in the form of an A-frame shape roof and with a birdhole in the front under the eaves. The cabinet has a hinged door which opens to three shelves each holding four glass storage jars filled with various spices and seasonings. The cabinet is designed to stand on a counter or shelf. The glass storage jars have cork stopper lids and are about 3 inches high and 2-1/2 inches round in the middle. Cardboard inserts are placed between the jars and the back of the cabinet to fill up the extra space on the 4-1/4 inch wide shelves. The relative values of the constituent components are stated to be $3.70 for the cabinet, $0.64 for the glass jars, $0.87 for the spices and $0.16 for the cork.

You believe that Item ch-1002 is a composite good because it is a wooden spice cabinet complete with twelve glass jars filled with spices. In addition, you believe that the essential character of this item is imparted by the wooden birdhouse cabinet based on the value and the visual impact.

Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 3(b) provides for the classification of mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTS constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN for GRI 3(b) define the term "composite good" as follows:

For the purposes of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

The item being classified consists of three separable components packed together - the wooden birdhouse cabinet, the glass jars (complete with cork lids) and the spices. The glass jars are filled with the spices and put in the wooden cabinet. They can be used together and can be considered to be mutually complementary. However, the item does not meet the other two important requirements of a composite good.

First, the glass jars and the cabinet are not specially fitted or adapted to each other. The cabinet has plain wooden shelves that are twice the width of the jars. In packing the two components together, a cardboard insert is required to hold them in place.

Second, the wooden cabinet is similar to a small curio cabinet suitable for holding knick knacks. It is not similar to an ordinary spice rack consisting of a specially designed frame suitable only for holding certain spice jars. The wooden birdhouse cabinet can be used to hold a variety of small articles and is the kind of cabinet generally sold separately. Thus, the components of item ch-1002 do not form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

The wooden birdhouse cabinet, the glass storage jars and the spices do not make up a composite good. Therefore, each component is classifiable separately.

The applicable subheading for the wooden birdhouse cabinet will be 4420.90.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for wooden articles of furniture not falling within chapter 94. The rate of duty will be 3.6 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for the glass storage jars will be 7013.39.2000, HTSUSA, which provides for glassware of a kind used for table or kitchen purposes; other; other; valued not over three dollars each. The rate of duty will be 27 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheadings and rates of duty for the spices and seasonings, as listed in your letter, will be as follows:

1) Black pepper blend 0904.12.0000 Free
(assumed 45g pepper,
45g salt)

2) Minced onion 0712.20.4000 22.5 percent

3) Mustard seed blend 2103.90.8000 6.8 percent
(28g mustard seed,
9g minced onion,
9g crushed red pepper)

4) Curry blend 0910.91.0000 2.3 percent
(11g curry powder,
80g salt, 11g fennel seed)

5) Crushed red pepper 0904.20.6090 3.5 cents/kg

6) Mixed vegetable seasoning 1 0712.90.8080 9.9 percent
(6g green onion, 6g carrot)

7) Oregano flakes 0910.99.4000 3.4 percent

8) Sesame-coriander mix 2103.90.8000 6.8 percent
(20g sesame seeds,
6g coriander flakes)

9) Pepper-onion mix 2103.90.8000 6.8 percent
(23g minced onion,
3g black peppercorns,
3g crushed red pepper)

10) Mixed vegetable seasoning 2 0712.90.8080 9.9 percent
(8g red bell pepper,
8g green bell pepper,
8g minced onion)

11) Coriander seeds 0909.20.0000 Free

12) Parsley flakes 0712.90.6500 4.5 percent

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Paul Garretto at 212-466-5779.


Robert B. Swierupski

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