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HQ 962951

May 22, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 962951 AML


TARIFF NO.: 6810.90.00

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
40 South Gay Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

RE: Protest 1303-99-100126; resin figurines

Dear Port Director:

The following is our decision regarding protest 1303-99-100126, dated May 18, 1999, filed on behalf of Country Artists USA, Inc., against your classification of resin figurines as other articles of plastics, plastic statuettes under subheading 3926.40.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). A sample and manufacturer’s certifications were provided for our consideration.


Counsel for the protestant states that the products, resin figurines that are formed into various figures and statuettes resembling animals and scenes, are comprised of 52% “microdol” (calcium carbonate – artificial stone), 46% polyester resin and 2% organic peroxide catalyst.

The Customs Laboratory in New York analyzed the sample provided and issued a report, #2-2000-20586, dated April 24, 2000, which confirmed that the product was comprised of 55% mineral matter (calcium carbonate) and 45% plastics material as a binder. Upon request, counsel for the protestant provided manufacturer’s certifications that attest to the claim that “microdol” is a naturally occurring mineral, as opposed to a synthetically derived calcium carbonate.

The products were entered between April and July 1998, and the entries were liquidated on March 5 and May 14, 1999. The protest was filed on May 18, 1999. The products were classified at liquidation under subheading 3926.40.00, HTSUS.


Whether the resin figurines comprised primarily of calcium carbonate are classifiable under subheading 6810.99.00, HTSUS, as other articles of artificial stone?


Initially we note that the protest was timely filed and the matter protested is protestable (see 19 U.S.C. §1514(a)(2) and (5)).

Classification of imported merchandise is accomplished pursuant to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Classification under the HTSUS is guided by the General Rules of Interpretation of the Harmonized System (GRIs). 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[.]” GRI 2(b) provides, in pertinent part, that “the classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.”

The HTSUS headings and subheadings under consideration are as follows:

3926 Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914:
3926.40.00 Statuettes and other ornamental articles. 6810 Articles of cement, of concrete or of artificial stone, whether or not reinforced:
Other articles:
6810.99.00 Other.

Given the fact that the Customs Laboratory has confirmed that the representative sample of the articles at issue (produced by the same manufacturer of the same substance) consists primarily of calcium carbonate (artificial stone), by operation of GRI 2(b) and GRI 3, the articles cannot be classified in heading 3926, HTSUS, as other articles of plastics.

When interpreting and implementing the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, while neither legally binding nor dispositive, provide a guiding commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See, T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

EN 68.10, provides, in pertinent part, that:

This heading covers moulded, pressed or centrifuged articles (e.g., certain pipes) of cement (including slag cement), of concrete or of artificial stone, other than those of heading 68.06 or 68.08 (in which cement is merely a binder), or heading 68.11 (articles of asbestos-cement). Artificial stone is an imitation of natural stone obtained by agglomerating pieces of natural stone or crushed or powdered natural stone (limestone, marble, granite, porphyry, serpentine, etc.) with lime or cement or other binders (e.g., plastics). Articles of artificial stone include those of  “terrazzo”,  “granito”, etc.

The heading includes, inter alia . . . statues, statuettes, animal figures; ornamental goods.

The articles are statuettes, animal figures and ornamental goods comprised primarily of artificial stone as described by the EN. The articles are principally comprised of crushed or powdered artificial stone (55%) which is agglomerated with a form of plastic that acts as a binder. As such, at GRI 1, the articles are specifically provided for in heading 6810, HTSUS.

This determination comports with prior rulings of this office. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 089372, dated January 29, 1992; HQ 956098, dated May 16, 1994; HQ 955392, dated May 16, 1994; HQ 959749, dated October 23, 1997; HQ 960365, dated May 11, 1998; and HQ 960924, dated September 15, 1999, articles (statues, statuettes, figurines and ornamental goods) consisting primarily of calcium carbonate agglomerated with plastic resin were held to be classifiable in subheading 6810.99.00, HTSUS.


The resin figurines are classifiable in subheading 6810.99.00, HTSUS, which provides for "articles of . . . artificial stone, whether or not reinforced: other article[s]: other."

The protest is GRANTED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision, together with Customs Form 19, should be mailed by your office to the protestant no later than sixty (60) days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of this decision. Sixty (60) 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 the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, the World Wide Web at www.customs.treas.gov, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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