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HQ 963973

July 10, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963973 TF


TARIFF NO.: 8215.20.00

Mr. Michael O’Neill
O’Neill & Whitaker, Inc.
1809 Baltimore Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64108

RE: Revocation of NY 847274; steel barbecue utensil set

Dear Mr. O’Neill

This is in regard to NY 847274 issued to you on November 24, 1989, by the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, in reply to your letter dated November 10, 1989, on behalf of Builders’ Square, in which you requested a tariff classification ruling of a 3-piece stainless steel barbecue utensil set with oak wood handles. We have reviewed this ruling and determined that the classification provided for this merchandise is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C 1625(c)), notice of the proposed revocation of NY 847274 was published on June 7, 2000, in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN, Volume 34, Number 23. No comments were received in response to the notice.


The item at issue is a 3-piece stainless steel barbecue utensil set consisting of a pair of tongs, a fork and a spatula. Each piece has a wooden handle.

In NY F847274, Customs held that the barbecue utensil set was classifiable in subheading 8205.51.3030, HTSUS, which provides for other household tools, and parts thereof, of iron or steel.


Whether the subject barbecue utensil set is classifiable as handtools of heading 8205, HTSUS, or as kitchen or tableware in heading 8215, HTSUS.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Statute of the United Sates (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1, HTSUS, provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, HTSUS, and if the headings or notes do not require otherwise, the remaining GRIs 2 through 6, HTSUS, may be applied.

In interpreting the headings and subheadings, Customs looks to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs). Although not legally binding, they provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS. It is Customs practice to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the ENs when interpreting the HTSUS.

The HTSUS headings under consideration are as follows:

8205 Handtools (including glass cutters) not elsewhere specified or included; blow torches and similar self-contained torches; vises, clamps and the like, other than accessories for and parts of machine tools; anvils; portable forges; hand- or pedal- operated grinding wheels with frameworks; base metal parts thereof:

8215 Spoons, forks, ladles, skimmers, cake-servers, fish-knives, butter-knives, sugar tongs and similar kitchen or tableware; and base metal parts thereof:

Heading 8205, HTSUS, provides for various handtools which are used for activities such as drilling and woodwork. It also contains the clause “not elsewhere specified or included”, a "basket" provision, which is appropriate only when there is “no tariff [other] category that covers the merchandise more specifically". See Apex Universal, Inc., v. United States, CIT Slip Op. 98-69 (May 21, 1998). Therefore, we will first address the other competing provision, heading 8215, HTSUS.

Heading 8215, HTSUS, lists eo nomine various exemplars of kitchen implements which are utilized in the culinary process. It also provides for other “similar kitchen tableware”. If we determine that the articles at issue are classifiable within heading 8215, HTSUS, then they cannot be classifiable in heading 8205, HTSUS.

The ENs for heading 8215, HTSUS, includes as follows:

(1) Spoons of all kinds including salt or mustard spoons.

(2) Table forks; carving forks, serving forks, cooks’ forks; cake forks; oyster forks; snail forks; toasting forks.

(3) Ladles and ladle type skimmers (for vegetables, frying, etc.).

(4) Slicers for serving fish, cake, strawberries, asparagus.

(5) Non-cutting fish-knives and butter-knives.

Sugar tongs of all kinds (cutting or not), cake tongs, hors-d’oeuvre tongs, asparagus tongs, snail tongs, meat tongs and ice tongs.

Other tableware, such as poultry or meat grips, and lobster or unit grips.

These goods may be of one piece or fitted with handles of base metal, wood, plastics, etc.

The 3-piece subject barbecue utensil set consists of a pair of tongs, a fork and a spatula. Forks of various kinds are specifically listed among the exemplars. Therefore, we can conclude that the subject fork is classifiable in heading 8215, HTSUS.

Although the subject tongs are not the same as the “sugar tongs” listed within heading 8215, HTSUS, we find the tongs to be classifiable within this heading because the ENs to heading 8215, HTSUS, enumerate a range of tongs as within the scope of “similar kitchen or tableware,” including “sugar tongs of all kinds (cutting or not), cake tongs, hors-d’oeuvre tongs, asparagus tongs, snail tongs, meat tongs and ice tongs”.

With regard to the subject spatula, although not listed eo nomine among the exemplars in heading 8215, HTSUS, we find the spatula to fall within the purview of the heading and thus classifiable by the operation of ejusdem generis as it “possess[es] the essential characteristicsorcommon purpose” similar to other exemplars (e.g., the cake server and butter knives) as it easily turns and lifts food. See Totes, Inc. v. US, 18 CIT 919 (1994)(holding trunk organizers classifiable in heading 4204, HTSUS, as “similar containers” by application of ejusdem generis although they were not described eo nomine by any of the exemplars.)

Each of the barbecue utensils is classifiable in heading 8215, HTSUS, at GRI 1. If imported separately, the fork would be classified in subheading 8215.99.24, HTSUS. The tongs and spatula each would be classified in subheading 8215.99.50. At GRI 6, and by reference to GRI 1, the barbecue utensil set is specifically described in subheading 8215.20.00, which provides for sets of assorted articles.

Accordingly, the proper classification of the barbecue utensil set is subheading 8215.20.00, HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, applied to the subheading level by GRI 6, the subject barbecue utensil set is provided in heading 8215, HTSUS, and is classified in subheading 8215.20.00, HTSUS.


NY 847274, dated November 24, 1989, is hereby revoked. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. 1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the CUSTOMS BULLETIN.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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