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HQ 963974

July 10, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963974 TF


TARIFF NO.: 8215.99.50

Ms. Lori Rosario
Metro Customs Brokers, Inc.
181 South Franklin Avenue, Suite 204
Valley Stream, NY 11581

RE: Revocation of NY B86141; 10” angled tongs

Dear Mr. Tomasek:

This is in regard to NY B86141 issued to you on June 10, 1997, by the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, in reply to your letter dated June 3, 1997, on behalf of Acme International, in which you requested a tariff classification ruling of a pair of angled tongs. 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 pair of 10” angled tongs (model #80142), manufactured by Acme International of China. The tongs have grooves which lift, hold and turn food.

In NY B86141, Customs held that the subject tongs were classifiable in subheading 8205.51.3030, HTSUS, which provides for other household tools, and parts thereof, of iron or steel.


Whether the tongs are properly 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 utensils. It also provides for other “similar kitchen tableware”. If we determine that the subject tongs are classifiable within heading 8215, HTSUS, then they cannot be classifiable in heading 8205, HTSUS.

The ENs for heading 8215, HTSUS, includes, in pertinent part, as follows:

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

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

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”.

As the 10” angled tongs are elsewhere specified or included, they cannot be classified in heading 8205, HTSUS. Accordingly, the proper classification of the 10” angled tongs is subheading 8215.99.50, HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, applied to the subheading level by GRI 6, the 10” angled tongs are provided in heading 8215, HTSUS, and are classified in subheading 8215.99.50, HTSUS.

NY B86141, dated June 10, 1997, 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. Sincerely,

John Durant, Director

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