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HQ 963975

July 10, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963975 TF


TARIFF NO.: 8215.99.50

Mr. Richard Tomasek
Phoenix International
712 N. Central Avenue
Wood Dale, IL 60191

RE: Modification of NY A80299; stainless steel spatula

Dear Mr. Tomasek:

This is in regard to NY A80299 issued to you on February 20, 1996, by the Director, Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, in reply to your letter dated January 25, 1996, on behalf of The Pampered Chef, in which you requested a tariff classification ruling of a spatula. 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 stainless steel bladed spatula (item #2620) with wooden handles which is used as a mini-serving tool.

In NY A80299, Customs held that the stainless steel spatula was classifiable in subheading 8205.51.3030, HTSUS, which provides for other household tools, and parts thereof, of iron or steel.


Whether the subject spatula is 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 spatula is classifiable within heading 8215, HTSUS, then it cannot be classifiable in heading 8205, HTSUS.

The subject spatula, although not listed eo nomine among the exemplars in heading 8215, HTSUS, falls within the purview of the heading and is classifiable by the operation of ejusdem generis as it “possess[es] the essential characteristicsor common purpose” similarly 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.)

As the subject spatula is elsewhere specified or included, it cannot be classifiable in heading 8205, HTSUS.

Accordingly, the proper classification of the spatula is subheading 8215.99.50, HTSUS.


Under the authority of GRI 1, HTSUS, applied to the subheading level by GRI 6, HTSUS, the subject spatula is provided in heading 8215, HTSUS, and is classified in subheading 8215.99.50, HTSUS.


NY A80299, dated February 20, 1996, is hereby modified. 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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