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HQ 964639

January 8, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 964639 GOB


TARIFF NO.: 8205.51.30

Mr. Dan Timney
Yamato Customs Brokers U.S.A., Inc.
353 Point San Bruno Blvd. South
San Francisco, CA 94080

RE: HQ 950609 modified; vegetable peeler

Dear Mr. Timney:

This letter is with respect to HQ 950609 dated January 7, 1992, issued to you on behalf of CGS International, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”) of a kitchen organizer set consisting of various items.

Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993), notice of the proposed modification of HQ 950609, as described below, was published in the Customs Bulletin on December 6, 2000. No comments were received in response to that notice.


In HQ 950609, we determined that a steel vegetable peeler was classified in subheading 8211.92.20, HTSUS, as “Knives with cutting blades ... : Other: ... Other knives having fixed blades: With rubber or plastic handles: Kitchen and butcher knives.” We have reviewed that classification and have determined that it is incorrect. This ruling sets forth the correct classification of the steel vegetable peeler. All other determinations of HQ 950609 remain in effect.


What is the tariff classification of the vegetable peeler – is it provided for in heading 8205, HTSUS, heading 8211, HTSUS, or heading 8214, HTSUS?


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRI’s”). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI’s may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“EN’s”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the EN’s provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8205 Handtools...not elsewhere specified or included...:

Other handtools ... and parts thereof:

8205.51 Household tools, and parts thereof:

Of iron or steel:

8205.51.30 Other (including parts)

8211 Knives with cutting blades, serrated or not (including pruning knives), other than knives of heading 8208, and blades and other base metal parts thereof:


8211.92 Other knives having fixed blades:

With rubber or plastic handles:

8211.92.20 Kitchen and butcher knives

8214 Other articles of cutlery (for example, hair clippers, butchers’ or kitchen cleavers, chopping or mincing knives, paper knives); ...

8214.90 Other:

8214.90.90 Other (including parts)

EN 82.05 provides that “[t[his heading covers all hand tools not included in other headings of this Chapter or elsewhere in the nomenclature ... together with certain other tools or appliances specifically mentioned in the title.” EN 82.05 further provides that the “other hand tools” group includes “ ’steels’ and other knife sharpeners of metal; pastry cutters and jaggers; graters for cheese, etc.; ... cheese slicers, vegetable slicers ...” [Emphasis in original.] Thus, certain household tools are included in heading 8205, HTSUS, some of which have cutting blades.

EN 82.11 provides that heading 8211 covers: “Non-folding knives for kitchen, trade or other uses ... This category includes, inter alia: ... fruit peeling knives.” EN 82.11 also provides that heading 8211 excludes: “Articles of cutlery of heading 82.14.” [Emphasis in original.]

EN 82.14 provides that heading 8214 includes: “(1) Paper knives, letter openers, erasing knives, pencil sharpeners ... (4) Butchers’ or kitchen choppers, cleavers, and mincing knives. These articles do not have the normal shape of a knife, and may be designed for use with one or both hands.” [Emphasis in original.]

After a consideration of the possible tariff classifications for the steel vegetable peeler, it is our determination that it is provided for in heading 8205, HTSUS, as “Handtools ... not elsewhere specified or included ...” and it is classified in subheading 8205.51.30, HTSUS. This determination is based upon the following.

Heading 8205, HTSUS, more accurately describes vegetable peelers than heading 8214, HTSUS, in that vegetable peelers are more similar to hand tools (heading 8205) than to cutlery. As noted above, EN 82.05 provides that the “other hand tools” group includes vegetable slicers, which we believe to be substantially similar to hand-held vegetable peelers. We believe that vegetable slicers involve “similar action” to vegetable peelers. With respect to headings 8211 and 8214, HTSUS, we note that vegetable peelers are not knives, and cannot be used as knives. Vegetable peelers involve a specific, fine action, a more limited range of action than can be accomplished with knives. Thus, for tariff purposes, heading 8205, HTSUS, hand tools not elsewhere specified or included, is more specific for vegetable peelers than is either heading 8211 or heading 8214, HTSUS.

Our determination that vegetable peelers are classified in subheading 8205.51.30, HTSUS, is consistent with our determinations in NY A80298 dated February 20, 1996, NY A80301 dated February 20, 1996, NY B86142 dated June 10, 1997, and NY C84668 dated May 27, 1998.


The steel vegetable peeler is provided for in heading 8205, HTSUS, and is classified in subheading 8205.51.30, HTSUS, as: “Handtools ... not elsewhere specified or included ... : Other handtools ... : Household tools ... : Of iron or steel: ... Other ...”


HQ 950609 is modified with respect to the classification of the steel vegetable peeler. All other determinations of HQ 950609 remain in effect. 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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