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HQ 964898

April 11, 2001

CLA-2:RR:CR:GC 964898 AML


TARIFF NO.: 7018.90.50

Mr. Rob Kelley
Ascent International
111 N. 3rd Street
Geneva, IL 60134

RE: Glass statuettes

Dear Mr. Kelley:

This is in response to the request of December 19, 2000, filed on your behalf by the Fritz Companies, Inc., to the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, for a binding ruling concerning glass statuettes of animals and other inanimate articles under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). As you are aware, the request was forwarded to this office for reply together with a sample for our examination. In preparing this ruling, consideration was also given to your supplemental submissions dated March 10 and April 9, 2001.


The articles at issue are statuettes (animals and inanimate objects) made of glass that consist of 8 – 10% lead crystal. In your supplemental submission, you describe the manufacturing process of the articles as follows:

The “bodies” of the figurines are made in the following manner:

1. A glass rod is heated to a molten state by hand. 2. The heated glass is pressed and cut into a metal mould by hand. 3. The glass is cut and pulled from the mould by hand. 4. The facets are polished by hand.

The additional features of each piece (heads, arms, facial features, etc.) are made by heating glass and manipulating by hand over a flame. These pieces are then attached to the bodies by hand.

You state that the articles are made by the “lamp worked glass” process and that the cost of making the heads, arms, facial features, etc. of the articles is more than twice the cost of making the faceted bodies.


Whether the articles are classifiable under subheading 7013.99.50, HTSUS, which provides for other glassware for indoor decoration; or under subheading 7018.90.50, HTSUS, which provides for other statuettes and other ornaments of lamp-worked glass?


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 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[.]”

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

7013 Glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes (other than that of heading 7010 or 7018): Other glassware (con.):
7013.99 Other:
7013.99.50 Valued over $0.30 but not over $3 each. 7018 Glass beads, imitation pearls, imitation precious or semiprecious stones and similar glass smallwares and articles thereof other than imitation jewelry; glass eyes other than prosthetic articles; statuettes and other ornaments of lamp-worked glass, other than imitation jewelry; glass microspheres not exceeding 1 mm in diameter: 7018.90 Other:
7018.90.50 Other.
7020.00 Other articles of glass:
7020.00.60 Other.

There is no question that the articles are classifiable in Chapter 70,

HTSUS, which provides for articles of glass (we note that in Los Angeles Tile Jobbers, Inc. v. United States, 63 Cust. Ct. 248, C.D. 3904 (1969), the Court stated that "all articles of glass are generally defined as ‘glassware’" (63 Cust. Ct. at 250; citing Webster’s Third new International Dictionary (1968); see also Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, at 573 (1988), defining "glassware" as "articles made of glass"). To be determined is which subheading within Chapter 70 best describes the articles.

Subheading 7020.00.60, HTSUS, is a so-called "basket" provision within Chapter 70, in which classification "is appropriate only when there is no tariff category that covers the merchandise more specifically." (Apex Universal, Inc., v. United States, CIT Slip Op. 98-69 (May 21, 1988).) Therefore, we are first addressing the other competing provisions within Chapter 70. Only if classification in those provisions is precluded will we address classification in heading 7020, HTSUS.

The articles consist of a faceted “body” of glass that distorts light like a crystal to which are attached appendages that resemble those of the animal or object intended to be replicated. Because the products can be described by both heading 7013 as decorative articles for the home and 7018 as statuettes of lamp-blown glass (cited above), they cannot be classified according to GRI 1. Resort must then be made to the remaining GRIs.

GRI 2 (b) provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

Any reference in a heading to a material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to mixtures or combinations of that material or substance with other materials or substances. Any reference to goods of a given material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to goods consisting wholly or partly of such material or substance. The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of Rule 3.

In the instant matter, we are presented with the unique situation in which the articles are composed of a single substance - glass - that has been worked in such a way as to merit classification within separate headings of the tariff (i.e., heading 7013 as glass for indoor decoration that may be molded, etc. (see the ENs to heading 7013) and heading 7018 as statuettes made from lamp-blown glass). Arguably, both component parts can be described as imparting the essential character of the article: the faceted, crystal-like body distorts light and creates prisms and the lamp-blown appendages replicate the animal or object in glass. Therefore, we resort to GRI 3.

GRI 3 provides as follows:

When by application of Rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

(c) When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in the numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

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. See, T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). The guidance of the ENs is necessary in the instant analysis.

EN Rule 3(b)(VII), p. 4, states, in reference to GRI 3(b), that in “all these cases the goods are to be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.”

The term “essential character” is not defined within the HTSUS, GRI’s or

ENs. EN Rule 3(b)(VIII), p. 4, gives guidance, stating that:
the factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

The essential character of the product in question cannot be determined. Both the faceted body and the lamp-blown appendages are equally emphasized. Consideration of the products’ design features warrants this conclusion. Neither component can be construed to comprise or establish the essential character of the product; the product was designed to and does emphasize both components, with neither being secondary or ancillary to the other. Therefore, in accordance with GRI 3(b), these articles must be classified pursuant to GRI 3(c).

Pursuant to GRI 3(c), the instant products are classifiable under heading 7018, HTSUS, which provides for, inter alia, other statuettes and other ornaments of lamp-worked glass.


The glass statuettes are classifiable under subheading 7018.90.50, HTSUS, which provides for, inter alia, other statuettes and other ornaments of lamp-worked glass.


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