United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2002 HQ Rulings > HQ 965704 - HQ 965773 > HQ 965773

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 965773

September 23, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965773 KBR


TARIFF NO.: 8516.90.90

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
423 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

RE: Protest 1901-02-100065; Thermal coffee carafe

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on protest 1901-02-100065 filed by counsel on behalf of Sunbeam Products, Inc., against your action regarding the classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a thermal coffee carafe. The entries under protest were liquidated on February 1, 2002, and this protest was timely filed on April 8, 2002.


The product is a thermal, 8-cup coffee carafe for an automatic drip coffee maker, “Mr. Coffee” ® Model No. TC83. The thermal carafe has a double wall insulation and a “brew-thru” lid that adapts the carafe for use with the specific model automatic drip coffee maker. The coffee flows through the filter basket through the hole in the carafe’s lid into the carafe. You classified the article in subheading 9617.00.30, HTSUS, which provides for vacuum flasks and other vacuum vessels, parts thereof, having a capacity exceeding 1 liter but not exceeding 2 liters. The protestant claims that the thermal coffee carafe should be classified in subheading 8516.90.90, HTSUS, as parts of other electrothermic appliances.


What is the classification under the HTSUS of the thermal coffee carafe?


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the HTSUS is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, 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 GRIs may then be applied.

The HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:

8516 Electric instantaneous or storage water heaters and immersion heaters; electric space heating apparatus and soil heating apparatus; electrothermic hairdressing apparatus (for example, hair dryers, hair curlers, curling tong heaters) and hand dryers; electric flatirons; other electrothermic appliances of a kind used for domestic purposes; electric heating resistors, other than those of heading 8545; parts thereof:

8516.90 Parts:

8516.90.90 Other

9617.00 Vacuum flasks and other vacuum vessels, complete with cases; parts thereof other than glass inners:


9617.00.30 Having a capacity exceeding 1 liter but not exceeding 2 liters

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes may be utilized. The Explanatory Notes (ENs), although not dispositive or legally binding, 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, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

The EN for 96.17 states that the heading covers:

Vacuum flasks and other similar vacuum vessels, provided they are complete with the cases. This group includes vacuum jars, jugs, carafes, etc., designed to keep liquids, food or other products at fairly constant temperature, for reasonable periods of time. These articles consist of a double-walled receptacle (the inner), generally of glass, with a vacuum created between the walls, and a protective outer casing of metal, plastics or other material, sometimes covered with paper, leather, leathercloth, etc. The space between the vacuum container and the outer casing may be packed with insulating material (glass fibre, cork, or felt). In the case of vacuum flasks the lid can often be used as a cup.

Customs has previously classified thermal carafes in subheading 9617.00.10, HTSUS. See HQ 964889 (March 18, 2002), NY A86506 (October 8, 1996). However, we note that these thermal carafes were for use on their own and not as a part of some other machine.

EN 85.16(E)(3) includes “coffee or tea makers” within heading 8516 as an electrothermic appliance. Coffee makers are provided for eo nomine in subheading 8516.71.00, HTSUS. Therefore, the appliance for which the instant thermal carafe is intended would be classified in heading 8516, HTSUS, as a coffee maker.

Note 2(b) for Section XVI of the HTSUS states that parts of machines which are goods of chapter 85, if suitable for use solely or principally with a particular kind of machine, or with a number of machines of the same heading, are to be classified with the machines of that kind. See HQ 950630 (March 13, 1992), HQ 083984 (October 26, 1989), HQ 082334 (October 23, 1989). This is true even if the part may possibly be used outside of the machine if that would be considered a secondary use and the part was an integral part to the machine. See HQ 086655 (June 7, 1990).

Customs found that a glass carafe for a coffee maker was classifiable in heading 8516, HTSUS, in HQ 085300 (November 30, 1989), stating:

The article in question is an integral part of a coffeemaking machine. It is imported, marketed, and sold with such a machine. Its design is similar to that of other pots sold and used with coffeemaking machines. It is also clear that the carafe is to be used with a coffeemaker, even if it can be used for other purposes. Customs has issued an earlier ruling concerning a similar product. In ruling #553651 (December 2,1985), it was ruled that the subject article, a coffee decanter manufactured specifically for use with a coffeemaker, was "unquestionably" designed to be chiefly used with a coffeemaker as a part. In the present case, the carafe is manufactured specifically for use with the coffeemaker it is manufactured and sold with. Thus, even assuming other uses are possible, we find that the use as a coffee pot for the coffeemaker is the principal use of this article and it is a part.

Note 2(b) of Section XVI requires us to classify a part of a machine with that machine if it is suitable for use solely or principally with that particular machine. We believe such is the case here. The Explanatory Notes (EN) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System provides additional guidance when determining classification under the HTS. EN 85.16(E)(3) states that coffee or tea makers are regarded as electrothermic appliances for use in the household. As an article that is a part of a coffeemaking machine, the carafe can be considered a part of an electrothermic appliance of heading 8516. Therefore, we find it to be properly classifiable under 8516 rather than heading 7013 because of Section XVI note 2(b).

Customs held that a glass carafe for a coffee maker was an integral part of the machine and without which the coffee maker could not function as intended, therefore, pursuant to Note 2(b) of Section XVI, the carafe was classifiable in subheading 8516.90, HTSUS. See HQ 085663 (January 9, 1990), HQ 086655 (June 7, 1990).

In the instant case the thermal carafe is manufactured to be used with the automatic coffee maker. It is designed to specifically match the features of that automatic coffee maker, such as the hole in its lid and the automatic shut-off feature. The automatic coffee maker can not operate properly without the thermal carafe. Therefore, we find that, pursuant to Note 2(b) of Section XVI, the thermal carafe is classified in subheading 8516.90.90, HTSUS, as parts of other electrothermic appliances.


In accordance with the above discussion, the thermal gravy server classified in subheading 8516.90.90, HTSUS, as parts of other electrothermic appliances.

The protest should be ALLOWED. In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision.

Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: