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HQ 965863

December 3, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 965863 KBR


TARIFF NO.: 8419.81.90; 8516.79.00

Port Director
U.S. Customs Service
150 N. Royal Street
Room 3004
Mobile, AL 36602

RE: Protest 1901-02-100132; Water heater; Coffee maker

Dear Port Director:

This is our decision on protest 1901-02-100132 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 “Hot Shot®” hot water dispenser, and a Hospitality 4-Cup Coffee Maker. The entries under protest were liquidated on May 24, 2002, and this protest was timely filed on August 8, 2002.


There are two products involved in this protest. The first product is a Hot Shot®, Model 3211, hot water dispenser, for household use. The Hot Shot is a table/counter top unit, standing approximately 9 ¾ inches high, 5 inches wide and 6 inches deep. It must be plugged into a standard, home, 2 prong 120 volt electrical outlet. The Hot Shot® operates by pouring no more than 16 ounces of water into the top of the article and pressing a “HEAT” button. Only water may be used in the Hot Shot®, no other liquid or material. After a short time the water will be heated and may be dispensed into a mug or bowl placed under a spout located in the concave opening in the front of the Hot Shot® by depressing the “DISPENSE” button. You classified the Hot Shot® in subheading 8516.71.0080, HTSUS, which provides for other electrothermic appliances, coffee makers. The protestant claims that the Hot Shot® should be classified in subheading 8516.79.00, HTSUS, as other electrothermic appliances, other.

The second product subject to this protest is the Hospitality 4-Cup Coffee Maker, Model 3278/3279. This coffee maker is part of Sunbeam’s “Hospitality” line of commercial grade products. The protestant states that the coffee maker is specifically designed for use in hotel rooms. The coffee maker measures 9.25 inches high by 8.5 inches long, by 5 inches wide. It uses a commercial, grounded three-prong electrical plug. The protestant states that all the metal and electrical components along with the base plate are connected to the ground wire. The protestant states that the coffee maker is approved under the “commercial standards” by the Underwrtiters Laboratories, Inc. (“UL”). The coffee maker is made from higher flammability grade plastic (Grade V) than household coffee makers (Grade HB). The coffee makers have a one-hour automatic shut-off. The coffee maker operates by plugging the three prong plug into a 12 volt grounded electrical outlet, pouring up to 4 cups of water into the top of the unit, placing coffee and a filter into the filter basket, placing a carafe under the filter basket, and pressing the on switch. The coffee maker has a “Pause & Serve” feature which allows the carafe to be removed so that a user may pour a cup prior to the brew cycle finishing. You classified the coffee maker in subheading 8516.71.0020, HTSUS, which provides for other electrothermic appliances of a kind used for domestic purposes, coffee makers. The protestant claims that the coffee maker should be classified in subheading 8419.81.9040, HTSUS, as other machinery, plant or equipment for making hot drinks or for cooking or heating food, other, of a type used in restaurants, hotels or similar locations.


What is the classification under the HTSUS of the Hot Shot® hot water dispenser and the Hospitality 4-cup coffee maker?


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:

8419 Machinery, plant or laboratory equipment, whether or not electrically heated (excluding furnaces, ovens and other equipment of heading 8514), for the treatment of materials by a process involving a change of temperature such as heating, cooking, roasting, distilling, rectifying, sterilizing, pasteurizing, steaming, drying, evaporating, vaporizing, condensing or cooling, other than machinery or plant of a kind used for domestic purposes; instantaneous or storage water heaters, nonelectric; parts thereof:

Other machinery, plant or equipment:

8419.81 For making hot drinks or for cooking or heating food:

8419.81.90 Other

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:

Other electrothermic appliances:

8516.71.00 Coffee or tea makers

8516.79.00 Other

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).

EN 85.16(E) states that this group includes all electro-thermic machines and appliances provided they are normally used in the household. Accordingly, we must determine whether the coffee maker falls within the definition of electro-thermic machines normally used in the household. The Section and Chapter Notes and the ENs do not provide a clear definition of the term "electro-thermic appliances of the kind used for domestic purposes." A tariff term that is not defined in the text of the HTSUS and the ENs is construed in accordance with its common and commercial meaning. Nippon Kogaku (USA) Inc. v. United States, 69 CCPA 89, 673 F.2d 380 (1982). Common and commercial meaning may be determined by consulting dictionaries, lexicons, scientific authorities and other reliable sources. C.J. Tower & Sons v. United States, 69 CCPA 128, 673 F.2d 1268 (1982).

The term "electrothermal" is defined in Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary 423 (1988) as "[o]f or relating to the production of heat by electricity." The term "domestic" has also been defined as "of or pertaining to the family or household." See HQ 954781 (September 22, 1993). Furthermore, heading 8516 has been found to be a use provision. See HQ 956226 (September 13, 1994).

Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), HTSUS, states that in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires, a tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use. The subject articles will thus fall under heading 8516 if they are found to produce heat by electricity and are the class or kind of articles principally used in the home.

The Court of International Trade (CIT) has established various factors, which are indicative but not conclusive, to apply when determining principal use within a particular class or kind. They include: general physical characteristics, the expectation of the ultimate purchaser, channels of trade, environment of sale (accompanying accessories, manner of advertisement and display), use in the same manner as merchandise which defines the class, economic practicality of so using the import, and recognition in the trade of this use. See Hartz Mountain Corp. v. United States, 19 C.I.T. 1149, 1151, 903 F. Supp. 57, 59 (1995).

EN 85.16(E) at (c) excludes from this heading “[c]ounter-type coffee percolators, tea or milk urns, sauté pans and chip pans used, for example, in chip shops and other thermo-electric appliances which are not normally used in the household.” In this instance, the coffee maker is powered by electricity to heat water to brew coffee through a drip method. The coffee maker only brews four cups of coffee, which is not sufficient for restaurant or other mass sale of coffee. However, large serving size is not required to be other than for household use. This coffee maker is produced and marketed for sale to the hotel industry. It is marketed in magazines and websites under the retailer’s “Hospitality” line of merchandise which contains articles for commercial use rather than to household consumers. It is more expensive than the similar models of 4-cup drip coffee makers made for the household. The plastic used is a commercial grade plastic. The electric connections are the more expensive commercial grade grounded connections. The coffee maker is approved under the UL standards for commercial use rather than household use standards. Therefore we find that it is not “designed and intended to be principally used in the home” and, therefore, not classifiable in 8516, HTSUS. HQ 959712 (May 2, 1997). Customs previously ruled that coffee machines for use outside of the household are classified in subheading 8419.81.90, HTSUS. See NY E86236 (August 23, 1999). See also NY E85376 August 12, 1999). The correct classification for the Hospitality 4-cup Coffee Maker is in subheading 8419.81.90, HTSUS, as other machinery, plant or equipment, for making hot drinks or for cooking or heating food, other.

The Hot Shot® was classified under subheading 8516.71.20, HTSUS, as an electric coffee maker. However, the Hot Shot® is not a coffee maker. The article only heats water. It does not brew coffee. The instructions to the article specifically state not to put anything but water into the reservoir. Therefore, subheading 8516.71.20, HTSUS, is not an appropriate classification.

Subheading 8516.10.00, HTSUS, concerning immersion heaters, is also not an appropriate classification for the Hot Shot®. The heating coil of the Hot Shot® is not “immersed” in the water. EN 85.16(A)(5) describes immersion heaters as “usually with a heat-insulated handle and a hook for hanging the heater in the vessel.” This is not the case with the Hot Shot®. There is no separate heating coil placed inside a container holding water. The water is placed in a reservoir which is heated from below similar to a hot pot or electric kettle. Customs determined that an electric kettle was classified in subheading 8516.79.00, HTSUS. NY 894612 February 25, 1994. Therefore, we find that the correct classification of the Hot Shot® is in subheading 8516.79.00, HTSUS, as other electrothermic appliances, other.


In accordance with the above discussion, the Hospitality 4-Cup Coffee Maker, Model 3278/3279, is classified in subheading 8419.81.90, HTSUS, as other machinery, plant or equipment, for making hot drinks or for cooking or heating food, other.

The Hot Shot®, Model 3211, is classified in subheading 8516.79.00, HTSUS, as other electrothermic appliances, other.

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

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