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NY I88418

December 11, 2002

CLA-2-84:RR:NC:1:102 I88418


TARIFF NO.: 8481.80.5090

Mr. Joel G. McClure
Restoration Hardware
2391 West Winton Avenue
Hayward, California 94545

RE: The tariff classification of a garden watering nozzle set from Taiwan

Dear Mr. McClure:

In your letter dated November 8, 2002 you requested a tariff classification ruling. The article in question is identified as the “Ultimate Nozzle Set”, style number 4205-0027. The nozzle set is a nine-piece garden watering accessory set, which includes a water wand, a dial spray nozzle, a twist head nozzle, a pistol grip nozzle, four male brass coupling adapters, and a female coupling adapter, all packed in a “window” box ready for retail sale. A packed sample was submitted.

Examination of the submitted sample reveals that the wand and nozzles all have a hand operated valve mechanism for controlling the flow of water. The coupling adapters allow the wand and various nozzles to be easily connected to a garden hose. The couplings do not contain a valve mechanism. The nozzles are composites of various materials, including brass, zinc, and steel, while the adapters are of brass.

Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (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, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6.

We note that the wand and nozzles included in the nozzle set are described by heading 8481. We also note that the couplings are provided for elsewhere in the tariff. Since the nozzle set is imported as a set and described in part by two or more headings of the HTSUS, we must apply GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b) states that 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. Since we have various items sold together, we must first determine if we have a set put up for retail sale.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized system. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted.

Explanatory Note (X) to GRI 3(b) states that the term “goods put up in sets for retail sale” shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a)consist of at least two different articles that are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings.

(b)consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c)are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

In this instance, we believe the nozzle set meets the ENs definition of “goods put up in sets for retail sale.” First, the nozzle set consists of at least two different articles that are, prima facie, classifiable in two different headings. Secondly, the items are put up together to carry out the specific activity of gardening, i.e., watering of the garden. The wand, nozzles, and adapters of the set will be used together or in conjunction with one another. Lastly, the articles are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking. We thus believe the nozzle set qualifies as a set of GRI 3(b), and we must determine which item or items impart the essential character to the set.

Explanatory Note (VIII) to GRI 3(b), at page 4, states 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. We believe that, in this instance, the wand and nozzles clearly impart essential character to the nozzle set.

The applicable subheading for the nozzle set will be 8481.80.5090, HTSUS, which provides for other hand operated taps, cocks, valves and similar appliances, of other materials. The rate of duty will be 3 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Kenneth T. Brock at 646-733-3009.


Robert B. Swierupski

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