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HQ 966998

April 5, 2004

CLA-2:RR:CR:GC 966998 AML


TARIFF NO.: 7018.90.50

Mr. Mike Stone
International Specialist
Global Village Glass Studios
600 NW 40th Street
Seattle, WA 98107

RE: Classification of “Wish Wands,” lampworked glass bottles

Dear Mr. Stone:

This is in response to your request of January 21, 2004, to the National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, for a binding ruling concerning lampworked glass bottles marketed as “Wish Wands” under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”). The request was forwarded to this office for reply together with a sample and photographs of the manufacturing process for our consideration.


The articles at issue are decorative glass bottles that consist of a glass stopper that is approximately seven inches long and a glass bottle that is approximately five and a half inches tall. The article is designed for a message to be affixed to the long prong on the stopper to be inserted into the bottle. The height of the article with the stopper inserted is approximately eight inches.

In your submission, you describe the article as follows:

The Wish Wand is produced from clear borosilicate glass rods that are heated using an oxygen/propane torch. Both the top and the bottom [portions] of the articles are lampworked in the flame from beginning to completion. The clear borosilicate rods are heated by the torch flame until pliable. Small hand
tools are used to form the shape of the pieces. Once cooled, the articles are painted the desired color. The top or stopper is ground to fit the bottom portion.

The photographs provided show workers forming what appear to be articles similar to the accompanying sample with a torch. The sample appears to be a product of the “lampworked glass” process described below.


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 lampworked 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.

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.

Heading 7013, HTSUS, provides for glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes (other than that of heading 7010 or 7018). Heading 7018, HTSUS, provides for, inter alia, statuettes and other ornaments of lampworked glass. Therefore, if the subject pieces are considered to be lampworked glass, they would not be classified in heading 7013, HTSUS, but in heading 7018, HTSUS.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (“HQ”) 950837, dated May 4, 1992, we made the following conclusions concerning the term “lampworked”:

The dictionary definition of lampworking states that it is the process of fashioning objects from glass tubing and cane softened to workability over the flame of a small lamp. The definition states that it should be compared with glassblowing, which is defined as an art of shaping a mass of glass by inflating it through a tube after the glass has been heated to a viscid state. Webster's Third New International Dictionary.

In Flameworking-Glassmaking for the Craftsman, Frederic Schuler writes the following regarding lampworking, on page 7:

This book will concentrate on flameworking techniques, but will describe both flameworking and free-blowing. The technique of flameworking, or reheating glass rod or tubing or other pieces of glass, was once called "lampworking." This method was used as early as 1660 to shape microscope lenses; the simple burners were derived from small oil lamps. With this technique, the glass was heated in a relatively small area where pieces were to be sealed, enlarged, or changed in some manner. The cool ends of the glass were held in the hands, which controlled the rotation and position of the fluid central portion. Today, with a simple workbench, a few tools, and burner which uses gas with oxygen or air, this procedure shapes marvelous jewels of glass in a direct manner.

In Phaidon Guide to Glass, by Felice Mehlman, lampworking is defined as follows on page 13:

Working at the lamp: For making small glass objects such as toys, trinkets and beads, the craftsman would work "at the lamp", where
rods of annealed glass could be heated in the concentrated flame of an oil lamp (or later, a Bunsen burner) and shaped by tools.

It is our position that lampworking should be defined by the technique and the types of equipment used. Given the variety of forms a "blow lamp" may now take, if a glass worker softens glass rods and manipulates them over an oil lamp, a Bunsen burner or any other "lamp" producing a hot flame, this method of glass shaping should be considered "working at the lamp". Thus, based on the evidence presented regarding the method used to make these pieces, they are made by the lampworking process.

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. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

We first consider classification under heading 7018, HTSUS, because if the articles are lampworked, classification under heading 7013, HTSUS, by the terms of the heading and ENs thereto, is precluded.

The ENs to heading 7018 provide, in pertinent part, as follows:

This heading covers a range of widely diversified glass articles, most of which are used, directly or after further processing, for ornamental and decorative purposes.

These include:
(G) Statuettes and other ornaments (other than imitation jewellery) obtained by working glass in the pasty state with a blow-pipe. These articles are designed for placing on shelves (animals, plants, statuettes, etc.). They are generally made of clear glass (lead crystal, strass, etc.) or “enamel” glass.

In the instant matter, the unrefuted representations and the photographs provided demonstrate that the articles are produced by lampworking. We find that heading 7018 provides for the articles as statuettes and other ornaments made from lamp-blown glass. In accordance with HQ 950837 cited above, the
articles are classifiable under heading 7018, HTSUS. Classification under heading 7013, HTSUS, is therefore precluded.


The “Wish Wands” – decorative glass bottles made of lampworked glass - are classifiable under subheading 7018.90.50.00, HTSUS, which provides for, inter alia, other statuettes and other ornaments of lampworked glass. The 2004 general column 1 duty rate is 6.6% ad valorem.


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