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NY N023339

February 21, 2008



TARIFF NO.: 6912.00.4400

Mr. Edward Flower
Alpha International Inc.
145 Hook Creek Blvd.
Bldg. C – 1G North
Valley Stream, NY 11581

RE: The tariff classification of a ceramic mug and coaster from China.

Dear Mr. Flower:

In your letter dated February 14, 2008, on behalf of America Retold, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise under consideration is a ceramic item. You have inquired as to whether the item would be considered a cup or a mug. The item is cylindrically shaped and has a handle. It measures approximately 5 inches high by 3½ inches in diameter. In a telephone conversation with this office, you indicated that the item will be packaged and sold with a ceramic coaster in a set of six. You have submitted a catalogue page depicting the item with your request.

In Ross Products, Inc. v. U.S., 40 Cust. Ct. 158, C.D. 1976 (April 3, 1958) the court determined that a decorated earthenware, barrel-shaped drinking vessel, about 3” high and 2” in diameter, with a curved handle, on top of which was a figure of a bird through which one could blow to make a whistle sound, used by children for the purpose of drinking milk, and not used with a saucer was a “mug” within the common understanding of that term. The tariff term “mug” was defined as a straight-sided or barrel-shaped vessel measuring about the same across the top as across the bottom. It is usually heavier than a cup, with a heavier handle, has a flat bottom and is not used with a saucer. Furthermore, the court noted that the company itself referred to the article as a “mug”. Customs considers articles meeting the court definition of "mug", which are taller than they are wide, to be drinking mugs classifiable under subheading 6912.00.4400, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The subject ceramic item meets this definition and is considered a mug.

The ceramic mug and coaster will be classified as a set in the tariff provision applicable to the article which imparts the essential character. In this instance, the essential character is imparted by the ceramic mug.

The applicable subheading for the ceramic mug and coaster will be 6912.00.4400, HTSUS, which provides for “Ceramic tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, other than of porcelain or china: Tableware and kitchenware: Other: Other: Other: Mugs and other steins.” The rate of duty will be 10% ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

Ceramic table/kitchenware may be subject to certain requirements under the regulations administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you have any questions regarding these requirements, you may contact the FDA at: Food and Drug Administration, Division of Import Operations and Policy, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857, Telephone: 1-888-463-6332.

Certain ceramic table and kitchen articles may be subject to The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (The Bioterrorism Act), which is regulated by the FDA. Information on the Bioterrorism Act can be obtained by calling the FDA at telephone number (301) 575-0156, or at the Web site www.fda.gov/oc/bioterrorism/bioact.html.

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 Sharon Chung at 646-733-3028.


Robert B. Swierupski

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