CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082568 MBR
Mr. Herbert J. Lynch
Sullivan & Lynch, P.C.
156 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02109
RE: Four models of pressureless convection steam cooking
appliances for restaurants and institutions
Dear Mr. Lynch:
This is in reply to your letter of May 9, 1988, on behalf of
Garland Commercial Industries, Inc., requesting classification of
four models of pressureless convection steam cooking appliances,
under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States
The articles presented for classification are as follows:
1. Pronto, model CA1E, is a compact pressureless convection
steam cooking appliance designed for counter top use. It
contains an electrically operated steam generator. Its size and
physical appearance resemble a microwave oven.
2. Cyclone, model CC2GE18, is a pressureless convection steam
cooker featuring two cooking compartments (piggy-back style)
mounted on a steel modular cabinet base. The cabinet base houses
an electrically operated steam generator.
3. Triple, model CT1E, is a pressureless convection
steamer/oven with a self-contained electric steam generator.
This model utilizes steam or dry heat or a combination thereof.
4. Combination Cyclone, model CC2 GE, is a combination unit
consisting of a steam cooker and a tilting table kettle. It is
mounted on a modular cabinet base containing an electrically
operated steam generator.
All four models are manufactured by Garland Commercial
Industries, Inc. The above items are designed to be attached to
water supply lines and are of the type used in restaurants,
hospitals, universities and similar institutions. They are
considered non-domestic (non-household) equipment.
What is the classification of convection steam cooking
appliances under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States Annotated (HTSUSA)?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA
govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1
states, in pertinent part:
...classification shall be determined according to the terms
of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...
Subheading 8419.81 provides for:
Machinery, plant or laboratory equipment, whether or
not electrically heated, 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.... Other machinery, plant or equipment: For
making hot drinks or for cooking or heating food.
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System
Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 8419, HTSUSA, pages 1174, 1175,
The following are examples of machinery and plant
which... are covered by Part (I) of this Explanatory
Note [items includable in this heading]: (17)
Specialized heating or cooking apparatus which are not
normally used in the household (e.g., counter-type
coffee percolators, tea or milk urns, steam kettles,
etc., used in restaurants, canteens, etc.; steam-heated
cookers, hot-plates, warming cupboards, drying
There are two competing subheadings for classification of the
pressureless steam cooking appliances. The subheadings are
8419.81.50 and 8419.81.90, HTSUSA. These subheadings provide
8419.81.50 Other cooking stoves, ranges and ovens
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
8419.81.90 Other: Of a type used in restaurants, hotels and
The Explanatory Notes provide no direction as to what
characterizes "cooking stoves," "ranges" and "ovens." Webster's
II New Riverside University Dictionary, page 837, (1984), defines
"oven" as: "An enclosed compartment supplied with heat and used
for cooking food and for heating or drying objects placed
within." Webster's II, Id., defines "heat" as: "1. a form of
energy associated with the motion of atoms or molecules in
solids and capable of being transmitted through solid and fluid
media by conduction, through fluid media by convection, and
through empty space by radiation."
All four models in question meet the above definition of "oven"
because they are enclosed compartments (with a door), supplied
with convection heat and are used for cooking food. Furthermore,
they look and act like conventional ovens except they are faster
and more efficient by using steam convection as a heat source.
However, they can not brown or bake foodstuffs.
The Combination Cyclone, model CC2 GE, is a combination unit
consisting of a steam convection oven and a direct steam tilting
table kettle. The Explanatory Notes, page 1174, describe
vessels, vats, etc., of various kinds for heating or cooling:
(A)(2) Single wall vessels, vats, etc., incorporating
provision for direct heating (including heating by
perforated steam coils) other than such vessels
normally used in the household. In general, the
industrial types are distinguished by their large size
and solid construction, or the provision of filters or
condensing domes or of mechanical devices such as
agitators or tippers.
The direct steam tilting table kettle has provision for direct
heating, is of large size, solid construction and has a tipping
device. Therefore, when imported without the steam convection
ovens, the steam tilting table kettle is classifiable under
8419.81.90, HTSUSA, which is the provision for cooking equipment
of a type used in restaurants, hotels or similar locations.
Each of the competing subheadings under consideration describe
part only of the Combination Cyclone. However, Section XVI, Note
3, HTSUSA, which by operation of GRI 6, governs the
classification of merchandise in the subheadings of heading 8419,
states that unless the context requires otherwise, composite
machines consisting of two or more machines fitted together to
form a whole and other machines adapted for the purpose of
performing two or more complementary or alternative functions are
to be classified as if consisting only of that component or as
being that machine which performs the principal function.
The principal function of this appliance can be determined, in
this case, by the appliance's design. The combination Cyclone
steam cooker and tilting table kettle has two ovens, one on top
of the other, and only one tilting table kettle. In this case,
we find that the presence of two ovens makes the principal
function of this item to be that of the ovens.
The Pronto (model CA1E), Cyclone (model CC2GE18), Triple (model
CT1 E) and the Combination Cyclone (model CC2 GE) are
classifiable under the provision for other cooking stoves, ovens
and ranges in subheading 8419.81.50. The rate of duty is free.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division