CLA-2 R:C:M 947456 MMC
U.S. Customs Service
P.O. Box 3130
Laredo, TX 78044-3130
RE: IA 64/94; glass balls and nuggets; ENs 70.02, 70.18
Dear District Director:
This is in response to your memorandum of November 16, 1994, (CLA-2-70:L:CO RQM), relating to a request for internal advice initiated by a letter dated
August 29, 1994, by counsel, on behalf of a customs broker, concerning the
classification of glass balls and nuggets under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of
the United States (HTSUS). In preparing this ruling we have also considered
counsel's supplemental submissions of May 8, and 12, 1995.
The merchandise consists of glass balls and nuggets. Glass balls having
the character of toys (veined glass marbles put up in any form, and glass balls of
any kind put up in packets for the amusement of children) (marbles) are
classifiable under heading 9503, HTSUS, and are not subject to this internal
advice ruling. Nuggets come in various colors and are either 16, 18 or 38mm in
diameter. Glass balls also come in various colors and are either 14,16, 22, 25,
35, 38, 42, or 55 mm in diameter. Both are packaged either ready for retail sale
in nets and canisters or in polybags for retail or wholesale.
According to counsel's submissions, nuggets and glass balls are used for a
variety of purposes. All glass balls may serve amusement purposes (marbles) or
industrial purposes such as ammunition in sling shots, or as part of the
mechanism of a spray bottle. All nuggets are used in floral arrangements and
aquariums. Additionally, glass balls measuring 14mm-25mm in diameter, may be
used in aquariums and flower arrangements. However, glass balls larger than
25mm, while capable of being used in aquariums, are too large to be used in
Originally, all glass balls and nuggets were entered under heading 7020,
HTSUS, as other glass articles. However, as of July 11, 1994, glass balls and
nuggets packed for retail sale in nets and canisters were reclassified by Customs
under heading 7013, HTSUS, as glassware of a kind used for indoor decoration or
similar purposes. This reclassification occurred because it appeared that the
packaging indicated their use as glass articles of a kind used for indoor
decoration. Other possible classifications, such as heading 7002, HTSUS, which
provides for glass balls, or heading 7018, HTSUS, which provides for glass beads
and smallwares, have been suggested for consideration.
It also has been suggested that glass balls under 35mm and nuggets
under 38mm in diameter should be classified under heading 7018, HTSUS, and
that glass balls and nuggets larger than the suggested sizes remain classifiable
under heading 7013, HTSUS.
Are glass balls larger than 35mm and nuggets larger than 38mm
classifiable under heading 7013, HTSUS, as glassware of a kind used for table,
kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes (other than that of
heading 7010 or 7018)?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the
General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1, HTSUS, states, in pertinent part, that
for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of
the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Chapter 70, HTSUS,
provides for glass and glassware. The headings under consideration are as
7002 Glass in balls (other than microspheres of heading 7018), rods or
7013 Glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor
decoration or similar purposes (other than that of heading 7010 or
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...
7020 other articles of glass
In understanding the language of the headings, the Explanatory Notes
(ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding system may be
utilized. The 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 the HTSUS. See, T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg.
35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). EN 70.02, pg. 927, states, in pertinent part, that:
This heading covers:
(1) Solid glass balls, which are generally manufactured by moulding or
pressing or on double-screw machines, and which may be used, inter alia,
as raw material for the production of fibre, or for the preparation of
(2) * * *
Balls of this heading must be unworked; similarly rod and tubing must be
unworked (i.e., as obtained direct from the drawing process or merely cut
into lengths the ends of which may have been simply smoothed).
The heading excludes balls, rod and tubing made into finished articles or
parts of finished articles recognizable as such; these are classified under
the appropriate heading (e.g., heading 70.11, 70.17 or 70.18, or Chapter
90). If worked, but not recognizable as being intended for a particular
purpose, they fall in heading 70.20.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Glass balls having the character of toys (veined glass marbles put up in
any form, and glass balls of any kind put up in packets for the amusement
of children) are classified in heading 95.03. Glass balls, which have been
ground after shaping, used for stoppering certain bottles fall in heading
We are of the opinion that heading 7002, HTSUS, does not describe the subject
articles. In their condition as imported, polished and packaged, the subject
articles are considered finished. We note that EN 70.02, directs that finished
glass balls, rods and tubing may be classifiable under headings 7011, 7017 or
7018, HTSUS. Neither heading 7011, which provides for glass envelopes
(including bulbs and tubes), or heading 7017, which provides for laboratory,
hygienic or pharmaceutical glassware, describe the subject article. Therefore,
they are not applicable.
Heading 7018, HTSUS, provides for 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. We must determine if the
language "and similar glass smallwares" excludes glass balls larger than 35mm
and nuggets larger than 38mm in diameter.
EN 70.18, p. 941-942 states, in pertinent part, that:
This heading covers a range of widely diversified glass articles, most of
which are used, directly or after further processing, for ornamental and
(A) Glass beads (e.g., as used for necklaces, rosaries, imitation flowers,
ornaments for graves, etc.; for decorating textile articles (trimmings,
embroidery, etc.), handbags or the like; or for use as electrical insulators).
These beads, whether or not coloured, are in the form of small pierced
balls, more or less round in shape; they are obtained from tubes which are
cut into sections of approximately equal length and diameter. The
resulting small cylinders are then introduced, together with a mixture of
powdery materials (charcoal, graphite, plaster, etc.), into a metal drum
revolving over a furnace. Heat softens the glass cylinders and friction
gives them a more or less spherical shape, while the powdery material
prevents them from adhering to one another.
(B) Imitation pearls...
(C) Imitation precious stones...
(D) Other glass smallwares such as imitation coral.
(E) Various glass articles (other than imitation jewellery), obtained by
assembling certain of the individual articles mentioned above, such
as flowers, foliage and pearl ornaments for wreaths; fringes made
of beads or bugles and intended for lampshades, shelves, etc.;
blinds and portieres made of glass beads or bugles, and table mats
made similarly; rosaries made of glass beads or imitation precious or
(F) Glass eyes...
(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.
(H) Glass microspheres not exceeding 1 mm in diameter, used for the
manufacture of panels for road signs, reflecting signs or cinema
screens, or in the cleaning of aeroplane jet engines or metallic
surfaces. They are perfect spheres of solid cross-section.
Flowers, foliage and fruit of cast or moulded glass, for interior decoration
and the like, are excluded (heading 70.13)...
The heading also excludes:
...(ij)Toys, games, Christmas tree decorations (including balls of thin blown
glass) (Chapter 95).
The term "other glass smallwares" is not specifically defined in the heading or
the ENs. Furthermore, the term "smallware" is not defined in the dictionary or by
the glass ball and nugget trade. However, the EN indicates that this heading
provides for a variety of classes of worked glass balls, including those used for
ornamental and decorative purposes. We understand this language to include
all glass balls or nuggets principally used for decorative purposes.
The submissions indicate that glass balls larger than 25mm, may be used in
aquariums and that all nuggets are used in floral arrangements or aquariums.
We understand these uses to be decorative in nature. Because the subject
articles are decorative in nature, they are described by heading 7018, HTSUS.
We note that the language of heading 7013, HTSUS, excluding articles of
heading 7018, prevents the subject articles from classification under heading
7013, HTSUS. Additionally, EN 70.20, p. 945, states, in pertinent part, that:
This heading covers glass articles (including glass parts of articles) not
covered by other headings of this Chapter or other Chapters of the
Because the subject articles are covered by heading 7018, HTSUS, they are not
classifiable under heading 7020, HTSUS.
We find that the subject glass balls and nuggets are classifiable under
heading 7018, HTSUS, specifically subheading 7018.10.50, which provides for
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
1mm in diameter: Glass beads, imitation pearls, imitation precious or
semiprecious stones and similar glass smallware: other.
Based on the information provided, it is our opinion that the glass balls
and nuggets at issue are classifiable under subheading 7018.10.50, HTSUS, with a
general column one rate of duty of 3.8% ad valorem.
This decision should be mailed by your office to the internal advice
requester no latter than 60 days from the date of this letter. On that date, the
Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available
to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via
the Diskette Subscription Service, Freedom of Information Act and other public
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division