Mr. Ghanshyam R. Patel
Midwest Swaminarayan Temple
1505 Bates Lane
Schaumburg, IL 60193
RE: The tariff classification of doors, idols and altars from India.
Dear Mr. Patel:
In your letter dated April 2, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling.
You indicate that a temple is in the process of being built at 21W 710 Irving Park Road in Itasca, Illinois. The temple will consist of three major halls; i.e., a prayer hall, a dining hall and an assembly hall. You are planning to import 10 to 12 containers of construction materials which are to be used in the constructions of the temple. The following items will be imported:
1. Seven pairs of carved teak wood doors (we assume that the doors are made from solid teak);
2. Twelve idols of Lord Swaminarayan, Radha Krishna, Laxminarayan, Narnarayan, Shiva, Parvati, Ganpati, Hunumanji, Surayanarayan and shivling;
3. Seven Shihasan, carved teak wood altars for all god idols;
4. 8,000 square feet of marble floor tiles in different colors and patterns for the prayer hall floor and altar area;
5. 50,000 square feet of carved sandstone panels and columns for stone cladding outside of the building;
6. Thirty cooking utensils for cooking Indian food; and
7. Pooja, miscellaneous articles required for idol installation ceremony.
The applicable subheading for the carved solid teak doors will be 4418.20.8060, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for doors and their frames and thresholds. The rate of duty will be 5.3% ad valorem.
Articles which are classifiable under subheading 4418.20.8060, HTS, which are products of India are entitled to duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) upon compliance with all applicable regulations.
The applicable subheading for the idols and Shihasan will be 9810.00.2500, HTS, which provides for articles imported for the use of an institution organized and operated for religious purposes, including cemeteries, schools, hospitals, orphanages and similar nonprofit activities staffed and controlled by such institution: altars, pulpits, communion tables, baptismal fonts, shrines, mosaics, iconostases, or parts, appurtenances or adjuncts of any of the foregoing, whether to be physically joined thereto or not, and statuary (except granite or marble cemetery headstones, granite or marble grave markers and granite or marble feature memorials, and except casts of plaster of Paris, or of compositions of paper or papier-mache).
Regarding the marble floor tiles, please submit a sample of the tile. If possible, please submit a complete sample. If the product is too large to submit as a sample, please submit a portion of the product which includes both the face and edge or corner of the item. Please indicate the extent to which the marble tile has been beveled or edge worked and the brand name or the style number for the marble.
Regarding the sandstone panels and columns, please submit a sample of the sandstone used. If these products are too large to submit as samples, please submit a portion of each product. For the panel, please submit a portion which includes both the face and the edge or corner of the item. Please indicate the brand name or style number for the sandstone.
Regarding the cooking utensils and pooja, more information is needed in order for us to determine the proper classification of the items. Please submit a detailed breakdown of each item and what each item is made of.
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 Lawrence Mushinske at 212-466-5739.
Robert B. Swierupski