CLA-2-69:RR:NC:2:227 C88291

Ms. Sandra Liss Friedman
Barnes, Richardson & Colburn
475 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016

RE: The tariff classification of porcelain dinnerware from Italy

Dear Ms. Friedman:

In your letter dated May 22, 1998, on behalf of Luigi Bormioli Corporation, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The merchandise in question is white porcelain tableware that has been marketed and sold for hotel, restaurant and household use. The tableware is identified as in the "Acapulco" pattern. In supplemental information submitted, you indicate that approximately 60 percent of the Acapulco dinnerware has been sold to hotel and restaurant users and the balance sold to retailers.

You maintain that the porcelain dinnerware is properly classifiable under heading 6911.10.37, HTS, as ceramic household tableware of porcelain or china and not as ceramic hotel and restaurant tableware and other non-household tableware of porcelain or china covered under 6911.10.10, HTS. The basis for your contention is the findings in HQ 082780.

In HQ 082780, the issue was whether chinaware containing a variety of patterns was classifiable as hotel and restaurant ware or as household ware. That ruling involved imported fine household china for use by restaurants and hotels in their "finer dining areas." Customs held that the patterned chinaware sold to and used by restaurants and hotels fell within the class of china "chiefly used" as household ware since the percentage of sales and amount of use by restaurants and hotels did not exceed all other uses. HQ 082780 is distinguishable from the chinaware at issue as the percentage of sales and amount used of this ware does exceed all other uses.

U.S. Rule of interpretation 1(a), HTS, states that "a tariff classification controlled by use is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that same class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use." The information submitted indicates that the subject dinnerware are of the class or kind of merchandise principally used in hotels and restaurants. The applicable subheading for the porcelain dinnerware will be 6911.10.10, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for ceramic tableware of porcelain or china, hotel or restaurant ware and other ware not household ware. The duty rate in 1998 will be 31 percent ad valorem. The duty rate in 1999 will be 30 percent ad valorem. This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 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 George Kalkines at (212) 466-5794.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity
Specialist Division