CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089409 DWS

Mr. Dale Vander Yacht
Border Brokerage Company
P.O. Box B
Blaine, WA 98230

RE: Fireplace Liners

Dear Mr. Vander Yacht,

This is in response to your letter of March 19, 1991, written on behalf of your client, Fairey & Company Ltd., concerning the classification of fireplace liners under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The articles in question are fireplace liners used to form heat resistant fireplace walls. The fireplace liners are composed by weight of 56.7 percent alumina and are mortared together on installation with air-setting high temperature cement. The liners are capable of withstanding up to 1650 degrees centigrade, however, in actual use the brick will be subjected to a temperature of not more than 1000 degrees centigrade.


Whether the fireplace liners can be classified as refractory bricks under the HTSUSA?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 states that "For legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ..."

The broker for the importer claims that the fireplaceliners are refractory brick and should be classified under Heading 6902.20.10, HTSUSA, which provides for "Refractory bricks, ..., other than those of siliceous fossil meals or similar siliceous earths: Containing by weight more than 50 percent of alumina... : Bricks: Alumina."

It is argued that HQ 083745 is relevant to the present issue. In that case, it was ruled that tiles used to line the throat aperture of a boiler furnace were in fact integral to the furnace itself and could therefore be classified as refractory firebrick under Heading 6902.90.10, HTSUSA. The main issue in that case was whether the tiles were integral to the boiler furnace. However, the issue in the present case is whether the liners can be deemed refractory bricks. The fact that the liners are integral to the fireplace is not in question. Therefore, HQ 089409 is not dispositive of the present case.

Explanatory Note B (p.913) to Chapter 69, HTSUSA, states that "to fall in heading 69.02 or 69.03 as refractory goods, articles must not only be capable of resisting high temperatures, they must also be designed for high temperature work ..."

The fireplace liners are "capable" of withstanding temperatures up to 1650 degrees centigrade, however, as they are liners for household fireplaces, they are not "designed" for high temperature work, since the liners will not be subjected to temperatures above 1000 degrees centigrade. Therefore, the fireplace liners cannot be classified as refractory articles under Headings 6902 or 6903.

We note that under Explanatory Note (1) to Heading 6914 (p.924), "ceramic parts of stoves and fireplaces" are included under "Other ceramic articles." Therefore, the liners are classified under Heading 6914.90.00 which provides for "Other ceramic articles: Other."


The fireplace liners are classifiable under subheading 6914.90.00 which provides for "Other ceramic articles: Other." The general, column one rate of duty is 8 percent ad valorem. Under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement, upon compliance with all applicable regulations, the rate of duty will be 5.6 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division