CLA-2-CO:R:C:F 952535K

TARIFF No.: 2704.00.0050

District Director of Customs
U.S. Customs Service
P.O. Box 610
Pembina, North Dakota 58271

RE: Internal Advice Request No. 17/92; Charcoal Briquettes Dear Sir: This is in response to your memorandum dated March 10, 1992, which forwarded a request for Internal Advice from Mc Kenna & Cuneo, attorneys at law, dated March 4, 1992, on behalf of Kingsford Products Company concerning the classification of certain charcoal briquettes.


Match Light and Bar-B-Q Bag of briquettes consist of a mixture of lignite char, a petroleum product, and other ingredients. The briquettes are in retail bags and are used as fuel for outdoor cooking.


The issue is whether Rule 1 or Rule 3(b) of the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), governs the classification of the briquettes. LAW AND ANALYSIS:

The classification of imported merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the principles set forth in the GRIs. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section and chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRIs, taken in their appropriate order. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) to the Harmonized Commodity


Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and the GRIs. It is the position of the inquirer that the classification of the briquettes is governed by application of GRI 3(b) and that since the lignite char gives the merchandise its essential character, the briquettes are classifiable under heading 2704.00.0005, HTSUS, for coke and semicoke of coal, of lignite, commercially suitable for use as fuel, in briquettes, free of duty. We agree with classification in heading 2704 but we are of the opinion that GRI 1 governs the classification of the merchandise.

It appears this product when analyzed by weight and value is shown to be principally lignite char with the balance being petroleum based ignitor, binders and miscellaneous substances. The product is described by heading 2704, namely, "Coke and semicoke of coal, of lignite or of peat, whether or not agglomerated; retort carbon." It is more particularly described in subheading 2704.00.0050 as other than coke or semicoke of coal. We reach this GRI 1 classification with the aid of GRI 2(b) which states that "any reference in a heading to a material or substance [in this case, "semicoke...of lignite"] shall be taken to include a reference to mixtures or combinations of that material or substance with other materials or substances. Any reference to goods of a given material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to goods consisting wholly or partly of such material or substance."

We understand, therefore, heading 2704 not to be restricted to chemically or physically pure retorted lignite, but, rather to be broad enough to encompass the complementary materials and substances agglomerated in this briquette. Explanatory Note XII to GRI 2(b) indicates that the extension of the heading to include mixtures "does not...widen the heading so as to cover goods which cannot be regarded, as required under Rule 1, as answering the description of the heading...." This would happen "where the addition of another material or substance deprives the goods of the character of the goods of the kind mentioned in the heading." We therefore confirm the choice of heading 2704 because in our judgment the addition of the other materials or substances does not deprive the briquettes of the character of retorted or char lignite.


Briquettes, consisting of a mixture of lignite char, a petroleum product, and other ingredients, are classified under subheading 2704.00.0050, HTSUS, free of duty.


A copy of this decision should be provided to the internal advice requester no later 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 access channels.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division