Monday, November 2, 2009

Section XIII of the HTSUS

Thank you for joining us for our series on classification. Last Monday, we explored the articles contained in Section XII of the HTSUS. Today, we will study the various commodities covered in Section XIII of the HTSUS. Having a good general knowledge of the products covered in each section and chapter will expedite the classification process and improve accuracy of your classifications.

Section XII Answer
Q36 October 2009 CBE
Q34 April 2002 CBE

Section XIII covers Chapters 68 - 70 containing articles of stone, cement, ceramic and glass. There are no Section Notes; however, CBP provides quite a few Informed Compliance publications on glassware. Some of the articles contained in these chapters may be subject to FDA requirements for lead content.

Chapter 68 contains building stone, marble, slate, roofing, plasterboard, cement blocks, tiles and other products made of stone. The Additional U.S. Notes to Chapter 68 provide specifications for slabs and tiles. Asbestos products may be prohibited from importation, so it would be a good idea to check with the EPA for specific prohibitions.

Chapter 69 covers household fixtures, kitchenware and other house wares of porcelain, china, earthenware and stoneware. For classification purposes, it will be necessary to determine the difference between porcelain, china and other ceramics. Chapter Note 5 explains the difference between porcelain, earthenware and bone china. Chapter Note 6 provides the pieces necessary to classify a set of dishes. The Explanatory Notes provide detail for distinguishing purely ornamental articles from those with a specific utilitarian purpose.

Chapter 70 contains glassware such as, safety glass, mirrors, jars, tableware, items for toilet, office and home use, and glass fibers. The Chapter Notes and Explanatory Notes provide additional explanation of glass terminology. It is important to be able to distinguish between tempered and safety glass. The Explanatory Notes distinguish the characteristics of the two.

A shipment contains 100 10-inch and 7½ inch decorative porcelain plates. The plates are packed in retail sets of one 10-inch plate and one 7 ½ inch plate per set. Each set is valued at $375. The plates are used as pictures or placed over cabinets. What is the correct classification of these plates?

Join us next week for the answer to this week’s classification question and a discussion of Section XIV of the HTSUS. If there are any specific commodities or sections of the HTSUS that you would like to see discussed in this series, please feel free to post a comment or send your suggestions to

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