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HQ 083330

April 10, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G: 083330 STB


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.2500

Edward Ackerman, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
Counselors at Law
One Whitehall Street
New York, N.Y. 10004

RE: "The Ladies of Fashion Christmas Ornaments" Series

Dear Mr. Ackerman:

This letter is in response to the letter of Ms. Judith Barzilay, formerly of your firm, dated October 25, 1988, requesting the tariff classification of "The Ladies of Fashion Christmas Ornaments" Series. Reference is also made to the supplemental letter from your firm dated April 3, 1990. A sample was submitted with the original request.


The sample submitted is the figure of a young woman, approximately 4.5 inches in height. The figure is composed of a porcelain head extending into the upper chest area, porcelain lower legs and arms, a stuffed torso and stuffed upper arms and legs. She is outfitted in a multi-layered dress similar to those worn in the Victorian period, with an outer layer of lace. The figure has a blue hat, a necklace of blue plastic beads, and painted blue boots. The figure is lightweight and has a white satin loop to allow it to be suspended from a Christmas tree. According to the letter submitted by your firm, the other figures in this series possess similar characteristics.


What is the proper classification of this series of figures?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms
of the heading together with any relevant Section or Chapter notes.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, provides for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles as well as parts and accessories thereof. The succeeding subheadings specifically provide for "Articles for Christmas festivities..." and "Christmas ornaments."

It is Customs position that an article which, by its shape, design and ornamentation is appropriately used in connection with a recognized festive holiday, is an article that falls under Heading 9505, HTSUSA. One type of such item is the Christmas tree ornament. To qualify as a Christmas tree ornament, Customs requires that the following three criteria be met: (1) that the item is marketed and sold as a Christmas tree ornament; (2) that there is some method, generally a loop attached to the top, to secure or hang the item on a tree; and (3) that the item is not too big or too heavy to be hung or attached to a tree. It is not necessary that items which conform to the above criteria demonstrate a singularly Christmas motif. The relevance of the Christmas motif increases, however, in the classification of items that are not obviously designed as Christmas tree ornaments, such as the pine cone cabin mentioned in your letter of April 3, 1990.

The subject merchandise satisfies all three of the criteria described above. The marketing literature that was submitted with the sample clearly demonstrates that this series of figures is marketed as Christmas tree ornaments. They are lightweight and small; there is a loop attached to enable attachment to a Christmas tree. Although these figures resemble small dolls, and do not necessarily represent "traditional" Christmas characters, they fall into a class of merchandise which, for tariff purposes, is separate and distinct from dolls. The argument is made in the letter from Judith M. Barzilay (October 25,1988), p.2, that "Item 9502.10 [dolls] more specifically describes the Fashion Ladies Christmas Ornament dolls than does HTS Item 9505.10." We disagree; there is no specificity advantage inherent in the doll classification.


The submitted item is classifiable in subheading 9505.10.2500, which provides, in part, for articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof, Christmas ornaments, other, other. The rate of duty is 5% ad valorem.


Jerry Laderberg, Acting Director

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