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HQ 084050

July 11, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084050 SM


TARIFF NO.: 5609.00.3000; 9505.90.6000

Joel K. Simon, Esq.
Serko and Simon
Suite 3371
One World Trade Center
New York, NY 10048

RE: Tariff classification of rope articles

Dear Mr. Simon:

Your letter of March 13 on behalf of Russ Berrie and company requests a tariff classification ruling for three articles from Taiwan known as the "Springtime Breezes Mache Rope Ensemble."


Samples of the three articles, all made of rayon rope plus trimmings, were submitted. The rope has been dipped in, or painted or coated with, some unspecified substance. Number 9271 consists of a piece of styrofoam in the shape of an egg, about the size of the usual chicken egg, completely wrapped with the colored rope. It is decorated with a paper ribbon in the shape of a bow and has a fabric hanging loop.

Number 9273 is a basket about three inches deep with a handle of the same rope. It is also decorated with paper bows.

Number 9274 is a wreath approximately six inches in diameter, made of rope in two different sizes. It is decorated with a paper ribbon bow and flowers and has a rope hanging loop.

You believe that classification of the goods is deter- mined by General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3 of the Har- monized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You state that, pursuant to this rule, a deter- mination that the rope provides the essential character
of the articles is required. You state that your submitted cost breakdown indicates that the articles are in chief value of the rope. You state that the articles are traditionally associated with Easter, and should therefore be classified under heading 9505, HTSUSA, a provision including other festive articles. You state further that, while heading 6307, HTSUSA, a provision for other made up textile articles, may possibly cover the goods, heading 9505 is more specific, and must therefore be chosen, pursuant to GRI 3(a). Finally, you state that even if both headings are equally applicable, GRI 3(c) requires selection of the heading that occurs last, in this case heading 9505.


Are the goods classified as festival articles of heading 9505, HTSUSA? If not, where are they classified?


Classification under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the GRI's. GRI 1 provides that goods are classified first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section and chapter notes and then, if nothing in the headings or notes requires otherwise, in accordance with the remaining GRI's. Thus, if classification is determined under GRI 1, GRI 3 is not reached. Component material of chief value is not a determinative factor in classification under the HTSUSA.

At the outset we note that classification under heading 6307, HTSUSA, is precluded. The headings of Chapter 63 pro- vide generally for furnishings and other made up textile arti- cles not elsewhere specified. Note 1 of this chapter provides that "Subchapter 1 applies only to made up articles, of any textile fabric." Thus, since the submitted samples are of rope, and not of fabric, they are not covered by headings 6301 through 6307, HTSUSA.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, includes festive, carnival, or other entertainment articles. Neither the section nor the chapter notes provide any indication as to the intended scope of this heading. The Explanatory Notes (EN), the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, state that it is meant to include "other decorations . . . which are traditionally associated with a particular festival" and "[a]rticles traditionally used at [for instance] Christmas festivities . . . ." Articles classified under this heading would therefore be of a type familiar through long use in con- nection with the observance of certain special occasions.

Considering the three submitted samples in light of the EN, we conclude that only the egg is classifiable as a festive article on the grounds of being associated with the celebra- tion of Easter. Decorated eggs have long been a part of the joyful celebration of the Resurrection. Wreaths, however, have no particular Easter significance. While baskets are sometimes used to hold gifts of candy at Easter, they are com- mon articles that, unlike artificial Christmas trees, nativity scenes, or Christmas stockings, have many other uses outside the festive period.


Number 9271, the egg, is classified under subheading 9505.90.6000, HTSUSA, a provision for other festive, carnival, or other entertainment articles.

Numbers 9273 and 9274, the basket and the wreath, are classified under subheading 5609.00.3000, HTSUSA, a provision including articles of twine, cordage, rope or cables, not elsewhere specified or included, of man-made fibers.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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