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HQ 086153

March 19, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086153 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 6304.92.0000

Beth C. Brotman, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Musical Oven Mitt

Dear Ms. Brotman:

This ruling is in response to your letter of November 20, 1989, on behalf of your client, McCrory Stores, Division of McCrory Corp., requesting the classification of a musical oven mitt under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was provided for our examination.


The submitted sample is a musical oven mitt made of 100 percent cotton woven fabric with 100 percent cotton batting. The mitt is finished with a self-fabric binding. The palm and thumb are of quilted construction and red in color. In addition, the thumb area and bottom have a thin strip of green piping. The front area of the mitt is trimmed with green piping and depicts a kitchen scene in which a grandmother and child are baking cookies in the shape of trees and ginger bread men. Sewn into the thumb of the mitt is a pre-programmed musical chip which plays Christmas tunes when compressed. The front of the mitt can be displayed by hanging the mitt on a hook. It is stated in your inquiry that certain mitts will contain a magnet for display on a metal surface.

In your letter, you maintain that the musical mitt is classifiable in subheading 9505.10.25, HTSUSA, as an "other Christmas ornament." You assert that the musical chip drastically reduces the utilitarian function of the mitt. You state that by its constant playing, the chip renders an otherwise usable article unusable; the mitt simply will not be used on a year round basis like regular oven mitts. In essence, you claim that the musical oven mitt is primarily a decorative article; the mitt is simply not a functioning oven mitt.


Whether the musical oven mitt is a festive article classifiable in Heading 9505, HTSUSA, and, if not, what classification is appropriate?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, provides for festive , carnival, or other entertainment articles, including articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof. The Explanatory Notes, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, offer guidance in understanding the scope of the headings. The Explanatory Note to Heading 9505 indicates that this heading covers:

(A) Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, which in view of their intended use are generally made of non-durable material. They include:

(1) Decorations such as festoons, garlands, Chinese lanterns, etc., as well as various decorative articles made of paper, metal foil, glass fibre, etc., for Christmas tress (e.g., tinsel, stars, icicles), artificial snow, coloured balls, bells, lanterns, etc. Cake and other decorations (e.g., animals, flags) which are traditionally associated with a particular festival are also classified here.

(2) Articles traditionally used at Christmas festivities, e.g., artificial Christmas trees (these are sometimes of the folding type), nativity scenes, Christmas crackers, Christmas stockings, imitation yule logs.

We stated in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085276, dated November 3, 1989, copy attached, that an article by its shape, design, ornamentation and appropriate use in connection with a recognized festive holiday is an article that is classifiable in Heading 9505, HTSUSA. In addition, HRL 085276 recognized that articles classifiable in Heading 9505 tend to have no other function than decoration.

Although the mitt in question contains a musical chip, which provides minimal amusement, such amusement is incidental to its primary function as an oven mitt. By aiding in the lifting of pots, pans, and oven trays, the subject mitt performs a useful function. Neither the musical chip nor a display magnet can defeat the utilitarian quality of the mitt. While the mitt's color scheme, kitchen scene, and musical medley suggest a Christmas motif, the oven mitt itself, nonetheless, is a common household article, not a decorative article associated with any particular holiday. Consequently, the mitt at issue is not classifiable in Heading 9505.

As a composite good, the subject article must be classified according to GRI 3. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b) indicate that essential character may be determined by considering "the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods."

The role that the mitt plays in relation to the use of the article, along with its weight and bulk, strongly suggests that the oven mitt imparts the essential character of the subject merchandise. Consequently, the musical oven mitt is classifiable in Heading 6304, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles.


The oven mitt at issue is classifiable under subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for other furnishing articles, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton, textile category, 369, dutiable at 7.2 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local

Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

Pursuant to your request, the submitted sample will be returned to your office.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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