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HQ 086698

April 9, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086698 CB


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.3500

Leonard M. Fertman, Esq.
2049 Century Park East
Suite 1800
Los Angeles, CA 90067

RE: Classification of articles of beads

Dear Mr. Fertman:

This is in response to your letter of March 21, 1990, on behalf of Rumplestilskins Designs requesting a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Several samples were submitted with your request. The beaded articles come in varying widths and you have stated they are to be used for lampshades. The beads are of plastic and are attached to a 5/8 inch piece of man-made fiber fabric. According to your letter, the beads are strung for convenience in transportation and to facilitate the attachment of the beads to the lamp shade. You have also stated that when attached to the lamp shade the fabric is completely obscured.


Whether the subject beads are classifiable in Chapter 39, HTSUSA, as an article of plastic or in Chapter 58, HTSUSA, as a trimming?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the starting point is the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relevant section or chapter notes, and then, if necessary, in accordance with the remaining GRI's.

The sample at issue consists of composite goods classifiable in different headings which describe the component materials. The bead portion is classifiable in Chapter 39, HTSUSA, as an article of plastic, while the textile portion is classifiable in Chapter 58, HTSUSA, as a trimming. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials "...which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character...." The Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b) state that the factors which determine the essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. The essential character may be determined by 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 Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level.

With regard to the subject merchandise, the essential character of this composite good is imparted by the beads. Once sewn onto the lamp shade the fabric portion is completely obscured. The beads impart the decorative appearance required for the lamp shade. The beads are greater in quantity, weight, and value, and also play a greater role in relation to the use of the goods. Therefore, subject merchandise is classifiable in heading 3926, HTSUSA, as an article of plastic.


The subject articles of beads are classifiable in subheading 3926.90.3500, HTSUSA, which provides for other articles of plastics...beads, bugles and spangles...articles thereof, not elsewhere specified or included, other. The rate of duty is 6.6 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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