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HQ 082060

April 29, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 082060 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 7323.99.9000

Louis Shoichet, Esquire
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Magnetic memo holders

Dear Mr. Shoichet:

This is in response to your letter dated March 30, 1988, on behalf of Avon Products, Inc., requesting a tariff classification ruling for magnetic memo holders under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


Each article is composed of a circular metal magnet that measures approximately 3/4 inches in diameter. The magnets are sewn to the inside rear surfaces of decorative textile figures that are approximately 5 inches long. The textile portion of both figures is composed of a woven polyester outer shell with a polyester filling. One sample, model PP No. 45992, consists of a textile figure that resembles a Christmas tree ball ornament. The second sample, model PP. No. 45993, consists of a textile figure that resembles a holiday wreath. Both samples are printed with caricatures of stylized human faces. Attached to the textile portions of each sample are two legs with jester-like shoes that have a bell sewn to the toe.

The magnets are designed to attach paper memos to refrigerator doors or other metal objects in the home.


Whether the sample merchandise is classified as magnets in Heading 8505, HTSUSA, as festive articles in Heading 9505, HTSUSA, or as kitchen or other household articles and parts thereof, of iron or steel in Heading 7323, HTSUSA.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's, taken in order.

The first issue to be determined is whether the instant samples are classifiable as festive articles in Heading 9505, HTSUSA, which provides for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks practical joke articles, as well as parts and accessories for these articles. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 9505, HTSUSA, state that this heading covers the following:

(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 trees (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.

Articles classifiable in Heading 9505, HTSUSA, tend to have no other function than decoration.

Although an article may have the design or ornamentation appropriate for use during a specific holiday, it may still not qualify for classification in the festive article provision. In the instant case, while the design of the samples suggest a Christmas motif, they are, nonetheless, common utilitarian household articles, not decorative articles associated with any particular holiday. In addition, magnets, as a class or kind of merchandise, are not specifically holiday-related; they are used year-round and may have a wide variety of motifs, many of which would not be considered festive. Consequently, the magnets are not classifiable in Heading 9505, HTSUSA.

In your papers you allege that the magnets should be classified under Heading 8505, HTSUSA. We disagree. Heading 8505, HTSUSA, provides for electro-magnets, permanent magnets and articles intended to become magnets after magnetization. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 8505, HTSUSA, state that this heading does not cover "electro-magnets, permanent magnets or magnetic devices of this heading, when presented with machines, apparatus, toys, games, of which they are designed to form part (classified with those machines, apparatus, etc.)." With respect to the instant samples, they are magnets designed to form part of the article. Since the magnets are presented with and incorporated into a textile caricature, they are precluded from classification in Heading 8505, HTSUSA.

Since the samples are composed of different components, i.e., metal and textiles, they are classifiable under two or more headings pursuant to GRI 3. Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles of textile materials. Heading 7323, HTSUSA, provides for kitchen or other household articles of iron or steel. GRI 3(a) states that the heading providing the most specific description shall be preferred: however, when each heading refers to part only of the materials contained in composite goods those headings are to be regarded as equally specific, even if one of them gives a more complete description of the goods. Each of the headings refers to part only of the merchandise here. Therefore, the headings are regarded as equally specific, and the classification of the samples at issue cannot be determined by relative specificity.

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods made up of different materials or components which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a), are classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. According to Explanatory Note VIII for GRI 3, 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."

With respect to the merchandise at issue, the magnet is essential for the intended use of the product. Removal of the magnet would leave the product totally incapable of functioning as a magnetic memo holder for refrigerator doors or other metal objects. The textile portion merely embellishes the product and acts as a decorative selling feature, but has no effect on the ability of the magnet to perform its intended function.

Heading 7323, HTSUSA, provides for kitchen or other household articles and parts thereof, of iron or steel. The Explanatory Notes to this heading state that this group comprises a wide range of iron or steel articles, not more specifically covered by other headings of the Nomenclature. With respect to
the instant samples, since they are designed to be used in the kitchen or around the home and have the essential character of metal, and are not specifically covered by any other heading, they are classifiable in Heading 7323, HTSUSA.


The samples are classified under subheading 7323.99.9000, HTSUSA, which provides for kitchen or other household articles, of iron or steel, other, not coated or plated with precious metal, other, other. The rate of duty is 3.4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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