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HQ 087127

December 12, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087127 WAW


TARIFF NO.: 6702.90.4000

George R. Tuttle, Esq.
1331 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Suite 1200F
Washington, D.C. 20004

RE: Artificial flowers and foliage of man-made fibers; Customs and Trade Act of 1990; subheading 6702.90.4000, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Tuttle:

This letter is in response to your inquiry, on behalf of your client, Celebrity, Incorporated, dated December 6, 1989, requesting the tariff classification of artificial foliage (greenery) under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples of the goods at issue were not submitted along with your request; however, you did provide us with descriptive literature of the articles that your client intends to import. We had an opportunity to meet with you on February 20, 1990 to discuss this matter.


On October 12, 1989, the President of Celebrity, Inc., Mr. Robert Patterson, wrote to the Commissioner of Customs as well as to Senator Bentsen and Congressman Hall requesting a ruling regarding the proper classification of certain artificial foliage of man-made fibers. In his letter, Mr. Patterson expressed concern over what he described as a uniformity problem involving the tariff classification of artificial foliage of man-made fibers that is taking place in various district offices across the country.

Prior to enactment of the Customs and Trade Act and in an effort to ensure uniformity for all importers, the ports were instructed by the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Operations to withhold liquidation of all entries of artificial flowers and foliage until this office has issued a final classification ruling.


What is the proper classification of artificial foliage of man-made fibers under the 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. GRI 6 states that for legal purposes, classification within a heading is determined according to the terms of the subheadings and related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the GRI's, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable.

Since your request for a classification ruling concerning artificial flowers and foliage under the HTS, Congress passed the "Customs and Trade Act of 1990." Pub. L. 101-382. This Act was signed into law by the President on August 20, 1990 and took effect on October 1, 1990. Included in the Trade Act was an amendment concerning the classification of imports of artificial foliage. To restore the tariff treatment of foliage-type artificial flowers of man-made fibers to the previous duty treatment under the TSUSA, subheading 6702.90.40, HTSUSA, was amended by Section 479C of the Act. Section 479C of the Customs and Trade Act of 1990, states the following:

Subheading 6702.90.40 is amended by striking out "Artificial flowers, of" in the article description and inserting in lieu thereof "Of".

Subheading 6702.90.40, HTSUSA, as amended, now includes artificial flowers, foliage and fruit and parts thereof of man- made fibers. Articles which fall under this subheading are subject to a duty rate of 9 percent ad valorem. Artificial flowers, foliage, and fruit and parts thereof which consist of other than plastics, other than feathers, and other than man-made fibers are now classified in the basket provision of Heading 6702, HTSUSA, under subheading 6702.90.6000, HTSUSA, and are subject to a duty rate of 17 percent ad valorem. Because of the amendment to subheading 6702.90.40, HTSUSA, it is no longer necessary to make a distinction between artificial flowers or greenery with blooms and artificial foliage or greenery without flowers, since both artificial flowers and foliage and any combination or mixture of the two are now classified under the same tariff provision.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086692, dated April 18, 1990, Customs classified a decorative fabric rose leaf under subheading 6702.90.6000, HTSUSA, dutiable at a rate of 17 percent ad valorem. However, we had an opportunity to reconsider our position in this case and decided that, in view of the amendments made in the Trade Act, the merchandise which primarily consists of artificial foliage was no longer classifiable in subheading 6702.90.6000, HTSUSA, but rather was intended to be included within subheading 6702.90.40, HTSUSA. See HRL 087998, dated October 29, 1990.


Based on HRL 087998 and Section 479C of the "Customs and Trade Act of 1990," the merchandise at issue is properly classifiable under subheading 6702.90.4000, HTSUSA. This subheading provides for artificial flowers, foliage and fruit and parts thereof. . . of materials other than plastic or feathers, of man-made fibers. The applicable rate of duty for this item is 9 percent ad valorem.


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