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HQ 087894

December 4, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087894 DFC


TARIFF NO: 9505.10.3000

Joel K. Simon Esq.
Serko & Simon
Counsellors at Law
One World Trade Center
New York, N.Y. 10048

RE: Set, Nativity; Manger

Dear Mr. Simon:

In a letter dated September 10, 1990, you inquired as to the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of a nativity set and a manger which will be produced in Taiwan.


The nativity set, designated as O'Holy Night, style no. 5029, consists of 9 porcelain figures measuring from 1 inch to 3-1/4 inches that are childlike representations of traditional nativity figures. One figure is the infant Jesus. Five of the figures include Mary and Joseph and the Three Wise Men. The remaining figures are a cow, a lamb and a donkey. The figures of Mary and two of the Wise Men were received broken. The sample wooden manger measures 8-1/2 inches high, 12 inches wide and 4-1/2 inches deep.


Are the nativity set and manger considered articles for Christmas festivities for tariff purposes?


In applying the HTSUSA, the Customs Service must follow the terms of the statute. Classification of goods under the

HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's taken in order]." In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, provides for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles, parts and accessories thereof. The Explanatory Notes (EN), are the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. EN (A) (2) to Chapter 95 states that "[t]his heading [9505] covers: . . . Articles traditionally used at Christmas festivities, e.g. . . nativity scenes, . . ."

The sample nativity set contains only figures which have conventionally been depicted as part of the nativity scene. Consequently, it is our opinion that the nativity set and the manger are clearly within the ambit of Heading 9505, HTSUSA, covering festive articles.


The nativity set and manger are classifiable under subheading 9505.10.3000, HTSUSA, as articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof, nativity scenes and figures thereof, with duty at the rate of 5.3 percent ad valorem.

Your samples and picture are returned.


John Durant, Director

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