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HQ 087958

January 11, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087958 WAW


TARIFF NO.: 9701.90.0000

Ms. Kristina Roloff
Scandinavian Handicraft
1245 S. Flagler Ave.
Pompano Beach, FL 33060

RE: Picture; Collage; Heading 9701

Dear Ms. Roloff:

This letter is in response to your request, dated August 10, 1990, for a binding ruling concerning the tariff classification of pictures under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). No sample of the articles was submitted along with your request.


The pictures are said to range in size from 2 inches to approximately 5 inches. The pictures are described as collages which consist of dried, pressed, natural plants and vegetable materials mounted on a backing. They are designed to be hung on the wall as decorative articles. The pictures have several layers of resin to preserve and protect the plants and vegetables. Each of the pictures weighs between 10-13 ounces.


Whether the subject merchandise is classifiable as a "collage" or "similar decorative plaque" under the duty-free provision in Chapter 97, HTSUSA, or whether the article is classifiable under some other tariff provision.


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.

Heading 9701, HTSUSA, provides for "Paintings, drawing and pastels, executed entirely by hand, other than drawings of heading 4906 and other than hand-painted or hand-decorated manufactured articles; collages and similar decorative plaques; all the foregoing framed or not framed." (Emphasis added). Although not legally binding, the Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN's offer guidance in understanding the scope of the provisions within each chapter of the schedule. Explanatory Note (B) to Heading 9701, HTSUSA, provides the following:

This group covers collages and similar decorative plaques, consisting of bits and pieces of various animal, vegetable or other materials, assembled so as to form a picture or decorative design or motif and glued or otherwise mounted on a backing, e.g., of wood, paper or textile material. The backing may be plain or it may be hand-painted or imprinted with decorative or pictorial elements which form part of the overall design. Collages range in quality from articles cheaply produced in quantity for sale as souvenirs up to products which require a high degree of craftsmanship and which may be genuine works of art.

Frames around paintings, drawings, pastels, collages or similar decorative plaques are to be treated as forming part of those articles and classified with them in this heading only if they are of a kind and of a value normal thereto (see Note to to this Chapter).

Based on the information you have provided, we have determined that the sample merchandise falls within the definition of "collages" as defined in the above Explanatory Notes. The articles at issue are pictures made of dried, pressed, natural plants and vegetables which have been mounted on a backing. The pictures are designed to be hung on the wall for decorative purposes. They are mass produced by craftsmen and may be purchased for approximately twenty dollars in gift stores. Therefore, based on the Explanatory Notes to Chapter 97, the pictures are classified as collages in subheading 9701.90.0000, HTSUSA.


The pictures made of dried, pressed, natural plant and vegetable materials are classified in subheading 9701.90.0000, HTSUSA, as collages and similar decorative plaques. Articles classified under this subheading are entitled to duty free entry.


John Durant, Director

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