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HQ 088290

March 6, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 088290 STB


TARIFF NO.: 7013.99.50

Mr. Ned H. Marshak
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. Sixty Seven Broad Street
New York, N.Y. 10004

RE: Water Globes

Dear Mr. Marshak:

This is in response to your inquiry of November 5, 1990, regarding the tariff classification of six styles of water globes to be imported from Taiwan. One sample and several pictures were submitted with your inquiry.


The six water globes in question are approximately 5 inches in height; the glass balls have a diameter of approximately 4 inches. The figures surrounded by the glass and water are described as follows:

1. a snowman carrying a Christmas tree and a sack of toys with other toys and a reindeer around its base;

2. Santa Claus carrying a teddybear and a sack of toys with a snowman at his feet;

3. Santa Claus riding a carousel horse and carrying a sack of toys with other toys around the horse's pole;

4. two figures dressed in "traditional Christmas costumes", one kneeling with her hands clasped in prayer, and the other standing and holding a lantern;

5. a figure dressed in "traditional Christmas costume" with two lambs and a Christmas tree; and

6. two adult and two children carolers.

All the figures are enclosed in glass water domes which, when shaken, scatter small white particles which then fall slowly on the figures in order to depict a snowfall. The inner figures are
composed of plastic and rest inside a wood base. The cost of the plastic component ($0.825) is more than the cost of either the glass ($0.55) or the wood ($0.55).


Whether the subject water globes should be classified as decorative glassware or as festive articles?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the legal framework in which merchandise is to be classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (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 9505, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part, for "[f]estive, carnival or other entertainment articles." The Explanatory Note to heading 9505 indicates that the heading covers:

(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 function other than decoration.

Heading 9505 is generally regarded as a use provision. Consequently, Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a) must be
reviewed. That rule indicates that:

In the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires--
(a) a tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use.

While the instant merchandise displays motifs that relate to Christmas in varying degrees (some figures are more clearly Christmas related than others) they are basically water globes. Water globes, as a class or kind of merchandise are not specifically holiday related; they are sold year-round in a wide variety of motifs. Additionally, water globes commonly serve a utilitarian purpose as paperweights and have often become collectors' items. As illustrated by the New York Times article dated September 6, 1990, (copy enclosed) many water globes and/or snow domes that do not depict festive motifs can be valuable additions to collections. Thus, the subject water globes are not classifiable in heading 9505, HTSUSA.

As a composite good, the merchandise may not be classified under GRI 1 or 2, so reference must be made to GRI 3. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods constructed of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. The Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b) indicate that essential character may be determined by considering "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 role that the glass domes or globes play in relation to the use of these articles (they are clearly marketed as globes) strongly suggests that these globes impart the essential character of the merchandise. Additionally, although the globes are not as expensive as the plastic components, the globes do provide a substantial amount of the value, as well as the bulk of the items. Thus, the water globes are classifiable in Heading 7013, HTSUSA, the provision for glassware used for indoor decoration.


The water globes are classifiable under subheading 7013.99.50, HTSUSA, which provides for glassware of a kind used for...indoor decoration or similar purposes: other glassware: other, other, other, valued over $0.30 but not over $3 each. The applicable duty rate is 30% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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