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HQ 089085

July 8, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089085 HP


TARIFF NO.: 6304.93.0000

Mr. George F. Clarke
Page & Jones, Inc.
P.O. Box 320126
Birmingham, AL 35232

RE: Talking door or floor mat is an other furnishing article.

Christmas; Halloween; festive; carpet; covering

Dear Mr. Clarke:

This is in reply to your letter of February 8, 1991, concerning the tariff classification of a talking door mat, produced in Taiwan, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Please reference your client Snow's of Birmingham.


The merchandise at issue consists of a floor mat measuring approximately 16 5/16" x 25 5/16". The mat is comprised of a vinyl textile flock material affixed to plastic, foam, and a battery-operated voice box. The voice box is activated when the mat is stepped upon. The mat will depict either a Christmas or Halloween motif, and, when compressed, will play a corresponding tune.


Whether the mat is a festive article under the HTSUSA?


Heading 9505, HTSUSA, provides for festive articles. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA. The EN to this heading states:

This 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) Decoration 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 scenes, Christmas crackers,
Christmas stockings, imitation yule logs.

(4) Throw-balls of paper or cotton-wool, paper streamers (carnival tape), cardboard trumpets, "blow- outs", confetti, carnival umbrellas, etc.

The floor mat is not of the type of disposable decoration envisioned in EN (A)(1), supra. Not only is the merchandise quite durable, but its harmonious features make it clear that its intended use is more than mere festive decoration. At issue, however, is whether the Christmas motif (the sample submitted emits a hearty "HO! HO! HO!) places the floor mat
into the category of "articles traditionally used at Christmas festivities."

While a Christmas-related picture or recording may encourage the use of this article during Yuletide, the mat in and of itself may be used interchangeably with any number and types of designs and sounds. Indeed, your submission even states that this merchandise may be imported with either a Christmas or Halloween theme. It is our opinion, therefore, that the floor mat is not a heading 9505, HTSUSA, festive article.

Heading 5705, HTSUSA, provides for carpets and textile floor coverings. Note 1 to Chapter 57, HTSUSA, states:

For the purposes of this chapter, the term "carpets and other textile floor coverings" means floor coverings in which the textile materials serve as the exposed surface of the article when in use and includes articles having the characteristics of textile floor coverings but intended for use for other purposes.

The EN to Chapter 57 clarifies this note by defining the "characteristics of textile floor coverings" as, e.g., "thickness, stiffness, strength," and noting other purposes such as "wall hangings or table covers or for other furnishing purposes." Emphasis added.

The use toward which the mat is put, i.e., as a triggering mechanism for the outspoken voice box, is not, in our opinion, an "other purpose" envisioned for this Chapter by the drafters of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. The mat itself, being of a lightweight flocked construction, could not be used as a normal door mat. As its only practical function is as an actuator, it does not have the "characteristics of textile floor coverings," and cannot be classified in Chapter 57, HTSUSA.

Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other furnishing articles. Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles. The mat and voice box as a unit are intended not only to be used to elicit an amused response, but to be decoratively displayed. This intention causes us to conclude that the mats are more specifically provided for in heading 6304, HTSUSA, as a furnishing article.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 6304.93.0000, HTSUSA, textile category 666, as other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404, other, not knitted or crocheted, of synthetic fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 10.6 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent negotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the

Status Report On Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


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