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HQ 089320

September 13, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 089320 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.5000; 6702.90.3500

Mr. Douglas Darling
Gladish & Associates a Division of Seino America
1511 Third Avenue, Suite 808
Seattle, WA 98101

RE: Artificial Holly and Poinsettia Centerpieces and Candle Rings -- Festive Articles of Heading 9505; Artificial Holly and Poinsettia Sprays -- Artificial Flowers of Heading 6702.

Dear Mr. Darling:

This is in response to your letter of May 7, 1991, submitted on behalf of your client, Sullivan, Inc., regarding the proper classification of various artificial holly and poinsettia articles under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples and catalogs were forwarded for our examination.


This ruling concerns the following items: a poinsettia centerpiece (AN3C BU), poinsettia bush (BH53CR), single poinsettia spray (ST52), large holly spray (ST192), and holly candle ring (HOL3). All are constructed with polyester flowers and leaves with AN3C BU, BH53CR, ST52, and HOL3 having snap-on plastic stems and berries. Item ST192 includes a wire stem that has been hand wrapped. Item AN3C BU includes plastic apples, decorative bows, and painted pine cones adorning the centerpiece.


Whether the above-described items are classifiable as festive articles in heading 9505, HTSUSA, and, if not, what classification is appropriate.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined
according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 6702, HTSUSA, provides for "[a]rtificial flowers, foliage and fruit and parts thereof; articles made of artificial flowers, foliage or fruit." The Explanatory Notes, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, offer guidance in understanding the scope of the headings. The Explanatory Note to heading 6702 indicates that the heading covers:

(1) Artificial flowers, foliage and fruit in forms resembling the natural products, made by assembling various parts (by binding, glueing, assembling by fitting into one another or similar methods). This category also includes conventional representations of flowers, foliage or fruit made up in the manner of artificial flowers, etc.

(2) Parts of artificial flowers, foliage or fruit (e.g., pistils, stamens, ovaries, petals, calyces, leaves and stems).

(3) Articles made up of artificial flowers, foliage or fruit (e.g., bouquets, garlands, wreaths, plants), and other articles, for use as trimmings or as ornaments, made by assembling artificial flowers, foliage or fruit.

The Note further indicates that this heading does not include:

(g) Articles clearly identifiable as toys or carnival articles (Chapter 95).

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part, for "[f]estive, carnival or other entertainment articles." The Explanatory Note to heading 9505 indicates that 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) 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.

Items classifiable as festive articles in heading 9505 tend to serve no other function than decoration.

The holly candle ring and poinsettia centerpiece are both decorative and traditionally used at Christmas festivities. Consequently, they are classifiable as festive articles in heading 9505.

As for the subject sprays and bush, these items are not classifiable in heading 9505. In order to be classified as a "part" of a festive article, the article to which the imported item is to be attached must itself be classifiable as a festive article. This is not the case here. The sprays and bush will most likely be attached to baskets, pots, wicker rings, and styrofoam bases -- articles themselves not classifiable as festive articles under the HTSUSA. Accordingly, the sprays and bush are more properly classifiable in heading 6702, HTSUSA, the provision for artificial flowers and foliage. The applicable subheading is 6702.90.35, HTSUSA, which provides for artificial flowers and foliage and parts thereof, of man-made fibers.

As for the proper classification of the holly candle ring and poinsettia centerpiece at the subheading level, subheadings 9505.10.10, 9505.10.15, and 9505.10.25 cover Christmas ornaments of glass, wood, and other, respectively. To qualify as a Christmas ornament, Customs requires that the following three criteria be met:

1. that the item is advertised and sold as a Christmas tree ornament;

2. that there is some method, generally a loop attached to the top, to hang the item on a tree; and

3. that the item is not too big or too heavy to be hung or attached to a tree.

The centerpiece and candle ring clearly do not meet the above-mentioned criteria. Consequently, they are not classifiable as Christmas ornaments in subheading 9505.10.25.

Subheading 9505.10.30, HTSUSA, covers nativity scenes and figures thereof. The items at issue are neither nativity scenes nor parts thereof. Subheading 9505.10.40, HTSUSA, covers other Christmas articles of plastics. While the centerpiece and candle ring are made up, in part, of plastic, it is the textile component which represents the essential character of each item. The items, therefore, are classifiable in subheading 9505.10.50, HTSUSA, which provides for other Christmas articles, other (than of plastics).


The sprays and bush are classifiable in subheading 6702.90.3500, HTSUSA, which provides for artificial flowers, foliage and parts thereof: of other materials (other than plastics): other: of man-made fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem.

The centerpiece and candle ring are classifiable in subheading 9505.10.5000, HTSUSA, which provides for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles; articles for Christmas festivities: other (than Christmas ornaments): other (than of plastics). The applicable rate of duty is 5.8 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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