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HQ 089332

August 26, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 089332 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 6912.00.5000

Mr. William Cashel
Franco Manufacturing Co., Inc.
555 Prospect Street
Metuchen, NJ 08840-2293

RE: Refrigerator Magnets; Household Articles of Ceramics of Heading 6912; Not Festive Articles of Heading 9505.

Dear Mr. Cashel:

This is in response to your letter of April 5, 1991, requesting the proper classification of various novelty ceramic refrigerator magnets under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The articles at issue, refrigerator magnets, consist of hand-painted ceramic housing discs with ceramic (berrium ferrite) magnets attached thereto. Photocopies of the merchandise were forwarded to this office. The front of one style features the face of Santa Claus, while another incorporates what is described as a village Christmas tree. A third style shows two hugging bears, while a fourth style features two overlapping hearts. Each of the articles measures approximately 3-1/2 inches by 3 inches.


Whether the refrigerator magnets are classifiable as festive articles of 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 9505, HTSUSA, provides for "[f]estive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles; parts and accessories thereof." 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 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.

As stated in HRL 085276 of November 8, 1989, articles classifiable in heading 9505 tend to have no other function than decoration.

The refrigerator magnets are decorative. Nonetheless, despite the incorporation of Christmas and Valentine's Day motifs, these articles are neither traditionally used nor associated with Christmas or Valentine's Day. Accordingly, the refrigerator magnets are not classifiable as festive articles in heading 9505.

Heading 8505, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, "[p]ermanent magnets...permanent magnet chucks, clamps and similar holding devices." The Explanatory Note to heading 8505 indicates, in pertinent part, that the heading does not cover "permanent magnets...when presented with machines, apparatus, toys, games, etc., of which they are designed to form part (classified with those machines, apparatus, etc.)."

Here, the magnets were designed to form part of the subject merchandise. Since the magnets are presented with and incorporated into ceramic housing devices, they are precluded from classification as a permanent magnet in heading 8505.

Heading 6912, HTSUSA, provides for "[c]eramic tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, other than of porcelain or china." The subject refrigerator magnets are designed for use in the kitchen and other areas of the home and are made of ceramic materials. Consequently, they are classifiable as other household articles of ceramic in heading 6912.

In Headquarters Ruling Letters 082500 of April 28, 1989, and 083130 of May 2, 1989, Customs, applying GRI 3(b), classified certain refrigerator magnets composed of metal magnets and textile front coverings as household articles of iron or steel in heading 7323, HTSUSA. In the present case, both the components which make up the subject articles (the disc and magnet) are ceramic. The refrigerator magnets, therefore, are not considered composite goods for tariff purposes. Classification is to be determined by applying GRI 1.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable in subheading 6912.00.5000, HTSUSA, which provides for ceramic tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, other than those of porcelain or china; other (than tableware and kitchenware). The applicable rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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