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HQ 089333

August 26, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 089333 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 6912.00.5000

Mr. Nathan Hedaya
Hedaya Brothers, Inc.
255 18th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

RE: Refrigerator Magnet; Household Article of Ceramic of Heading 6912; Not Festive Article of Heading 9505.

Dear Mr. Hedaya:

This is in response to your letter of April 5, 1991, requesting the proper classification of a Christmas needlepoint refrigerator magnet under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The article at issue is described as a "Decorative Christmas Needlepoint Refrigerator Ornament." It consists of a ceramic (berrium ferrite) magnet with a textile front and measures approximately 2-1/2 inches by 2-1/2 inches. It is designed to be placed on refrigerator doors or other metal objects in the home.


Whether the refrigerator magnet is classifiable as a festive article 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 9505, HTSUSA, provides, in pertinent part, for "[f]estive, carnival or other entertainment articles." The Explanatory Notes, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, indicate that heading 9505 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 purpose than decoration.

The subject refrigerator magnet is decorative. However, despite the incorporation of a Christmas motif, it is not a traditional Christmas item. The refrigerator magnet, therefore, is not classifiable as a festive article 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 magnet component was designed to form part of the subject article. Since the magnet is presented with and incorporated into the textile front, it is precluded from classification as a permanent magnet in heading 8505.

The refrigerator magnet in question is made of two components, the ceramic (berrium ferrite) magnet and the acrylic textile front, classifiable under different headings: heading 6912, HTSUSA, which provides for household articles of ceramic, and heading 6307, HTSUSA, which provides for other made-up textile articles. GRI 2(b) instructs that composite goods are to be classified according to GRI 3.

GRI 3(a) indicates that when an item is classifiable under two or more headings, the heading providing the most specific description shall be preferred; however, when each heading refers to part only of the materials contained in the composite item, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific, even if one of them gives a more complete description of the item.

Here, each of the headings involved -- heading 6912 and heading 6307 -- describes only part of the merchandise. Accordingly, both headings are regarded as equally specific, and the classification of the refrigerator magnet cannot be determined by the application of GRI 3(a).

GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods made up of different components, which cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a), are classified by the component which gives them their essential character. "Essential character" may be determined by the nature of the component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

Here, the article's textile front provides its consumer appeal. Nonetheless, without the magnet component, the article could not adhere to its intended surface. The article would loose its identity as a refrigerator magnet and become a simple textile article. Accordingly, the magnet component represents the essential character of the article, and following the mandate of GRI 3(b), the entire article would be classifiable under the heading which best describes the magnet.

Heading 6912, HTSUSA, provides for "[c]eramic tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, other than of porcelain or china." As the magnet consists of a ceramic material and is designed to used in the kitchen or around the home, it is classifiable in heading 6912, HTSUSA.


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


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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