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HQ 950041

October 31, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950041 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 3926.40.00; 6913.10.50

Mr. James H. Bartee
House of Lloyd, Inc.
11901 Grandview Road
Grandview, MO 64030

RE: Porcelain ornamental articles; Poly resin plastic figurines; Festive articles; Decorative articles; Heading 3926; Heading 6913; Heading 9405; Heading 9505; GRI 3b; goods put up in sets for retail sale

Dear Mr. Bartee:

This is in response to your letter of June 27, 1991, on behalf of House of Lloyd, Inc., in which you requested a tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for The Little Village Collection (the Collection). Samples of this merchandise were submitted for our examination.


The Collection is imported and sold as a set that is comprised of four porcelain buildings, a porcelain tree and lamppost figure, a poly resin plastic news stand and 8 poly resin plastic figurines. The porcelain buildings are decorated with snow, holly and wreaths. The tree and lamppost figure is also decorated with snow and a vine of holly. The poly resin news stand is decorated with snow and little gift boxes. The figurines are clad in winter attire and depict various winter scenes including two boys on a sled, three carollers and a girl standing next to a snowman.


Whether the pieces that comprise the Collection are classified as festive articles in Heading 9505, HTSUSA, or in Heading 6913, HTSUSA, as statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles and Heading 3926, as other articles of plastic.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the 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 for festive, carnival, and other entertainment articles. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HCDCS) Explanatory Notes, although not dispositive, are to be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTS. Explanatory Note 95.05 of the HCDCS (page 1590) indicates that Heading 9505, HTSUSA, 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 other function than decoration. Heading 9505, HTSUSA, is generally regarded as a use provision. Hence, Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a) must be reviewed.

Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a) 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 subject articles are decorative, porcelain and poly resin figures and figurines as a class or kind of merchandise are not specifically festival related; they are used all year round and come in a wide variety of motifs. Accordingly, the Collection is not classified as a festive article in Heading 9505, HTSUSA. Classification must be found elsewhere.

GRI 3(b) provides for the classification of goods put up in sets for retail sale. The rule states in pertinent part:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Explanatory Note (X) (page 4) to GRI 3(b) states that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

In the instant case, the Collection qualifies as a set within the meaning of GRI 3(b). The Collection consists of products that are classifiable in three different headings. Heading 6913, HTSUSA, provides for statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles. Explanatory Note 69.13 of the HCDCS, (page 923) provides that Heading 6913, HTSUSA, covers the following:

(A) Articles which have no utility value but are wholly ornamental, and articles whose only usefulness is to support or contain other decorative articles or to add to their decorative effect, e.g.:

(1) Statues, statuettes, busts, haut or bas reliefs, and other figures for interior or exterior decoration; ornaments (including those forming parts of clock sets) for mantelpieces, shelves, etc.,....

The ceramic houses and tree and lamppost figure are ornamental and decorative. Heading 6913, HTSUSA, is the appropriate heading for these pieces. Inasmuch as they are made of porcelain they would be classified in subheading 6913.10.50, HTSUSA.

Heading 3926, HTUSA, provides for other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914. Subheading 3926.40.00, HTSUSA, provides for statuettes and other ornamental articles, of plastic. The newsstand and figurines are ornamental articles and because they are made of a poly resin plastic they are classified in subheading 3926.40.00, HTSUSA.

Heading 9405, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, lamps and lighting fittings. Subheading 9405.40, HTSUSA, provides for other electric lamps and lighting fittings. The instant light cord with a bulb is considered a light fitting and is classified in subheading 9405.40, HTSUSA.

Furthermore, the Collection contains figures which are intended to be used together to ornament the home and to portray a complete village setting. The Collection is put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

As the Collection is considered a set we must determine its essential character in accordance with GRI 3(b). Explanatory Note VIII (page 4) to GRI 3(b) states that:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by 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.

In this case, the porcelain buildings represent the essential character of the Collection. The buildings are the largest components in terms of bulk and weight. The porcelain buildings weigh .40 kilograms and the porcelain tree and lamppost figure weighs .08 kilograms, while the poly resin news stand weighs .04 kilograms and the 8 poly resin figurines weigh .13 kilograms. The light cord weighs .03 kilograms. Inasmuch as the buildings are the largest pieces, the village would likely be centered around them. The porcelain buildings also have a
greater value than the poly resin figures and the light cord. The porcelain buildings cost $5.00 and the porcelain tree and lamppost figure costs $0.80, while the poly resin news stand costs $0.30 and the 8 poly resin figurines cost $0.80. The light cord costs $1.20. Therefore, because the porcelain buildings represent the essential character of the Collection, it is classified in subheading 6913.10.50, HTSUSA.


The Little Village Collection is considered to be a set and is classified in subheading 6913.10.50, HTSUSA, which provides for statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles, of porcelain, other. The rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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