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HQ 950953

February 10, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950953 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 3926.40.0000

Joel K. Simon, Esquire
Serko & Simon
One World Trade Center
Suite 3371
New York, NY 10048

RE: Modification of HRL 085271; Plastic Santa Claus Figurine in heading 3926, HTSUSA; Other articles of plastics or materials of headings 3901 to 3914

Dear Mr. Simon:

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085271 issued November 8, 1989, a plastic Santa Claus figurine, imported from Hong Kong, was classified in subheading 9505.10.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles,...: Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: Other: Of plastics." Subsequently, we have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be partially in error. The correct classification is as follows.


The article at issue, a two inch tall plastic Santa Claus figurine, is a comical representation of a jogging Santa Claus. Santa is wearing red shorts, a green and white headband and sneakers and is carrying a radio with earphones. The words "Santa Claus is Jogging to Town" appear on his stomach. The figurine is attached to a plastic base and can stand on any flat surface.


Whether the plastic Santa Claus figurine is classifiable in heading 9505 as a festive article; or rather in heading 3926 as an other article of plastic or materials of headings 3901 to 3914.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. The majority of imported goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, festive, carnival and other entertainment articles. The EN's to 9505 indicate 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....

Articles classifiable in heading 9505 tend to serve no other function than decoration.

In addition, heading 9505 is regarded as a use provision. Hence, such articles are classifiable according to their principal use. See Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a).

Although the subject article is decorative, plastic figurines as a class or kind of merchandise are not specifically festival related. Plastic figurines are used throughout the year and come in a wide variety of motifs. Accordingly, it is Customs position that the plastic Santa Claus figurine is not classifiable as a festive article in heading 9505. In HRL 950041, dated October 31, 1991, and in HRL 088093, dated February 12, 1991, porcelain articles depicting a holiday motif and Santa figures constructed of resin and fabric mache, respectively, were not classifiable as festive articles. Likewise, the subject article must be classified elsewhere.

Heading 3926 provides for other articles of plastics or materials of headings 3901 to 3914. Since the plastic figurine is ornamental, it is classifiable in subheading 3926.40.0000.


The plastic Santa Claus figurine is classifiable in subheading 3926.40.0000, HTSUSA, as "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Statuettes and other ornamental articles." The general column one rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem. We note that the ruling being modified indicated a general column one rate of duty of 8.4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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