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HQ 950959

February 10, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950959 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 6913.10.5000

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

RE: Modification of HRL 084080; Porcelain Santa and Boy Figurine in heading 6913, HTSUSA; Statuette or other ornamental ceramic article

Dear Mr. Simon:

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084080 issued July 3, 1989, a porcelain Santa and boy figurine, from Taiwan, was classified in subheading 9505.10.2500, 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: Christmas ornaments: Other: Other." 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 is a porcelain figurine depicting a scene of Santa Claus holding an open bag of gifts and a young boy reaching into the bag for a gift. The figurine measures approximately four inches in height and is decorated in a Christmas motif.


Whether the porcelain figurine is classifiable in heading 9505 as a festive article; or rather in heading 6913 as a statuette or other ornamental ceramic article.


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, porcelain figurines as a class or kind of merchandise are not specifically festival related. Porcelain figurines are used throughout the year and come in a wide variety of motifs. Accordingly, it is Customs position that the 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 6913 provides for statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles. The EN's to 6913 indicate that the heading includes:

(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.,....

Since the porcelain figurine is ornamental and decorative it is classifiable in heading 6913. Assuming it is not produced by professional sculptors nor directly produced from molds made from original models produced by professional sculptors, the applicable subheading is 6913.10.5000.


The porcelain figurine of Santa and boy is classifiable in subheading 6913.10.5000, HTSUSA, as "Statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles: Of porcelain or china: Other: Other." The general column one rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem. We note that the ruling being modified indicated a general column one rate of duty of 5 percent ad valorem.

This notice should be considered a modification of HRL 084080 pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to HRL 084080 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your client's merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, HRL 084080 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending
transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, your client may, at its discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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