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HQ 950999

April 16, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950999 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.4000

Ms. Cynthia R. Babcock
Traffic Manager
1111 Hawthorne Lane
P.O. Box 32666
Charlotte, N.C. 28232-2666

RE: Christmas wreaths and garlands; Festive articles, Articles for Christmas festivities, Of Plastics in subheading 9505.10.4000; Not artificial flowers, foliage and fruit or articles made of artificial flowers, foliage or fruit in chapter 67.

Dear Ms. Babcock:

This is in response to your letter of December 11, 1991, on behalf of Hanford's, regarding the proper classification of various wreaths and garlands under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples and catalogs were submitted for our examination.


The articles at issue, imported from China and Taiwan, include the following: Item #KC3432, a wreath consisting of artificial pine tips, plastic berries, artificial holly leaves, natural pine cones and man made fiber ribbon; Item #TC1034, a frosted artificial fir/cone garland; Item #TC1035, a frosted fir/candle holder wreath with natural pine cones; Item #T1161, a Canadian spruce garland; and Item #TT1281, a Canadian pine garland.


Whether the garlands and wreaths are classifiable in heading 9505, as festive articles, or are properly classified elsewhere.


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....

To qualify as a festive article of heading 9505, an item must be both decorative and traditionally associated with a particular holiday.

Those artificial foliage items which qualify as Christmas articles of subheading 9505.10 include wreaths, garlands, candle rings, centerpieces -- complete articles -- made up of foliage commonly and traditionally associated with Christmas [i.e., artificial poinsettias, pine cones, pine needle leaves, evergreen branches, holly berries, holly leaves, laurel leaves, or mistletoe (singly or combination thereof)]. (This largely restates Customs position under the TSUS). These articles can be further decorated with plastic sleighs, miniature Santas, glass balls, ribbon, etc. Stylized/modern versions of Christmas wreaths, garlands, etc. (i.e., those articles decorated with neon poinsettias, mauve glass balls, etc.) also qualify as festive.

At the present time, based on the information before us, there is no other artificial foliage traditionally associated with any other holiday. Hence, only Christmas foliage of the type described above is classifiable in heading 9505. The rest is classifiable in Chapter 67.

Note that picks, sprigs, sprays, swags, branches, -- incomplete articles -- no matter what they are made of or what flower they represent, are all classifiable in Chapter 67 -- the only exception being mistletoe sprays which are classifiable in 9505.10.

As for the proper classification of the wreaths and garlands at the eight digit subheading level, subheadings 9505.10.10, 9505.10.15 and 9505.10.25 cover Christmas ornaments of glass, wood and other, respectively. To qualify as a Christmas ornament, Customs looks to the following three criteria:

1. that the item is advertised and sold as a Christmas tree ornament;

2. that there is some method, generally a loop attached to the top, to hang the item on a tree; and

3. that the item is not too big or too heavy to be hung or attached to a tree.

The wreaths and garlands do not meet these criteria. Consequently, they are not classifiable as Christmas ornaments.

Subheading 9505.10.40, covers other Christmas articles of plastics. As the wreaths and garlands are made of plastics, they are classifiable in subheading 9505.10.40.


The Christmas wreaths and garlands are classifiable in subheading 9505.10.4000, HTSUSA, as "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles,...Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: Other (than Christmas ornaments): Of plastics." The general column one rate of duty is 8.4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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