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HQ 951106

April 8, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 951106 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 4420.10.0000

David A. Eisen, Esquire
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
43rd Floor
New York, NY 10036

RE: Classification of a Wood Decoration - "Broom Wall Pomander"

Dear Mr. Eisen:

This ruling is in response to your request of January 6, 1992, on behalf of Avon Products, Inc., regarding the tariff classification of the referenced article under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for examination.


The merchandise at issue, the "Broom Wall Pomander", is to be imported from China and/or Taiwan. It is a decorative, scented, wooden ornament which measures approximately 14 inches in length and 7 inches in width at the widest point. The product is constructed of individual strands of twig bound by plastic wrapped wire. Displayed in the center of the product are stuffed miniature textile representations of various fruits which contain a fragrance "chromex" disc; various representations of leaves constructed of polyester and plastic; a bow composed of corn husk; and, a curled textile ribbon. A cord is attached to the rear of the product for hanging purposes.


Whether the sample decorative broom is classifiable under Heading 9603, which provides for brooms, or whether it is classifiable under Heading 4420, which provides for statuettes and other ornaments of wood?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative Section or Chapter notes." Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Heading 9603, HTSUSA, specifically provides for brooms, brushes, etc. As a result of this specific stipulation, arguments have been raised that this is an eo nomine provision, and, thus, encompasses all forms of the article at issue. However, when classifying an article under HTSUSA, more than the mere marketing name is necessary to establish its true identity. Moreover, in classification, characteristics such as the way the product is used, advertised, constructed, and manufactured should all be factored in to determine the applicable classification.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The EN to Heading 9603 provides, in pertinent part:

These are rather roughly made articles, with or without handles, used mainly for sweeping the ground (street, yards, stables, etc.) or floors (e.g. vehicle floors).

As a result of the foregoing provision, the instant article does not conform to the stipulated use. Instead, the instant article's principle function is as a decorative ornament for the home. To facilitate this principle purpose, the product was specially constructed and scented to be a display piece. Finally, the instant article will be advertised and manufactured as an item to adorn the home. Accordingly, the "Broom Wall Pomander" is not a broom and, therefore, is not classifiable within heading 9603.

Since the merchandise at issue cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, subsequent GRIs must be applied. Because the "Broom Wall Pomander" is composed of various materials that include twigs, corn husk, plastic, and textile fabric, GRI 2(b) states that the classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3(a) requires that where two or more headings describe the merchandise, the more specific will prevail; or if two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials in the goods, then classification will be by GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b) provides that the material or component which imparts the essential character to the goods will determine the classification.
The EN address the issue of essential character under GRI 3(b) as follows:

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 the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

Based on a totality of factors, including the decorative nature of the of instant merchandise; the fact that the twig component makes up 90 percent of the product's weight; and, that the twig is the most readily identifiable feature of the product, it is classifiable under Heading 4420.


The sample merchandise is classifiable under the provision for statuettes and other ornaments, of wood, in subheading 4420.10.0000. The rate of duty is 5.1 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraining (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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