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NY 869666

January 6, 1992

CLA-2-69:S:N:N3D:227 869666


TARIFF NO.: 6913.10.5000

Ms. Michelle S. Brastafolis
Coudert Brothers
Attorneys and Counselors at Law
200 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10166

RE: The tariff classification of a lighted porcelain church from Taiwan.

Dear Ms. Brastafolis:

In your letter dated December 10, 1991, on behalf of your client, Danbury Mint, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The sample submitted is a lighted porcelain church which is decorated with snow and has three nearby cars covered with snow in its parking lot. There are small apertures at its window sites, in addition to a bottom opening for the insertion of a UL cord that connects into a socket and lights the church up.

You claim that this merchandise should be properly classified under subheading 9405.40.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other electric lamps and lighting fittings...and parts thereof, not elsewhere specified or included. You reason that the subject article, possessing an electrical cord and socket plug, are comparable to those found in the illuminated signs and nameplates (having a permanently fixed light source) as specified in the heading of 9405, HTS and therefore, serves the same decorative purpose as illuminated signs or nameplates.

You also state that if the above item is not considered to be a lamp or lighting fixture for Customs purposes, the merchandise should be then classified under subheading 6913.10.1000, HTS, which provides for statues, statuettes and handmade flowers of porcelain or china, valued over $2.50 each and produced by professional sculptors or directly from molds made from original models produced by professional sculptors, noting that this article is designed essentially for interior decoration purposes.

For this merchandise to qualify for classification under heading 9405 of the HTS, it must be primarily designed to be used for illuminating the surrounding atmosphere, noting reference to United States v. General Display Case Co., Inc., T.D. 46976 (1934). However, since the lighting portion of the subject article is primarily used to enhance the decorative nature of the item rather than to illuminate the surrounding area, any consideration for classification under the above heading is hereby precluded. Further, the notation of "having a permanently fixed light source" within the heading of 9405 refers specifically to the "illuminated signs and nameplates" (noted in the Explanatory Notes of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Heading 9405 of Section XX) which was intentionally separated from the "lamps and lighting fittings including searchlights and spotlights" by a semi-colon.

Moreover, to be classified under subheading 6913.10.1000, HTS, the provision clearly specifies that the item must be considered either a statue, statuette or handmade flower, thereby precluding other ornamental ceramic articles of porcelain or china (covering such articles as the instant merchandise).

The applicable subheading for the lighted porcelain church will be 6913.10.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other ornamental ceramic articles of porcelain or china. The rate of duty will be 9 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire

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