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HQ 088792

November 22, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F: 088792 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 6304.92.0000

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
One World Trade Center
Suite 534
Long Beach, CA 90831-0700

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 2704-90-005010, filed December 10, 1990, concerning classification of hand-painted, decorative fan

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on a protest filed December 10, 1990 against your decision in the classification of the merchandise in entry number xxxxxxxxxxx made July 20, 1990 and liquidated November 2, 1990.


The protestant entered the item under subheading 4601.91.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), the provision for plaiting materials, bound together in parallel strands or woven...of vegetable materials...of bamboo, rattan, willow or wood, at the general column one rate of duty of 6.6 percent ad valorem.

You classified the item under 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, providing for other furnishing articles, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton at the general column one rate of duty of 7.2 percent ad valorem. Protestant claims the merchandise should be classified under subheading 4602.10.4000, HTSUSA, providing for basketwork, wickerwork and other articles made directly to shape from plaiting materials...of bamboo vegetable materials, or alternatively under subheading 6307.90.9590, (now 6307.90.9490) HTSUSA, providing for other made up textile articles at the general column one rates of duty of 6.6 and 7 percent ad valorem, respectively.

The decorative, non-folding fan, style # A4342, measures approximately 27 inches in width and 15 inches in height. The fan is constructed of a bamboo frame with a 70 percent cotton and 30 percent polyester textile material insert depicting a decorative Japanese garden scene, which has been painted thereon. The fan also incorporates a bamboo loop at the top. The bamboo component of each fan has a C & F value of $1.00 and an approximate weight of 25 grams, while the textile component has a C & F value of $0.45 cents and an approximate weight of 5 grams. The item is imported from China.


Whether the decorative fan is classifiable as a painting under heading 9701, HTSUSA; an other (bamboo) article made directly to shape from plaiting materials under heading 4602, HTSUSA; an other furnishing article (of cotton) under heading 6304, HTSUSA; or an other made up (textile) article under heading 6307, HTSUSA.


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. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes 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 9701, HTSUSA, pertains, in part, to "paintings, drawings and pastels, executed entirely by hand, other than drawings of heading 4906 and other than hand-painted or hand- decorated manufactured articles;...." The Explanatory Note to heading, 9701, HTSUSA, confirms that hand-decorated manufactured articles are not included in this heading.

Although the decorative fan incorporates a hand-painted design, this does not guarantee its classification as a painting. The price breakdown shows that the fans are very inexpensive. They are manufactured and imported in the thousands. Headquarter's Ruling (HRL) 087170, which cited Sanji Kobata et al. v. United States, 66 Cust. Ct. 341, C.D. 4213 (1971), stressed the high value and worth and the uniqueness and rarity of items classifiable as paintings. It follows, then, that the decorative fan is a craft article produced in a manner similar to a manufactured article and is not a painting under heading 9701, HTSUSA. Therefore, we must classify the article elsewhere.

The decorative fan is constructed of a bamboo frame, base and connecting pieces and includes a textile material insert composed of seventy percent cotton and thirty percent polyester. Thus, on first glance, the decorative fan could be classified in various headings. Since the HTSUSA provides for the bamboo and textile in separate headings, classification is determined by applying GRI 3(a) which explains, in pertinent part, that when goods are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings, the articles are to be classified in the heading which provides the most specific description of the good in question. However, all headings are regarded as equally specific, when each refers to only part of the goods.

Each of the possible headings refers to only part of the subject merchandise. Since the headings are, thus, regarded as equally specific, we do not classify the article by GRI 3(a) but rather by GRI 3(b). GRI 3(b) provides that articles made up of different components, that is, composite goods, shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. "Essential character" has been construed to mean: the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is. Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) explains that bulk, quantity, weight, value or the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the article are indicia of essential character.

The textile insert imparts the essential character of the article based on the role of the hand-painted scene and the textile insert in relation to the article as a whole. The article, which is used only for decoration, derives its aesthetic character primarily from the textile component. The bamboo, on the other hand, serves merely as a frame to display and enhance the textile insert and scene. For these reasons the item is not classifiable under a heading in Chapters 44 or 46, HTSUSA, which provides for bamboo articles. Rather, we must turn our focus to the headings providing for textile articles.

Heading 6304, HTSUSA, provides for other textile furnishing articles. The Explanatory Notes to heading 6304 provide, in pertinent part, that the heading covers furnishing articles of textile materials, for use in the home, public buildings, theatres, etc. Contrary to the position espoused by the protestant, although wall hangings and textile furnishings for ceremonies are included in the heading, this does not indicate that a wall hanging which furnishes the home, but is not used for a ceremony, is excluded from the heading.

Having determined that heading 6304 provides for the goods, the article should not be classified in the "basket" provision, heading 6307, which provides for other made up textile articles. The Explanatory Notes to heading 6307, explain that the heading covers made up articles of any textile material which are not included more specifically in other headings. As between the two headings, the former more specifically provides for the article than the latter. Hand fans, but not fans used only for decoration, could be included in 6307. Focusing to the appropriate subheading for the decorative fan, we find it classifiable in subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA.


The decorative fan is properly classified in subheading 6304.92.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for, "[o]ther furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404 (con.): Other: Not knitted or crocheted, of cotton." The general column one rate of duty is 7.2 percent ad valorem.

The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision with the Form 19 should be sent to the protestant.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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