United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1993 HQ Rulings > HQ 0089453 - HQ 0089872 > HQ 0089559

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 089559

September 11, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 089559 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6913.90.50

Mr. Ron Sias
J.W. Hampton, Jr. & Co., Inc
15 Park Row
New York, NY 10038

RE: Ceramic house with a light; Festive articles; Christmas articles; Heading 9505; Ornamental and decorative ceramic articles; Heading 6913

Dear Mr. Sias:

This is in response to your letter of May 17, 1991, requesting a tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for a ceramic house with a light. A sample was submitted for our examination.


The article at issue is a ceramic house with a UL light cord, that connects into a socket and lights the house up. The house is a depiction of a country store decorated with holly and a wreath.


Whether the ceramic house is classifiable as a festive article in Heading 9505, HTSUSA, or in Heading 6913, HTSUSA, as statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's, taken in order.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, provides for festive, carnival, and other entertainment articles. The Explanatory Notes for the HTS, although not dispositive, are to be looked to for the proper interpretation of the HTS. The Explanatory Note to Heading 9505, HTSUSA, indicates 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 holiday 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, HTSUSA, tend to have no other function than decoration. Heading 9505, HTSUSA, is generally regarded as a use provision. Hence, Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a) must be reviewed.

Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a) indicates that:

In the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires--
(a) a tariff classification controlled by use (other than actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use.

While the subject item is decorative, ceramic houses as a class or kind of merchandise are not specifically holiday related; they are used all year round and come in a wide variety of motifs. Accordingly, the instant ceramic house is not classified as a festive article in Heading 9505, HTSUSA. Classification must be found elsewhere.

Heading 6913, HTSUSA, provides for statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles. The Explanatory Notes to Heading 6913, HTSUSA, provide that this heading covers the following:

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, haus or bas reliefs, and other figures for interior or exterior decoration; ornaments (including those forming parts of clock sets) for mantel pieces, shelves, etc.,....

The ceramic house is ornamental and decorative. Heading 6913, HTSUSA, is the appropriate heading for the instant porcelain house.


The ceramic house is classifiable in subheading 6913.90.50, HTSUSA, which provides for statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles, other, other, other. The rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: