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HQ 950040

December 4, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950040 STB


TARIFF No.: 9505.10.2500

District Director of Customs
300 Second Ave., South
P.O. Box 789
Great Falls, Montana 59403

RE: Internal Advice No. 39/91; Ornaments Kits

Dear Sir:

This is a decision in response to your memorandum of June 18, 1991 (file: CLA-2-95:S:N:N3G:343-223, ENF-4-02 JPM 9133030006), in which you forwarded a request for internal advice. Our decision on Internal Advice No. 39/91 is as follows:


The merchandise at issue is a kit consisting of doilies, ribbon, styrofoam balls and gold elastic thread for use in assembling a finished Christmas tree ornament angel. The doilies, which constitute the bulk of the ornaments, are constructed of textiles. The consumer must provide craft/tacky glue and a large needle to thread the satin ribbon. The front of the packaging of the Christmas tree ornament angel kit displays a Christmas tree decorated with completed angel ornaments. The words "Christmas Tree Ornament Angel" are printed on the packaging just below the picture of a decorated Christmas tree. A sample of one angel Christmas tree ornament kit and a completed Christmas tree angel ornament were submitted with the inquiry.

The counsel for the importer is requesting that the kits be classified in subheading 9505.10.2500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA), the provision for other Christmas ornaments.


Whether the ornament kits should be classified as Christmas ornaments or under the textile provisions?


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with
the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all 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.

Because these items are imported in an unassembled form we must refer to GRI 2(a) which states as follows:

Any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article. It shall also be taken to include a reference to that article complete or finished (or falling to be classified as complete or finished by virtue of this rule), entered unassembled or disassembled.

Thus, under GRI 2(a), the unassembled ornaments will be classified as if they were imported already assembled. Since it appears that the items should be classified in heading 9505, HTSUSA, as festive articles, we will examine that heading.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, provides for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles, as well as parts and accessories thereof. The succeeding subheadings specifically provide for "Articles for Christmas festivities..." and "Christmas ornaments."

It is Customs position that an article which, by its shape, design and ornamentation is traditionally used in connection with a recognized festive holiday, is an article that falls under heading 9505, HTSUSA. One type of such item is the Christmas tree ornament. To qualify as a Christmas tree ornament, Customs requires that the following three criteria be met: (1) that the item is marketed and sold as a Christmas tree ornament; (2) that there is some method, generally a loop attached to the top, to secure or 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 subject merchandise satisfies all three of the criteria described above. The packaging of the sample clearly illustrates that these kits are marketed as Christmas tree ornaments. Gold elastic thread is included with the kits; the instructions state that, at the consumer's option, the thread can be used as a
hanger for the ornament. In case the consumer chooses not to use the thread, satin ribbon is provided which is used in the assembly of the ornament and may also be used to hang the ornament on the tree. Finally, these items are lightweight and are of a small size typical of Christmas tree ornaments.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes to heading 9505, HTSUSA, state, in pertinent part, that the heading covers "decorative articles made of paper, metal, foil, glass fiber, etc. for Christmas trees...." Textiles are not excluded from the heading. Therefore, the fact that this merchandise is constructed largely of textile material does not affect the Chapter 9505 classification.


The "Christmas Tree Ornament Angel" kits are classifiable in subheading 9505.10.2500, HTSUSA, which provides, in part, for articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof, Christmas ornaments, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 5% ad valorem. Merchandise classifiable in subheading 9505.10.2500, HTSUSA, will be eligible for duty free consideration under subheading 9902.95.05, HTSUSA, if imported on or before December 31, 1992. You should notify the internal advice applicant of this decision and furnish him with a copy.


John Durant, Director

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