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HQ 951414

January 15, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951414 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9405.30.00

Mr. Howard M. Paull
Sharrets, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C.
Sixty-seven Broad Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Modification of NYRL 858170; Electric candle garland; Heading 9405, HTSUSA; Lamps and lighting fittings; Not 9505 festive article.

Dear Mr. Paull:

In New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 858170 issued December 7, 1990, an electric candle garland, as well as illuminated Christmas tree ornaments of snowmen and of a house, were classified in 9505.10.2500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles,...: Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: Christmas ornaments: Other: Other." We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be partially in error. The Christmas tree ornaments of snowmen and of a house were properly classified. The correct classification of the electric candle garland is as follows.


The electric candle garland, from Taiwan, consists of three candles, each supplied with a lightbulb and wire, in a blister pack. The candles are approximately four inches high. A metal clip is fitted to the base of each candle enabling the garland to be attached to a Christmas tree.


Whether the electric candle garland is classifiable in heading 9505 as a festive article, or in heading 9405 as a lamp or lighting fitting.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. Most 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. The Explanatory Notes (EN's) 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 9505 provides for, inter alia, festive, carnival and other entertainment articles. The EN's to 9505 indicate 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 festival 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....

However, Note 1(t) to Chapter 95, HTSUSA, Toys, Games and Sports Equipment, as well as the EN's to heading 9505, state that the chapter (or heading) excludes electric garlands of all kinds (heading 9405). As this article qualifies as an electric garland, it is not classifiable in 9505 and must be classified elsewhere.

Heading 9405, HTSUSA, provides for lamps and lighting fittings. The EN's to 9405 indicate that the heading includes specialized lamps, such as electric garlands, including those fitted with fancy lamps for carnival or entertainment purposes or
for decorating Christmas trees. Because the article fits this description, it is classifiable in heading 9405. Since it is of the kind used for Christmas trees, the appropriate subheading is 9405.30.00.


The electric candle garland is classifiable in subheading 9405.30.00 as "Lamps and lighting fittings...not elsewhere specified or included;...: Lighting sets of a kind used for Christmas trees." The general column one rate of duty is 8 percent ad valorem. We note that the ruling being modified indicated a general column one rate of duty of 5 percent ad valorem which, under subheading 9902.95.05, was temporarily suspended until December 31, 1992.

This notice should be considered a modification of NYRL 858170 pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to NYRL 858170 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your client's merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, NYRL 858170 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, your client may, at its discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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