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HQ 951461

March 22, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951461 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.4000

Joel K. Simon, Esq.
Serko & Simon
One World Trade Center, Suite 3371
New York, NY 10048

RE: Modification of NYRL 837758; angel Christmas stocking hanger in 9505.10.4000, HTSUSA; Festive article, for Christmas festivities, other than Christmas ornaments.

Dear Mr. Simon:

In New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 837758 issued March 29, 1989, a plastic, angel Christmas stocking hanger, from Hong Kong, was classified in subheading 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 correct classification is as follows.


The article at issue is an angel Christmas stocking hanger, of plastic, style number 4661. It includes a representation of an angel, approximately 3 inches in height, playing a harp. The article is constructed so that the figure of the angel can sit on the edge of a shelf or mantel. The harp extends below the level of the angel's feet and, therefore, over the edge of the shelf or mantel. The harp contains a hook at its bottom from which a Christmas stocking is hung.


Whether the angel Christmas stocking hanger is classifiable in subheading 9505.10.2500 as festive articles, articles for Christmas festivities, Christmas ornaments, or is classifiable in subheading 9505.10.4000 as festive articles, articles for Christmas festivities, other.


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....

In general, merchandise is classifiable in heading 9505, HTSUSA, as a festive article when the article, as a whole:

1. is of non-durable material or, generally, is not purchased because of its extreme worth, or intrinsic value (e.g., paper, cardboard, metal foil, glass fiber, plastic, wood);

2. functions primarily as a decoration (e.g., its primary function is not utilitarian); and

3. is traditionally associated or used with a particular festival (e.g., stockings and tree ornaments for Christmas, decorative eggs for Easter).

An article's satisfaction of these three criteria is indicative of classification as a festive article. The motif of an article is not dispositive of its classification and, consequently, does not transform an item into a festive article.

First, the article is made of non-durable material. Customs will consider an article, such as the Christmas stocking hanger, to be made of non-durable material since it is not designed for sustained wear and tear, nor is it purchased because of its extreme worth or value (as would be the case with a decorative, yet costly, piece of art or crystal).

Next, the article's primary function is decorative, as opposed to, utilitarian. It is apparent, the Christmas stocking hanger serves no useful function besides its role as a decoration.

Finally, when examining the Christmas stocking hanger, as a whole, it is evident that the article is traditionally associated or used with the particular festival of Christmas. The stocking hanger is ejusdem generis with those articles cited in the EN's to 9505, as exemplars of traditional, festive articles.

The Christmas stocking hanger is not classifiable in either subheading 9505.10.10, 9505.10.15 or 9505.10.25 since it does not meet the three criteria for a Christmas ornament:

1. that the item is advertised and sold as a Christmas tree ornament;

2. that there is some method, generally a loop attached to the top, to 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.

Subheading 9505.10.40 covers other Christmas articles of plastics, while 9505.10.50 covers other Christmas articles, other (than of plastics). As the Christmas stocking hanger is composed of plastic, it is classifiable in 9505.10.40.


The angel Christmas stocking hanger is classifiable in subheading 9505.10.4000, HTSUSA, as "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles,...Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: Other: Of plastics." The general column one rate of duty is 8.4 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 837758 pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to NYRL 837758 (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 837758 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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