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HQ 952570

December 23, 1992

CLA-2 CO;R:C:T 952570 jlj


TARIFF NUMBER: 4421.90.9040

Area Director of Customs
J. F. K. Airport
Building 178
Jamaica, New York 11430

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest 1001-92-100800

Dear Sir:

This protest is in response to your action in liquidating an entry covering an oak carved canopy imported from England.


The merchandise consists of a carved oak canopy imported to be placed on top of existing cabinets at a church in New York City. Drawings were submitted which depict the canopy as ornately carved wood panels permanently installed on top of the cabinets.

The protestant claims that the canopy is an integral part of a columbarium. The Random House College Dictionary, 1973 edition, defines a columbarium as "a sepulchral vault or other structure with recesses in the walls to receive the ashes of the dead." The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1976 edition, defines a columbarium as "a vault with niches for urns containing ashes of the dead."

The protestant asserts that the instant merchandise should be classified under the provision for articles imported for the use of an institution organized and operated for religious purposes, in subheading 9810.00.25, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).

The entry was liquidated by Customs under the provision for other articles of wood, in subheading 4421.90.9040, HTSUSA.


Is the wood canopy classified as an article imported for the use of a religious institution in subheading 9810.00.25, HTSUSA? If not, how is it classified?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be according to the terms of the headings and any relevant section or chapter notes.

Subheading 9810.00.25, HTSUSA, reads as follows:

Articles imported for the use of an institution organized and operated for religious purposes...

Altars, pulpits, communion tables, baptismal fonts, shrines, mosaics, iconstases, or parts, appurtenances or adjuncts of any of the foregoing, whether to be physically joined thereto or not, and statuary....

In order to qualify for entry under this tariff provision, the merchandise must fit into one of the categories enumerated above.

In support of his claim that the canopy is eligible for classification in subheading 9810.00.25, HTSUSA, the protestant argues that the canopy is "an integral part of a columbarium placed in our Chapel of Resurrection to hold the ashes of our beloved departed...." He states that internment services are held at the columbarium and that internment services constitute religious services.

While the instant wood canopy would fit into the broader category of articles imported for the use of an institution organized and operated for religious purposes, it is not included among the articles specified within the subheading.

As depicted in the drawings submitted, the canopy is not part of an altar, nor is it part of any other enumerated article in subheading 9810.00.25, HTSUSA. The wood canopy would not be considered sculpture or statuary under subheading 9810.00.40, either.

Since the wood canopy does not qualify for classification under either of these subheadings, the merchandise must be classified under another tariff provision.

Based upon the drawings, the canopy appears to be primarily architectural or furniture decorations. The canopy is designed to be permanently mounted on top of the cabinets.

Heading 4420, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, statuettes and other ornaments of wood, but this heading does not cover the instant merchandise. The Explanatory Notes, the interpretation of the tariff at the international level, state regarding Heading 4420:

Wooden parts of the articles of this heading are excluded (heading 44.21).

Heading 4421 covers other articles of wood. As stated in the Explanatory Notes, this heading "also covers wooden parts of the articles specified or included in the preceding headings, other than those of heading 44.16."

Based on the foregoing, the wooden canopy is classified under the provision for other ornaments of wood: other articles of wood, in Heading 4421, HTSUSA.


The merchandise is properly classified as other articles of wood in subheading 4421.90.9040, HTSUSA. The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Customs Form 19 and mailed to the protestant as part of the notice of action on the protest.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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