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HQ 952833

February 6, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952833 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9090, 5806.32.1090

Ms. Rebecca Cheung
R.H. Macy Product Development
11 Penn Plaza
New York, NY 10001

RE: Classification of crinkly, PVC garland and polyester, woven fabric, ribbon garland; Heading 3926, other articles of plastics; Heading 5806 narrow woven fabrics; Not 9505 festive articles; Note 10 to Chapter 39; HRL's 950999, 087993

Dear Ms. Cheung:

This is in response to your letter of October 8, 1992, submitted on behalf of R.H. Macy, regarding the proper classification of a crinkly, PVC garland and a polyester, woven fabric, ribbon garland under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You submitted samples with your request for a binding ruling.


The articles at issue, imported from Taiwan, are two garlands. The first article, a crinkly, red garland (Style #TNM 9075R), is described as being made entirely from polyurethane. An analysis conducted by the New York Laboratory revealed that the garland, or strip, is composed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and is metallized. The width of the strip is approximately 3/4 inch. Prior to being crinkled, its width is approximately 3-1/2 inches. The rigidness of the strip allows it to be crinkled. The garland will be put up for retail sale in lengths of 25 yards and will be packaged with a header labeled "all the trimming." The other article, a ribbon, red and green, plaid, garland (Style #TN 80612), is entirely composed of polyester woven fabric. It measures 3 inches in width and will be sold in spools of 10 yards. A hem, which has been glued in place, runs along each edge of the fabric. A metal wire is enclosed in each hem.


Whether the garlands are classifiable in heading 9505 as festive articles, or rather in either heading 3926 as other articles of plastics or heading 5806 as narrow woven fabrics.


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.

The garlands are made of non-durable material. Customs will consider articles, such as the garlands, to be made of non- durable material since they are not designed for sustained wear and tear, nor are they purchased because of their extreme worth or value (as would be the case with a decorative, yet costly, piece of art or crystal). In addition, the articles' primary function is decorative, as opposed to, utilitarian.

However, when examining the garlands, as a whole, it is evident that they are not traditionally associated or used with the particular festival of Christmas. Although it is Customs' position that certain types of garlands may be classifiable as traditional, festive articles (See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950999, issued April 16, 1992), the instant garlands are not traditionally associated or used with the festival of Christmas, in particular. On the contrary, this merchandise has divergent functions, throughout the year, for instance, as decoration for the home (e.g., furniture, curtains, lamp or window shades, etc.), for apparel (e.g., hats, blouses, etc.) and as wrapping for gifts. The garlands must be classified elsewhere.

In regard to the crinkly garland composed of metallized PVC, heading 3921 provides for other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics, while heading 3926 provides for other articles of plastics. Note 10 to Chapter 39 states that:

[i]n headings 3920 and 3921, the expression "plates, sheets, film, foil and strip" applies only to plates, sheets, film, foil and strip...not further worked (even if when so cut they become articles ready for use).

The EN's to 3921 explain that articles "drilled, milled, hemmed, twisted, framed or otherwise worked or cut into shapes other than rectangular," generally, are not classified within 3921, but are classified in other headings, including, 3926.

In HRL 087993, issued December 20, 1990, Customs classified string, composed of a folded polypropylene strip, in 3920 because it had not been "further worked," as referred to in Note

10 to Chapter 39 and in the EN's to 3920 and 3921. In HRL 087993 it was determined that the multiple folding of a strip does not constitute "further working" and does not alter the character of the product as does drilling, twisting, or hemming. Because folding, in that case, was performed simply to increase the strength of the strip and enhance its suitability for binding and tying operations, it was deemed a preliminary step to further working such as hemming.

In regard to the instant crinkled garland, it is our position that "crinkling" is most analogous to "twisting," as opposed to "folding." It alters the character of the article and is not merely a preliminary step to "further working," but, in actuality, constitutes "further working." The article is classifiable in heading 3926. The appropriate subheading is 3926.90.9090.

As for the textile, ribbon garland, composed entirely of polyester woven fabric, heading 5806 provides for narrow woven fabrics. The EN's to 5806 indicate that the heading includes, inter alia, ribbons of man-made fibers which may be used "in women's apparel, in the manufacture of hats and fancy collars, as medal ribbons, as a decorative binding material, in furnishing, etc." The ribbon garland is classifiable within heading 5806. As the article is composed of man-made fibers, the appropriate subheading is 5806.32.1090.


The crinkly, PVC garland (Style #TNM 9075R) is classifiable in subheading 3926.90.9090, HTSUSA, as "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Other: Other, Other." The general column one rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The polyester woven fabric ribbon (Style # TN 80612) is classifiable in subheading 5806.32.1090, HTSUSA, as "Narrow woven fabrics,...Other woven fabrics: Of man-made fibers: Ribbons, Other." The general column one rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem.

Articles classifiable in subheading 5806.32.1090, HTSUSA, fall within the textile category designation 229, which may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent negotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we
suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.


John Durant, Director

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