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HQ 953051

June 24, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 953051 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 5806.32.1090

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
300 South Ferry Street - Terminal Island
Room 1036
San Pedro, CA 90731

RE: Internal Advice Request No. 76/92; Pleated, fabric garland; Heading 5806, narrow woven fabrics; Not 9505, festive articles; HRL's 952833, 953062

Dear Sir:

This is in response to Internal Advice Request No. 76/92, initiated by a letter dated September 14, 1992, submitted by John B. Pellegrini, Esq., Ross & Hardies, Park Avenue Tower, 65 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022-3219, on behalf of Associated Merchandising Corporation. The request regards the classification of a pleated, fabric ribbon garland under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise, imported from Taiwan, is described as a red striped, pleated fabric, Christmas ribbon garland (Item #01061757). The double-wired garland is 55% polyester and 45% metallic fabric.


Whether the ribbon garland is classifiable in heading 5806 as a narrow woven fabric or in heading 9505 as a festive article.


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.

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

However, when examining the garland, in its entirety, it is evident that the article is not traditionally associated or used with the particular festival of Christmas. Because of its divergent functions throughout the year, as a decoration for the home (e.g., furniture, curtains, lamp or window shades, etc.), for apparel (e.g., hats, blouses, etc.), and for gifts, this textile article is not traditionally associated or used with the particular festival of Christmas. The ribbon garland must be classified elsewhere.

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. See Note 1(a) to Chapter 54, HTSUSA. See Headquarters Ruling Letters 953062, issued March 8, 1993, and 952833, issued February 6, 1993, where similar garlands were also classified as narrow woven fabrics.

Counsel has raised the argument that his client has relied upon New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 854812, and the Customs Service is bound by that decision. That decision is not in accord with the current position of the Customs Service and has been modified by Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 954187 of even date.


The ribbon garland (Item #01061757) is classifiable in subheading 5806.32.1090, HTSUSA, as "Narrow woven fabrics,...: Other woven fabrics: Of man-made fibers: Ribbons, Other." The applicable rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem. Articles classifiable in subheading 5806.32.1090, HTSUSA, fall within the textile category designation 229.

However, the merchandise (Item #01061757) covered by the entry which is the subject of this Internal Advice should be liquidated in accordance with NYRL 854812.

You should advise the internal advice applicant of this decision and forward them a copy.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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