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HQ 954187

June 24, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 954187 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 5806.32.1090

Ms. Lorraine M. Dugan
Customs Analyst
Associated Merchandising Corporation
1440 Broadway
New York, NY 10018

RE: Modification of NYRL 854812; Fabric, ribbon garland in heading 5806, narrow woven fabrics; Not 9505, festive articles; HRL's 952833, 953062

Dear Ms. Dugan:

In New York Ruling Letter 854812, issued August 8, 1990, a pleated, fabric ribbon garland, from Taiwan, was classified in subheading 9505.10.5000, 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: Other: Other." We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be partially in error. The correct classification is as follows.


The articles at issue, imported from Taiwan, are red, maroon, aqua and paisley, pleated fabric, Christmas ribbon garlands. The double-wired garlands, are 55% polyester and 45% metallic fabric.


Whether the ribbon garlands are classifiable in heading 5806 as narrow woven fabrics or in heading 9505 as festive articles.


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 articles, such as the garlands, to be made of non-durable material since they are not designed for sustained wear and tear, nor are 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 each garland, in its entirety, it is evident that the articles are not traditionally associated or used with the particular festival of Christmas. Because of their divergent functions throughout the year, as decoration for the home (e.g., furniture, curtains, lamp or window shades, etc.), for apparel (e.g., hats, blouses, etc.), and for gifts, these textile articles are not traditionally associated or used with the particular festival of Christmas. The ribbon garlands 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 garlands are classifiable within heading 5806. As the articles are 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.


The ribbon garlands are 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, which may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. The Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), issued by Customs, provides current and vital information in this regard.

This notice should be considered a modification of NYRL 854812 pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to NYRL 854812 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, NYRL 854812 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, you may 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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