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HQ 954735

August 17, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 954735 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.5000

Area Director
U.S. Customs Service
6 World Trade Center
New York, NY 10048

RE: Reconsideration of HRL 952085; Santa Claus Door Decoration in 9505, HTSUSA, as festive, carnival or other entertainment article; Not 6304 other furnishing article.

Dear Area Director:

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 952085, issued December 22, 1992, a Santa Claus door decoration 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, other, other. Pursuant to your request we have reviewed that ruling. The correct classification is as follows.


The article at issue is a representation of Santa Claus, approximately 15 inches in height. It is constructed of a cardboard backing covered with textile material and contains a ribbon hanger, for hanging as a door decoration. The front of the article is lightly stuffed with foam which gives the article depth.


Whether the Santa Claus door decoration is classified in heading 9505 as a festive article or in heading 6304 as an other furnishing article.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. The subject article is 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.

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....

It was determined in HRL 952085 that the Santa door decoration met the criteria for a festive article because the article, as a whole, (a) was of non-durable material or, generally, not purchased because of its extreme worth or intrinsic value, (b) functioned primarily as a decoration, and (c) was traditionally associated or used with a particular festival.

However, because the motif of an article is not dispositive of its classification, and only three dimensional forms of Santa Claus are classifiable in 9505, you question whether the Santa decoration qualifies as a festive article. In HRL 952085 weexplained that although the article contains a flat cardboard backing, because the front of the article is stuffed with foam and has depth, it is three dimensional and classified as a festive article.

It remains our position that the article qualifies as three dimensional because it is not designed or effective primarily as a flat or surface composition, but rather is specifically designed to give an illusion of depth or varying distances. See Webster's Third New International Dictionary 2474 (1971). Although the figure can be hung from a door, wall, etc., because it contains a foam filler and is a physical manifestation of the
form of Santa Claus in and of itself, it is sufficiently three dimensional to warrant classification within heading 9505. The article is identifiable upon importation as Santa Claus and is traditionally associated with Christmas.

The Santa decoration is classifiable within subheading 9505.10 which provides for articles for Christmas festivities. As for the proper classification of the Santa figure at the eight digit subheading level, the Santa figure does not meet the criteria for a Christmas ornament. See HRL's 952520 and 952834.

As the Santa figure is composed of materials other than plastics, it is classifiable in subheading 9505.10.50. Because the article is appropriately provided for in subheading 9505.10.50, it is not classified within heading 6304 as an other furnishing article.


The Santa door decoration is classified in subheading 9505.10.5000, HTSUSA, as "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles,...: Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other." The applicable rate of duty is 5.8 percent ad valorem.

The decision reached in HRL 952085 is affirmed.


John Durant, Director

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