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HQ 952969

March 15, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952969 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 3926.40.0000

Ms. Judy Kearney
Network Brokers International, Inc.
Licensed Customs Brokers
Airport Industrial Office Park, Building A2-C 145th Avenue & Hook Creek Blvd.
Valley Stream, NY 11581

RE: Classification of veltex bows; Revocation of NYRL 835867; Heading 3926, HTSUSA, articles of plastics, statuettes and other ornamental articles; Not 9505, festive articles; HRLs 953177, 954903

Dear Ms. Kearney:

In New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 835867, issued February 3, 1989, veltex bows imported from China were classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be in error. This ruling also is in response to your request recently submitted on behalf of Berwick Industries regarding the proper classification of the bows in light of the fact that the display card accompanying the bows has been modified. Samples of the merchandise were submitted. The correct classification is as follows. Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed revocation of NYRL 835867 was published on February 9, 1994, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 6.


The merchandise at issue is veltex bows (Item #T-1801). They are described as Christmas type bows composed of polypropylene ribbons with acrylic flocking. Each bow is hand tied at its midsection by a gold colored metallic braid with a core of textile yarn containing a single wire to impart stiffness. The card accompanying the bows states that they are designed for multipurpose indoor and outdoor use with trees, mailboxes, windows, wreaths, baskets, gifts, etc.


Whether the bows are classified in 9505 as festive articles, 3926 as other articles of plastics, or elsewhere in the HTSUSA.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) 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. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) 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 GRIs.

Heading 9505 provides for, inter alia, festive, carnival and other entertainment articles. The ENs 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 the bows 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. In addition, the articles' primary function is decorative, as opposed to utilitarian.

However, when examining the bows, in their entirety, it is evident that they are not traditionally associated or used with the particular festival of Christmas. Because of their divergent functions throughout the year as a decoration for the home, for gifts, etc., the bows are not traditionally associated or used with the particular festival of Christmas. Regardless of the addition of the card describing the bows' divergent uses, they are not ejusdem generis with those articles cited in the ENs to 9505, as exemplars of traditional, festive articles. They must be classified elsewhere.

The classification of plastics and textile combinations is governed by the legal notes to the HTSUSA. Specifically, the ENs to Chapter 39 indicate, in pertinent part, that:

[T]he classification of plastics and textile combinations is essentially governed by Note 1(h) to Section XI, Note 3 to Chapter 56 and Note 2 to Chapter 59.

However, because the flocking portion of the bows neither qualifies as "nonwovens" or as "textile fabric" as referred to within these Section and Chapter Notes, the notes are not indicative of classification in this case. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 953177, issued April 7, 1993, explaining that flock is not considered to be a fabric within the scope of Section XI.

A review of the other potential HTSUS headings indicates that the bows are comprised of a plastics material of chapter 39, specifically other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip of plastics, combined with textile materials, provided for within
heading 3921. Accordingly, the bows are classifiable, pursuant to GRI 1, in heading 3926 which provides for other articles of plastics or materials of headings 3901 to 3914. Insofar as the bows are decorative and designed to adorn gifts and other similar articles, they are appropriately described by the terms of subheading 3926.40 as ornamental articles. See HRL 954903, issued September 13, 1993.


The veltex bows are classifiable in subheading 3926.40.00, HTSUSA, as "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Statuettes and other ornamental articles." The applicable rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 835867 hereby is revoked.

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days from its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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