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HQ 954327

August 17, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 954327 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9505.90.4000

Louis Shoichet, Esq. c/o Tompkins & Davidson
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
43rd Floor
New York, NY 10036

RE: Classification of paper and paperboard decorations depicting witches and Santa Claus; Heading 9505, HTSUSA; Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles.

Dear Mr. Shoichet:

This is in response to a letter dated May 7, 1993, from Tompkins and Davidson on behalf of Cleo, Inc. requesting the classification of paper and paperboard decorations 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 are lithographically printed paper or paperboard decorations intended to be placed temporarily in windows or on the wall. One article depicts a witch and measures about 50 inches in height. The witch's appendages are jointed by small metal grommets permitting a range of motion. A paper poster depicting the witch also is included. Both articles are packaged together in a sealed plastic wrap.

The other article depicts Santa Claus. The partially flocked illustration is attached to a single paperboard sheet from which it may be separated at pre-cut, perforated lines. Smaller decorations such as candy canes are also attached. Santa Claus measures about 39 inches in height and is packaged in a sealed plastic wrap.


Whether the paperboard decorations are classifiable in heading 4911 as other printed matter or in heading 9505 as festive, carnival or other entertainment 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.

(3) Articles of fancy dress, e.g., masks, false ears and noses, wigs, false beards and moustaches (not being articles of postiche - heading 67.04), and paper hats. However, the heading excludes fancy dress of textile materials, of Chapter 61 or 62.

(4) Throw-balls of paper or cotton-wool, paper streamers (carnival type), cardboard trumpets, "blow-outs", confetti, carnival umbrellas, etc.

The paperboard decorations do not meet the criteria for festive articles, because they are not traditionally associated with a particular festival. The paperboard decorations are not ejusdem generis with those articles cited in the EN's to 9505 as exemplars of traditional, festive articles. The motif of the decorations is not dispositive of their classification and does not transform them into festive articles. See, inter alia, Headquarters Ruling Letters 952833, issued February 6, 1993, and 951394, issued December 2, 1992. However, pursuant to GRI 1, the terms of the heading and the EN's indicate that the paperboard decorations, which are non-durable, are classifiable within 9505 as entertainment articles.

At the subheading level 9505.90.40 provides for confetti, paper spirals or streamers, party favors and noisemakers, while 9505.90.60 provides for other festive, carnival or entertainment articles. It is our position that the language in the subheadings and EN's indicates that the paperboard decorations, designed to be used at parties, fit the description of the non-durable entertainment or party-type articles classifiable in subheading 9505.90.40.

Because the articles are appropriately provided for in subheading 9505.90.40, pursuant to GRI 1, they are not classifiable within heading 4911 as other printed matter.


The paper and paperboard decorations are classifiable in subheading 9505.90.4000, HTSUSA, as "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles...: Other: Confetti, paper spirals or streamers, party favors and noisemakers; parts and accessories thereof." The general column one rate of duty is 4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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