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HQ 955731

January 31, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 955731 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 3926.40.0000

Mr. Thomas O. Powers
4180 Huanui Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816

RE: Plastic, Painted, Artificial Fingernails

Dear Mr. Powers:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of November 29, 1993, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of plastic artificial fingernails manufactured in the U.S., which are decoratively painted in, and imported from, Indonesia. Samples of two artificial fingernails (one plain and one decorated) were submitted with your inquiry.


The imported articles will consist of painted, plastic, artificial fingernails in assorted colors. The finished product will be packaged in the U.S. in groups of 24, and sold as decorative, wearable accessories.


Whether the merchandise is properly classified in chapter 49, HTSUSA, as other printed matter; in heading 3924, HTSUSA, as other household articles of plastics; or in heading 3926, HTSUSA, as other articles of plastics.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all 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 GRI's 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.

Chapter 39, HTSUSA, which covers plastics and articles thereof, falls within Section VII. In pertinent part, Note 2, to Section VII, states that "plastics, rubber and articles thereof, printed with motifs, characters or pictorial representations, which are not merely incidental to the primary use of the goods, fall in chapter 49." These artificial fingernails are designed for decoration and personal adornment. It follows that any motifs, characters or pictorial representations they incorporate are closely tied to the primary use of the goods. Chapter 49, HTSUSA, however, covers products of the printing industry, goods created by applying the direct pressure of inked types, plates, or blocks to other surfaces. Since these plastic articles are painted, not printed, they are not classifiable in Chapter 49.

Heading 3924, HTSUSA, provides for, among other items, "other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics." Although the EN to heading 3924 mentions items designed to enhance the comfort and decor of a household, it provides no indication that the heading covers decorative articles of a personal nature.

Heading 3926, HTSUSA, provides for "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914." The EN to heading 3926 indicates that the heading covers articles of plastics or other materials not elsewhere included or specified, including (among other items) statuettes and other ornamental articles.

At the six-digit subheading level, 3926.40, HTSUSA, includes other articles of plastics, statuettes and other ornamental articles, while 3926.90 covers other articles of plastics, other. Subheading 3926.90 is essentially a basket provision for other articles of plastics less specifically described than articles classifiable in subheadings 3926.10-.40. Since the painted, plastic fingernails comprise ornamentation designed to decorate
and adorn the tips of the fingers, they are classified in subheading 3926.40.0000, HTSUSA, as other articles of plastics, statuettes and other ornamental articles.


The plastic, painted, artificial fingernails are classified in subheading 3926.40.0000, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Statuettes and other ornamental articles." The general column one duty rate applicable to this merchandise is 5.3 percent ad valorem.

Issues as to the country of origin and any exemptions from duty for this merchandise, have been referred to the Special Classification Branch. A response will be provided to you under separate cover.


John Durant, Director

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