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HQ 956194

July 1, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 956194 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.25

Ms. Brenda Myran
Midwest Importers of Cannon Falls, Inc.
32057 64th Avenue
P.O. Box 20
Cannon Falls, MN 55009-0020

RE: Classification of copper wire garland; Heading 9505; Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles

Dear Ms. Myran:

This is in response to your letters of January 31, 1994 and February 18, 1994 concerning the proper classification of a copper wire garland under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You submitted a sample with your request for a binding ruling.


The article at issue, imported from Germany, is a gold colored wire bouillon garland (Style No. 11448-3) composed of zinc plated, thin diameter copper wire. It also is available in silver and copper colors. It is our understanding that the article will be marketed as a Christmas garland primarily to be used to decorate Christmas trees or wreaths.


Whether the garland is classifiable within heading 9505 as a festive, carnival or other entertainment article or elsewhere in the HTSUS.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUS. 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 (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 HTSUS 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.

First, Customs considers the garland to be made of non- durable material because it is not designed for sustained wear and tear, nor is it purchased because of its extreme worth or
value (as would be the case with a decorative, yet costly, piece of art or crystal). In addition, the article's primary function is decorative, as opposed to, utilitarian.

Finally, when examining the garland, as a whole, it is evident that the article is traditionally associated or used with the particular festival of Christmas. Garlands are cited in the ENs to 9505 as exemplars of traditional, festive articles. The garland is classifiable within subheading 9505.10 which provides for articles for Christmas festivities. At the eight digit subheading level, 9505.10.10, 9505.10.15, and 9505.10.25 cover Christmas ornaments of glass, wood, and other, respectively. The garland, made of copper wire meets our criteria for Christmas ornaments. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950999, issued April 16, 1992. It has been Customs position that although garlands do not include loops or hooks for hanging, they may be draped over and around a tree or its branches. Although not dispositive of the appropriate classification, we note that this garland is marketed primarily as a Christmas tree decoration.

Customs has classified garlands made of wooden beads and of plastic strips resembling tinsel in subheadings 9505.10.15 and 9505.10.25 as festive articles, for Christmas festivities, Christmas ornaments. See HRL 557058, issued June 16, 1993, and HRL 953062, issued March 8, 1993. However, since it is Customs' position that articles resembling artificial foliage are not used to decorate other foliage, including Christmas trees, garlands composed of artificial, plastic foliage have been classified in subheading 9505.10.40 as festive articles, for Christmas festivities, other. See HRL 953507, issued July 9, 1993; HRL 950999, supra; and HRL 557058, supra.

Because paper garlands are extremely non-durable (i.e., usually discarded after being used) and may be used throughout the year without regard to a particular festival, they have been classified in subheading 9505.90.40 as other festive, carnival or entertainment articles, confetti, paper spirals or streamers. See HRL 953062, supra. Also note that Customs has maintained that garlands composed of fabric often have diverse functions throughout the year as, for example, home decoration, apparel, and gift wrapping and consequently do not fall within heading 9505. See HRL 953051, issued June 24, 1993; HRL 954187, issued June 24, 1993; and HRL 953062, supra.

We believe classification of the subject copper wire garland in subheading 9505.10.25 follows from these prior decisions.


The copper wire garland is classifiable in subheading 9505.10.25, HTSUSA, as "Festive, carnival or other entertainment
articles...: Articles for Christmas festivities...: Christmas ornaments: Other: Other." The applicable rate of duty is 5 percent ad valorem.


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