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HQ 955525

March 30, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 955525 BC


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9986

District Director of Customs
U.S. Customs Service
1205 Royal Lane
Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas 75261

RE: Application for further review of protest no. 5501-93- 100314; classification of acrylic fabric door knob covers; festive articles; HRL 955342

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on an application for further review of a protest timely filed by Ruby L. Wood on behalf of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. The protest objects to your decision concerning the classification of acrylic plush fabric door knob covers.


The merchandise at issue are door knob covers made of acrylic plush fabric, described as style #1369. Samples were not submitted with the protest, but photographs show three door knob covers resembling the faces of a snowman wearing a top hat and two different bears wearing Santa Claus hats.

The merchandise was entered on June 22, 1993, under subheading 3924.10.5000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for other household articles of plastics. Customs liquidated the entry on August 6, 1993, classifying the merchandise under subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA, which provides for other made-up textile articles. The PROTESTANT, hereafter referred to as the importer, filed a timely protest on September 14, 1993. In this protest, the importer contends that the doorknob covers are classifiable as festive articles in subheading 9505, HTSUSA.


Are the door knob covers classifiable as festive articles in heading 9505, HTSUSA, or as other articles of textile in heading 6307, HTSUSA?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is accomplished in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). 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 goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's will then be applied in numerical order. Further, 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 HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's. Accordingly, the GRI's and EN's are utilized as the basis for the classification determination discussed below. (See T.D. 89-80, quoting from a report of the Joint Committee on the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, endorsing use of the EN's in the classification of goods. 23 Cust. Bull. 379 (1989), 54 Fed. Reg. 35,127 (August 23, 1989).) (See also Totes, Inc. v. United States, No. 91-09-00714, slip op. 92-153 (CIT September 4, 1992), 26 Cust. Bull. No. 40, 35, 37 n. 3 (September 30, 1992), citing T.D. 89-80 and acknowledging the authority of the EN's.)

The issue presented has been addressed by Customs in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 951418, dated February 1, 1993, wherein two doorknob covers, one with a Santa Claus motif and the other a Scrooge motif, were classified as other articles of textile, rather than as festive articles. In the ruling, we stated that a festive motif is not necessarily controlling when classifying festive articles under heading 9505, HTSUSA.

The EN's to heading 9505, HTSUSA, indicate that the heading covers, in part, the following articles:

(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 criteria is indicative of classification as a festive article. (See HRL 954418 (as above; criteria not satisfied) and HRL 955342 (criteria satisfied), dated November 30, 1993, for application of these criteria.)

As in HRL 951418, the doorknob covers at issue here meet the first two criteria, above, but fail to meet the third. Since they are not designed for sustained wear and tear, we consider them to be made of non-durable material (first criterion); also, they are not purchased because of their extreme value, as would be, for example, an article of crystal (first criterion). In addition, the doorknob covers' primary function is decorative (second criterion). However, as a whole, it is clear that the kind of article at issue is not traditionally used or associated with a particular festive occasion (third criterion). Again, motif alone is not controlling; the snowman and the hatted bear motifs are not conclusive on the issue of the doorknob covers' association with any particular festival. The doorknob covers are not ejusdem generis with those articles cited in the EN' to heading 9505, HTSUSA, as exemplars of traditional Christmas articles. Thus, the doorknob covers must be classified elsewhere.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made-up textile articles. The EN's for that heading state that the heading covers made-up textile articles that are not more specifically described elsewhere in the tariff. Because the doorknob covers are not more specifically described elsewhere in the tariff, they are classifiable in heading 6307, HTSUSA. Customs original classification of the doorknob covers at issue in this protest was correct.


This protest is DENIED. The doorknob covers at issue, made of acrylic fabric, are classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA, which provides for other made-up articles of textile material, other, other, other, other, other. The applicable duty rate is 7% ad valorem.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550-065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, this decision should be mailed by your office to the PROTESTANT no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing of the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will take steps to make the decision available to Customs personnel via the Customs Rulings Module in ACS and the public via the Diskette Subscription Service, Lexis, Freedom of Information Act, and other public access channels.


John Durant, Director

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