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HQ 957432

January 12, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 957432 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9505.90.40

Ms. Anne M. Neary
Nantucket Distributing
261 White's Path
South Yarmouth, Massachusetts 02664

RE: Supersession of Pre-Entry Classification Determination (PC) 898996 as it Pertains to an "Easter Garland Foil Ribbon"

Dear Ms. Neary:

On August 1, 1994, you requested reconsideration of PC 898996, dated July 6, 1994, in which several articles had been classified. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 956932, issued December 14, 1994, it was determined that three of the articles had been misclassified in subheading 5806.32.1090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Two of those items - a polydecor strip ribbon and a metallic ribbon - were reclassified in headings 5404 and 5605, HTSUS, respectively. You submitted a sample of the third item - an "Easter garland foil ribbon" - and were advised that its reclassification had been referred to the Food and Chemicals Classification Branch for a response, which follows.


The "Easter garland foil ribbon," identified by SKU no. 5345006, measures approximately 2-1/8 inches in width and 25 feet in length. It is comprised of five separate strips of polypropylene that have been either compressed or heat-sealed together. Two metal wires are inserted along the length of the ribbon where the three main strips are joined, and are hidden by the two smaller strips which cover them. The foil garland is pink and silver in color, crinkled in appearance, and imported in


What is the proper classification of the "Easter garland foil ribbon?"


Classification under the HTSUS 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 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 HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

Heading 9505, HTSUS, provides for, among other items, festive, carnival or other entertainment articles. The EN to heading 9505 states, in part, 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.

In general, merchandise is classifiable in heading 9505, HTSUS, 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-

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 item is not dispositive of its classification and, consequently, does not transform an item into a festive article.

The subject garland is made of non-durable material. We consider an article such as this to be made of non-durable material, since it is not designed for sustained wear and tear, and is not purchased for its extreme worth or value (as would be a decorative, yet costly piece of art or crystal). In addition, its primary function is decorative, as opposed to utilitarian. Despite the subject product's name, however, it is not the type of item traditionally associated with the particular festival of Easter. Although it is Customs position that certain types of garlands may be classified as traditional, festive articles (See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950999, issued April 16, 1992, concerning Christmas garlands), we find that the "Easter garland foil ribbon's" failure to satisfy the third criterion indicates that its classification as a festive article is not appropriate. In light of the garland's decorative aspect and non-durability, however, classification as an other entertainment article in heading 9505, may be indicated.

In HRL 953062, issued March 8, 1993, this office classified an article identified as a "paper wired plaid garland" in subheading 9505.90.40, HTSUS. The item was described as being red, green, yellow, black, and brown in color, having wire enclosed within the paper on its borders, and measuring 2-1/4 inches in width by 8 feet in length. We find that the "Easter garland foil ribbon" is substantially similar to the plaid paper garland above, and is properly classified in subheading 9505.90.40, HTSUS, the provision for confetti, paper spirals or streamers.


The Easter garland foil ribbon, identified by SKU no. 5345006, is properly classified in subheading 9505.90.40, HTSUS, the provision for "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles...: Other: Confetti, paper spirals or streamers...parts and accessories thereof." The applicable duty rate for entries made through December 31, 1994, was 4 percent ad valorem. Under the tariff effective January 1, 1995, the rate has been reduced to free. -4-

PC 898996, dated July 6, 1994, as it pertains to the Easter garland foil ribbon noted above, is hereby superseded.


John Durant, Director

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