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HQ 958221

August 7, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:M 958221 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 9405.30.00

Ms. Michele I. Smith
Sr. Administrative Asst.
Sears Merchandise Group
BC 204A
3333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60179

RE: Light set, electric; Garland, lighted Canadian pine; HRL's 952513, 952890, 953932, 955758, 957553

Dear Ms. Smith:

Your letter dated May 23, 1995, addressed to the Regional Commissioner of Customs, New York, New York, concerning the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a lighted Canadian pine garland, has been referred to this office for a response. A sample was submitted for examination.


The merchandise involved, identified as the lighted Canadian Pine garland, item 91136, consists of a Christmas-like PVC garland which measures approximately 9 feet in length and possesses an electrical wire harness with 50 sockets securing 50 lights entwined in its branches.


Is the lighted Canadian Pine garland classifiable under subheading 9405.30.00, HTSUS, as lighting sets of a kind used for Christmas trees or under subheading 9405.40.80, HTSUS, as other electric lamps and lighting fittings, other?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's]." In other words, classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. GRI 6, HTSUS, requires that the GRI's be applied at the subheading level on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. The GRI's apply in the same manner when comparing subheadings within a heading.

The subheadings under consideration are as follows:

9405 Lamps and lighting fittings including searchlights and spotlights and parts thereof, not elsewhere specified or included; illuminated signs, illuminated nameplates and the like, having a permanently fixed light source, and parts thereof not elsewhere specified or included:

9405.30.00 Lighting sets of a kind used for Christmas trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8%

9405.40 Other electric lamps and lighting fittings: of base metal:

9405.40.80 Other . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.9%

In support of classification under subheading 9405.40.80, HTSUS, it can be argued that the subject garland is principally designed as a general lighting decor which will be used to decorate the household area. This kind of lighting decor is similar to the electric light sculptures which have been classified under subheading 9405.40 See e.g., HRL 952890 dated March 16, 1993. In noting the packaging of the merchandise, there is no evidence that it is marketed or advertised in connection with Christmas lights. Further, the subject article is so designed that the light set cannot be readily removed from the PVC garland for the purpose of being conveniently put to some other use.

In Headquarters Ruling Letters (HRL's) 953932 and 957553 dated May 10, 1993, and March 20, 1995, respectively, Customs noted that similarly constructed items such as "halloween electric light sets" and "wedding light sets" have been determined to be Christmas light sets noting that "in the trade the wire harness with light sockets and bulbs and without the covers is of the kind known as a Christmas tree lighting set." Furthermore, in HRL's 955758 and 952513 dated April 15, 1994, and April 26, 1993, respectively, Customs took the position that lighting fittings ten feet in length, incorporating as few as ten bulbs, are of a kind used for Christmas trees.

Although the PVC garland is not so easily removed from the lighting set, it is still basically designed, noting its size and primary construction, to function as a lighting set for a Christmas tree. See HRL 957553, supra.


The lighted Canadian Pine garland, item 91136, is dutiable at the rate of 8% ad valorem under subheading 9405.30.00, HTSUS, as lighting sets of a kind used for Christmas trees.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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