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NY 808529

April 25, 1995

CLA-2-44:S:N:N8:230 808529


TARIFF NO.: 4420.90.4500; 9405.50.4000; 4419.00.8000; 7114.11.5000; 9208.90.0080; 4420.10.0000

Ms. Lisa C. Schneider
Associated Customhouse Brokers, Inc.
PO Box 22670
Rochester, NY 14692-2670

RE: The tariff classification of various religious articles, of wood, silver and other materials, from Italy; Shtender; Art; Sculpture; Shofar; Box; Tableware; Sets.

Dear Ms. Schneider:

In your letter dated March 23, 1995, on behalf of Bezalel Editions Limited (Sarasota, Florida), you requested a tariff classification ruling.

Your inquiry is a follow-up to your previous letter dated December 22, 1994, in which you requested a classification ruling on the importation of Jewish Shtenders and accessories. The Shtenders are said to be traditional prayer/study lecterns containing all the daily, weekly and yearly religious objects of the Jewish practice. One-hundred and eighty limited edition units, valued at approximately $28,000 each, will be created. You have indicated that the majority of buyers are expected to be religious individuals, but that art collectors, synagogues, museums and public institutions also have expressed interest.

We note your client's assertion that these Shtenders are "works of art" created by established and well-known artists. To qualify as sculpture, however, an item must be created by a professional artist of the free fine arts, and must have no functionality. The majority of the items of the Shtender have utility, and no information has been provided as to the qualifications of the creators. Thus the sculpture provision is not applicable. Your client also notes that each Shtender, with all of its constituent parts and accessories, is "an organic and unified whole" being offered only as a complete set; none of the individual pieces will be sold alone. However, you have previously advised that the Shtenders will not be imported in the form of complete units; each import shipment will contain only some of the components. Furthermore, it appears that, even after assembly and sale as a "unified whole," all of the Shtender's components are not intended to be used simultaneously for a particular need or activity. We find that, under these circumstances and under current tariff rules, it is not possible to place the articles within a single classification as "goods put up in sets for retail sale" or as "composite goods."

In our previous letter to you, NY 805588 (January 23, 1995), we already ruled on the classifications for the lectern/cabinet and for some of the accessories. However, we deferred classifying certain other components pending receipt of further information. Based on the photographs and additional descriptions you have now provided, we are presently able to rule on most of the remaining items, as indicated below.

The "Tefillin Box" is a 4.5" x 9.6" x 3.3" unlined walnut wood box carved on four sides with an apple sprig, blossom and leaf motif. It has a hinged top, secured by a hidden leaf catch/release, with a sculpted handle.

The "Lulav Container" is an unlined, cylindrical wooden box engraved with a palm branch, willow and myrtle motif. This hinged container is about 2.6" in cross-sectional diameter and 36" in length.

The "Etrog Box" is a 6.5" x 4.6" x 4.6" unlined wooden box carved on four sides with the likeness of branches, leaves and fruit of a citron.

The applicable subheading for the "Tefillin Box," the "Lulav Container" and the "Etrog Box" will be 4420.90.4500, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for jewelry boxes, silverware chests, microscope cases, tool or utensil cases and similar boxes, cases and chests, all the foregoing of wood: not lined with textile fabrics. The rate of duty will be 6.2%.
The "Charity Box/Memorial Candle Holder" is a 4.5" x 4.8" x 3.3" article described as a walnut wood box with pierced carvings of fig leaves, stems and fruit on all four sides and having two hand-blown glass inserts and an inner wooden box with a slotted lid.

The applicable subheading for the "Charity Box/Memorial Candle Holder" will be 9405.50.4000, HTS, which provides for other (than certain enumerated) non-electrical lamps and lighting fixtures. The rate of duty will be 7.3%.

The "Challah Board" is a 9.8" x 14.3" wooden bread-cutting board. Part of the surface is decorated with carved walnut wood inserts depicting wheat stalks, while the functional portion is protected by a sheet of glass. Inside the board (presumably in a recess or special compartment) is a stainless steel knife with wooden handle. Inserted into the knife's handle is a removable wooden salt shaker.

The applicable subheading for the "Challah Board" will be 4419.00.8000, HTS, which provides for tableware and kitchenware, of wood, other than forks and spoons. The rate of duty will be 4.7%.

The "Kiddush Set" consists of a kiddush cup, a plate, four small cups and a small dish, all of sterling silver, in a carved, fitted wooden holder.

The "Matzah Holder And Seder Plate With Special Kiddush Cup" consists of a folding, octagonal wooden box with a central compartment which stores a sterling silver Kiddush cup and eight sterling silver dishes. Also included is a walnut seder plate with sculpted indentations for the dishes.

The applicable subheading for the "Kiddush Set" and the "Matzah Holder And Seder Plate With Special Kiddush Cup" will be 7114.11.5000, HTS, which provides for articles of goldsmiths' or silversmiths' wares, of precious metal: articles not elsewhere specified or included of a type used for household, table or kitchen use: sterling silver tableware. The rate of duty will be 5.9%.

The "Shofar Box" consists of a ram's horn ("shofar") held in a fitted, hinged wooden case with ebony wood screen. The applicable subheading for the "Shofar Box" will be 9208.90.0080, HTS, which provides for whistles, call horns and other mouth-blown sound signaling instruments. The rate of duty will be 5.3%.

The "Omer Counter" is described as a walnut wood plaque with movable handle and number disk which holds two insertable wood panels carved with barley sheaves.

The applicable subheading for the "Omer Counter" will be 4420.10.0000, HTS, which provides for statuettes and other ornaments, of wood. The rate of duty will be 4.7%.

Your inquiry still does not provide enough information for us to give a classification ruling on the "Havdalah Set." The photo you submitted shows only the exterior of the wooden cylinder, but this article is said to contain a spice cover/compartment and a removable "torch" with candle holder. If you wish to pursue a ruling on this set, please provide additional photos showing all these components and how they are juxtaposed. Also, explain how the components are used and how they relate to one another.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire

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