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HQ 957501

March 14, 1995

CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 957501 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9505.90.40

Mr. Thomas Tedone
Silvestri Corporation
13111 North Central Expressway
Suite 100
Dallas, Texas 75243-1138

RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 884592; Metallized Plastic Garlands; Other Entertainment Articles; Not Other Foil and Strip of Plastics, Nor Other Articles of Plastics

Dear Mr. Tedone:

In NYRL 884592, issued April 13, 1993, an article identified as a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) foil Christmas tree garland (item no. 74402) was classified in subheading 3921.90.4090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for "Other plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, of plastics: Other: Other: Other." You were further advised that the applicable subheading for metallized plastic garlands that have been further worked - such as by crinkling or by incorporating wire as a separate step after (as opposed to during) extrusion - would be 3926.90.9590 (now 3926.90.9890), HTSUSA, which provides for "Other articles of plastics...: Other: Other, Other." We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be partially in error. Therefore, this ruling modifies NYRL 884592. Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed modification of NYRL 884592 was published on February 8, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 6. -2-


The only sample article submitted consisted of a strip of metallized PVC plastic, imported on a 25 foot roll, measuring approximately 4 inches in width. Steel wire had been sealed into each of the two edges of the garland (during the extrusion process), allowing for the strip to be bent, folded, and shaped for decorating purposes.


What is the proper classification of the metallized plastic garlands?


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. -3-

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. 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 garlands are made of non-durable material. We consider articles such as these to be made of non-durable material, since they are not designed for sustained wear and tear, and are not purchased for their extreme worth or value (as would be decorative, yet costly pieces of art or crystal). In addition, their primary function is decorative, as opposed to utilitarian. Upon examination of the third criterion, however, and despite the sample product's name, we do not find these to be the type of items traditionally associated with a particular festival, such as Christmas. 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 metallized plastic garlands' failure to satisfy the third criterion indicates that their classification as festive articles is not appropriate. In light of their decorative aspect and non-durability, however, classification as other entertainment articles 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" as an other entertainment article 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. In HRL 957432, issued January 12, 1995, an article identified as an "Easter garland foil ribbon," was also classified in subheading -4-

9505.90.40, HTSUS. The item measured approximately 2-1/8 inches in width, was imported on a 25 foot roll, and consisted of pink and silver colored polypropylene strips that had been heat-sealed or compressed together, with 2 wires inserted along the length, and having a crinkled appearance. We find that both the PVC foil Christmas tree garland, and the other metallized plastic garlands that have been further worked, are similar to the non-durable, decorative items previously classified as other entertainment articles in the cited HRLs. They are, therefore, properly classified in subheading 9505.90.40, HTSUS.


The PVC foil Christmas tree garland (item no. 74402) and the other metallized plastic garlands that have been further worked are 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." Under the tariff effective January 1, 1995, the applicable duty rate is free.

NYRL 884592, dated April 13, 1993, is hereby modified.

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days from its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR


John Durant, Director

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