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October 12, 1995

HQ 957954

CLA-2 R:C:F 957954 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 6913.90.5000

Ms. Lori Aldinger
Import Coordinator
Rite Aid Corporation
P.O. Box 3165
Harrisburg, PA 17105

RE: Request for tariff classification of "Ceramic Halloween Pumpkin Bag Tealite"

Dear Ms. Aldinger:

This letter is in response to your request for a ruling regarding the classification of a product identified as a "Ceramic Halloween Pumpkin Bag Tealite."


The subject item is described as a "ceramic votive candle holder shaped to represent a Halloween pumpkin bag" and is to be used for lighting/decorative purposes. The instant candle holder is an orange ceramic piece, with "cut-out" eyes and mouth, resembling that of a jack-o-lantern. The article is square in shape (2.5 x 2.5 inches) with indentations on the side and a jagged edge along the top which suggests a paper bag design.

It is noted that the Rite Aid Corporation will be importing these items for the Halloween selling season.


What is the correct tariff classification for a product identified as a "Ceramic Halloween Pumpkin Bag Tealite?"


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made 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 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 GRI's 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 HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, includes articles which are for "Festive, carnival, or other entertainment purposes." The EN's to 9505, state 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 Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 951897, issued August 26, 1992, it was determined that a "Glow Monster" jack-o-lantern, was classifiable in subheading 9505.90.60, HTSUSA, as a festive article, when the article, as a whole, met the following criteria:

1. is of nondurable material or, generally, is not purchased because of its extreme worth, or intrinsic value (e.g., paper, cardboard, metal foil, glass fiber, plastic,

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).

Although this product appears to be of nondurable material which functions primarily as a decoration, we have determined that it does not meet the criteria established for classification as a "festive" article within subheading 9505.90, HTSUSA. The fact that the article is packaged under the name "Ceramic Halloween Pumpkin Bag Tealite" does not, in and of itself, convey the requisite association with Halloween. Nor does the fact that the Rite Aid Corporation intends to purchase this article for the Halloween selling season.

This article is, in fact, designed as a "luminaria." Luminaria are ceramic or plastic bags with candles inside. They are popular in Latin America and the Southwest U.S. and are not traditionally used or associated with Halloween or any particular festival. This article is a square shaped ceramic piece, designed to hold a lighted candle. The item has etched and sculptured markings on the sides and a jagged edging at the top, which clearly conveys the appearance of a bag. There can be no question that this is a luminaria and not a round pumpkin or jack-o-lantern which may be associated with the Halloween season. The bright orange color of the ceramic piece and cut-out eyes/mouth are not enough to convey the impression of a jack-o-lantern rather than a luminaria.

The EN's to heading 6913, HTSUSA, state that the heading "... covers a wide range of ceramic articles of the type designed essentially for the interior decoration of homes, offices, assembly rooms, churches, etc., and outdoor ornaments (e.g., garden ornaments)." The EN's further state that heading 6913 covers:

(A) Articles which have no utility value but are wholly ornamental, and articles whose only usefulness is to support or contain other decorative articles or to add to their decorative effect, e.g.:

(1) Statues, statuettes, busts, haut or bas reliefs, and other figures for interior or exterior decoration; ornaments (including those forming parts of clock sets) for mantelpieces, shelves, etc., (animals, symbolic or allegorical figures, etc.); sporting or art trophies; wall ornaments incorporating fittings for hanging (plaques, trays, plates); medallions; firescreens; artificial flowers, fruit, leaves, etc.; wreaths and similar ornaments for tombs; knick-knacks for shelves or domestic display-cabinets.

It is our determination that the article in question is specifically described by heading 6913, HTSUSA, which provides for statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles. Clearly, the article may be used for interior or exterior decoration and to ornament a mantelpiece or shelve. It may also be used as a knick-knack in a display cabinet. Furthermore, the subject luminaria is wholly ornamental; other than providing a holder for a candle, it serves no utilitarian purpose. If a candle is inserted, it would merely enhance the decorative value of this article.


The product identified as a "Ceramic Halloween Pumpkin Bag Tealite," is properly classifiable within subheading 6913.90.5000, HTSUSA, which provides for "Statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles: Other: Other: Other." This provision is dutiable at 6.8% under the general column one rate.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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