United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1996 HQ Rulings > HQ 957883 - HQ 958018RL > HQ 958012

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 958012

December 28, 1995

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958012 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 4602.10.8000

Mr. Bernard D. Liberati
Morris Friedman & Co.
320 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-3883

RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 804311; "Abaca Bat Wall Hanging;" Articles Made Directly to Shape from Plaiting Materials; Not Other Textile Furnishing Articles nor Festive Articles

Dear Mr. Liberati:

This letter is in response to your request dated May 8, 1995, on behalf of your client, Don Wasserman, International, for reconsideration of NYRL 804311, issued November 29, 1994, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of an article identified as an "Abaca Bat Wall Hanging" imported from the Philippines. A sample was submitted with the request. In NYRL 804311, Customs classified the merchandise in subheading 6304.99.3500, HTSUSA, textile category 899, the provision for "Other furnishing articles, excluding those of heading 9404: Other: Not knitted or crocheted, of other textile materials: Other: Of vegetable fibers (except cotton): Other." We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be partially in error. The correct classification is as follows.

Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), 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) -2-

(hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed modification of NYRL 804311 was published on November 22, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 47.


The sample article, identified as an "Abaca Bat Wall Hanging" and further identified by item no. DS-035G, is a decorative, flat representation of a bat, that is composed of black abaca fibers wrapped around a bat-shaped, metal frame. The item measures approximately 8-1/2 inches in height by 14 inches in width. Within the wire frame is suspended an openwork, net-like mesh "filling" of unspun, untwisted, abaca fibers.


1) Whether the item is classified in heading 9505, HTSUS, as a festive article.

2) If not classifiable as a festive article, whether the item is classifiable in heading 6304, HTSUS, as an other textile furnishing article, or in heading 4602, HTSUS, as an article made from plaiting materials.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). 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 may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) 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 GRI.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, provides for, among other items, festive, carnival or other entertainment articles. The EN to heading 9505 states, in part, that the heading covers: -3-

(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, HTSUSA, 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.

We consider the "abaca bat wall hanging" to be made of non-durable material (since it is not designed for sustained wear and tear, nor is it purchased because of its extreme worth or value). The item is also are primarily decorative in function.

With respect to the third criterion, however, we find that bats are not traditionally associated with a particular festival. Although frightening to some, bats are viewed by others as mammals that provide insect control, fertilizer, etc. Bats are not the same types of articles cited in the EN to 9505, as examples of traditional, festive articles, nor do they -4-
particularly relate to Halloween. In light of the above, the goods are not classified in heading 9505, HTSUS, and must be classified elsewhere.

Heading 6304, HTSUS, covers other furnishing articles of textiles. The EN to heading 6304 indicate that the heading covers textile furnishing articles, including wall hangings, for use in ceremonies (e.g., weddings or funerals), and in the home, public buildings, theatres, churches, etc. As noted in the FACTS section, however, the non-metal portion of this wall hanging is composed of unspun, untwisted fibers. As such, it is not classifiable as a textile product in heading 6304.

Heading 4602, HTSUS, provides for "Basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of heading 4601; articles of loofah." In pertinent part, note 1 to chapter 46, HTSUS, states that:

"[i]n this chapter the expression "plaiting materials" means materials in a state or form suitable for plaiting, interlacing or similar processes; it includes straw...strips of wood, strips of other vegetable material (for example, raffia, narrow leaves or strips cut from broad leaves) or bark, unspun [emphasis added] natural textile fibers....

Although as previously noted, the "abaca bat wall hanging" is constructed from both wire and fibers, the essential character of the whole is clearly imparted by the unspun natural textile fibers, not the wire. It is our determination that the article is classified in heading 4602, HTSUS. The proper subheading is 4602.10.8000, HTSUSA.


The article identified as an "Abaca Bat Wall Hanging" and further identified by item no. DS-035G, is properly classified in subheading 4602.10.8000, HTSUSA, the provision for "Basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of heading 4601; articles of loofah: Of vegetable materials: Other: Other: Other." The applicable duty rate is 2.3 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 804311, issued November 29, 1994, 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 -5-
not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: