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 NY Rulings > NY A81708 - NY A81840 > NY A81744

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY A81744

April 11, 1996

CLA-2-46:RR:NC:GI:230 A81744


TARIFF NO.: 4420.90.8000

Mr. Mauritz Plenby
Associated Merchandising Corporation
1440 Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10018

RE: The tariff classification of baskets made of twigs, plant stems and pine cones, from the Philippines.

Dear Mr. Plenby:

In your letter dated March 18, 1996, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Two samples identified as "pine baskets" were submitted and are being returned as requested.

The Style TPX-8854 open basket has a round, 4 1/2"-diameter flat base made of a series of parallel twigs. Above the base is a framework and an arching handle also made of twigs. The circumference (side) of the basket is completely covered with pine cones, which are attached to the framework with wire. The overall diameter of the basket (including the width of the pine cones on the sides) is about 8".

The Style TPX-6124-N open basket is similar, except that its base (in this case, 8" in diameter) and framework are composed of pieces of thick, unidentified plant stems, most of which have been split, and some of which might be bamboo. A bent twig serves as an arching handle, and pine cones again cover the sides of the article. The overall diameter of this basket is about 12 1/2".

We note your suggestion that these baskets be classified in subheading 1404.90.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other vegetable products not elsewhere specified or included. While this would be the correct classification if one were to say (with reference to General Rule of Interpretation 3(b), HTS) that the pine cones impart the essential character of these composite articles, we do not find such to be the case. Although the pine cones surround the baskets, thereby creating a strong visual impact, their presence, in our view, is mainly a decorative one. Structurally, the baskets exist prior to the addition of the pine cones, leading us to take the position that the materials of the framework (i.e., twigs and stems) impart the essential character.

Since twigs, plant stems and pieces derived therefrom can sometimes be considered "plaiting materials," the question then arises as to whether the instant baskets are "articles of plaiting materials," as provided for in Chapter 46, HTS. In this regard, we note that plaiting materials must be in a state or form suitable for plaiting, interlacing or similar processes. But because the twigs and stems of the instant baskets are relatively thick and rigid, they do not exhibit such suitability and thus cannot be considered plaiting materials. However, in view of the fact that the twigs are wood, and the plant stems are materials of a woody nature, the baskets qualify as articles of wood for purposes of Chapter 44, HTS.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the Style TPX-8854 and TPX-6124-N "pine baskets" will be 4420.90.8000, HTS, which provides for other wooden articles of furniture not falling within chapter 94. The rate of duty will be 4.3%.

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) expired at midnight, July 31, 1995. If the program is renewed by the Congress, articles classifiable under subheading 4420.90.8000, HTS, which are products of the Philippines will be entitled to duty free treatment under the GSP upon compliance with all applicable regulations.

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

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Paul Garretto, at (212) 466-5779.


Roger J. Silvestri

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: