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 > 1998 HQ Rulings > HQ 960017 - HQ 960218 > HQ 960117

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 960117

SEPTEMBER 16, 1997

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 960117 JAS


TARIFF NO.: 9405.30.00

Ms. Debra Tuft
Seasonal Specialties
11455 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

RE: Lighted Christmas Garland; Article With Artificial Pine Foliage and Lights With Connector Cord; Lighting Fittings, Lighting Sets of a Kind Used for Christmas Trees; Articles for Christmas Festivities of Plastics, Subheading 9505.10.40; Chapter 95, Note 1(t); HQ 958221, HQ 960590; GRI 6

Dear Ms. Tuft:

Your letter to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, dated November 21, 1996, inquiring as to the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of a Lighted Christmas Garland, a product of China, has been referred to this office for reply. A sample was submitted.


The Lighted Christmas Garland in issue, item 8890720506, which you also refer to as an Artificial Lighted Garland, consists of artificial pvc pine foliage and 50 multi-colored lights with connector cord. The cost of the materials is stated to be $3.61. Your inquiry also concerns item 8890720505, which is identical except that the lights are clear. You did not provide a sample of this garland.

You contend that because the garland will be sold as a Christmas decoration for the home, and is intended for doorways and mantles, it is a festive article of the type classifiable in subheading 9505.10.40, HTSUS. You maintain these garlands are similar in appearance and function to garlands previously held in NY 814073, dated September 20, 1995, to be festive articles.

The provisions under consideration are as follows:

9405 Lamps and lighting fittings...not elsewhere specified or included...:

9405.30.00 Lighting sets of a kind used for Christmas trees...8 percent ad valorem

9405.40 Other electric lamps or lighting fittings:

Of base metal:

9405.40.60 Other...6.6 percent ad valorem

9405.40.80 Other...3.9 percent ad valorem


Whether the Lighted Christmas Garland is a lighting set of a kind used for Christmas trees; whether for tariff purposes it is other electric lamps and lighting fittings.


Merchandise is classifiable under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 states in part that for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and provided the headings or notes do not require otherwise, according to GRIs 2 through 6. GRI 6 states in part that for legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, by appropriate substitution of terms, to GRIs 1 through 5, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of GRI 6, the relative section, chapter and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context requires otherwise.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding, and therefore not dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in - 3 -
ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the System. Customs believes the ENs should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, to include garlands, are provided for in heading 9505. However, Chapter 95, Note 1(t), HTSUS, excludes electric garlands of all kinds, and refers them to heading 9405. For this reason, the Lighted Christmas Garland is not provided for in heading 9505. In addition, relevant ENs at p. 1705 include within heading 94.05 specialized lamps, to include electric garlands (including those fitted with fancy lamps for carnival or entertainment purposes or for decorating Christmas trees (Emphasis added).

GRI 6 permits us to compare the subheadings of heading 9405. The lights on the submitted sample are in the traditional Christmas colors red, green, blue and orange. Our information is that Christmas tree lighting sets include but are not limited to these traditional seasonal colors. Moreover, they are not limited by length, rather by the number of bulbs, typically 25, 50, or 100 per strand, but such sets may include as few as 10 bulbs. HQ 958221, dated August 7, 1995, classified a lighted Canadian pine garland nearly identical to the Lighted Christmas Garland in issue here in subheading 9405.30.00, HTSUS, because of evidence that, in the trade, wire harnesses with light sockets and bulbs belong to a class or kind of goods the principal use of which is as Christmas tree lighting sets. Moreover, HQ 960590, dated August 6, 1997, specifically revoked NY 814073 and confirmed the proper classification of these garlands in subheading 9405.30.00, HTSUS.


The Lighted Christmas Garlands, items 08890720505 and 506, are provided for in heading 9405. Under the authority of GRI 1, applied at the subheading level through GRI 6, they are classifiable in subheading 9405.30.00, HTSUS.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: