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HQ 961992

August 7, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961992 JGB


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.5020

Joel K. Simon, Esq.
Serko & Simon LLP
One World Trade Center
Suite 3371
New York, NY 10048

RE: New York Ruling (NY) C87533, dated June 11, 1998, REVOKED; Tariff Classification of Wooden Box with Santa Figure Attached

Dear Mr. Simon:

Your letter of June 25, 1998 requested reconsideration of NY C87533, dated June 11, 1998, pertaining to the classification of a Wooden Box with Santa Figure Attached, item number 16000 under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). In your letter, you indicate that Customs did not consider the decorative nature of the article as well as its functionality and you have requested this office to reconsider the ruling in light of the additional information submitted in your request.

This letter is to inform you that NY C87533 no longer reflects the view of the Customs Service and is revoked in accordance with section 177.9(d) of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.9(d)). 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), publication is not required when the revocation is issued within 60 days of the issuance of the ruling. The following represents our position.


The submitted article, item #16000, measures approximately 13 inches in length, 9 inches in width at the top opening and is 5 inches deep. The base is smaller than the top opening and measures approximately 9 inches by 9-1/2 inches. The sides of the item are painted on the upper exterior surface with gold stars on a blue field. The sides also have tan and green stripes painted on the lower exterior surface of the box. Affixed to one side of the box is what appears to be a raised polyresin Santa Claus figure in a seated position with legs extended to reach each edge of the box. The figure protrudes about 1-1/2 inches from the side of the box, while Santa's head protrudes above the edge of the box by about 3/4 inch. The design of the gold stars on a blue field and green and tan stripes is continued on the side opposite from the Santa figure. The interior of the box is painted red and a semi-circular metal handle is attached inside to permit the article to be carried in the hand. Each of the small ends of the box has a metal star attached about 2 inches in diameter, raised about 1/4 inch from the flat surface.


Whether the box is a festive article of heading 9505 or a wooden box of heading 4420.


Merchandise imported into the U.S. is classified under the HTSUSA. Tariff classification is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) and, in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires, by the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation. The GRIs and the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation are part of the HTSUSA and are to be considered statutory provisions of law for all purposes.

GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRIs taken in their appropriate order. 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 of the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and the GRIs.

A close examination this article discloses that it is principally decorative, used at the Christmas holiday season to set around to display and enhance a room. The highly decorative characteristics of the article, including the possibly hand painted interior, indicate that any utilitarian function of the article is minimal. The box stands on its own, whether the user would choose to put Christmas cards, or other colorful objects in it for display, or leave the box empty to suggest a country craft or primitive artistic piece. In this respect, the New York ruling does not represent the current view of the Customs Service. Because we do not regard this particular box with handle as a utilitarian article (i.e., something for containing and holding things), it would not be excluded from heading 9505 in accordance with our Informed Compliance Publication for Festive Articles.

The article has a recognized Christmas motif and is bought and sold in association with Christmas decorations. The expectation of the user is to decorate the home for the festive occasion of Christmas. The article would not be appropriate to be used at any other time of year owing to the prominence of the substantial Santa Claus figure. Consequently, the article is classified in heading 9505, HTSUS, and specifically in subheading 9505.10.5020, the provision for "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles...parts and accessories thereof: Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other: Other." The duty rate is free.


The wooden box with Santa figure attached, item number 16000, is classified in subheading 9505.10.5020, HTSUSA, the provision for "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles...parts and accessories thereof: Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other: Other" subject to a free rate of duty under column one.

NY C87533 is revoked.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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