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NY 886666

June 14, 1993

CLA-2-44:S:N:N8:230 886666


TARIFF NO.: 4420.10.0000

Ms. Rosalie Althoff
Midwest Importers of Cannon Falls, Inc.
P.O. Box 20
Cannon Falls, MN 55009-0020

RE: The tariff classification of a flat wooden Santa Claus/Christmas decoration from Taiwan.

Dear Ms. Althoff:

In your letter dated May 25, 1993, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

A sample was submitted and will be retained for reference. It is an irregularly shaped, 1/8-inch-thick sheet of plywood measuring roughly 6 x 10 inches. Laminated to each face of the wood is a sheet of paper which has been printed with a colorful picture of a gift-laden Santa Claus leaning against a chimney on a rooftop. The laminated wood has been cut so that its edge conforms to the shape of the objects shown in the picture, and it is mounted in a wood-block base that enables it to stand upright on a table, mantlepiece or the like. You state that this article is "primarily meant to be sold as a Christmas decoration and is marketed as such."

We note your discussion of why you believe this item should be classified in Chapter 95, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), specifically in subheading 9505.10.5000, as "articles for Christmas festivities." We must disagree, however, due to numerous Customs precedent rulings clearly establishing a contrary policy for flat articles of this kind.

As you mentioned in your letter, Headquarters Ruling 088584 (September 15, 1992) indicated that the "festive" provision was not intended to encompass decals or flat renditions of holiday-related scenes affixed to an article that otherwise would not be considered festive. Although the three- dimensional requirement discussed in that ruling centered mainly on nativity scenes, the same principle has been applied specifically to Santa Claus items. See, for example, Headquarters Rulings 952520 (October 22, 1992) and 952606 (January 15, 1993). The latter stated that "because the motif of an article is not dispositive of its classification, only three dimensional forms of Santa Claus, identifiable as such upon importation, are classifiable within 9505 as festive articles."

The applicable subheading for the "wood two-sided flat Santa at chimney with base" (Item 7970-8) will be 4420.10.0000, HTS, which provides for statuettes and other ornaments, of wood. The rate of duty will be 5.1%.

We note that the submitted sample is not marked with its country of origin. The goods will be required to be so marked, legibly and in a conspicuous place, upon importation into the United States.

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

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire

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