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NY B82410

March 17, 1997



TARIFF NO.: 6217.10.9530

David A. Eisen
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10036-8901

RE: The tariff classification of an "Angel pin" and "Silverbell pin" from China and/or Taiwan

Dear Mr. Eisen:

In your letter dated February 18, 1997 you requested a classification ruling for two decorative pins on behalf of your client Avon Products, Inc. Two representative samples were submitted for examination and will be returned per your request.

One sample, style PP 154109, is a plastic depiction of an angel figure without a lower torso and legs. The item, approximately 3 1/2 inches in height is clothed in a fabric robe stated to be 100% polyester which upon examination was found to be not knit. The item also features arms, hands and head, an imitation pearl "halo" with miniature textile flowers and a robe trimmed with gold colored embroidery with a knit mesh covering. Mesh knit "wings" and a metal bar- pin clasp are incorporated into the rear of the item.

The other sample, style PP 157581, consists of an approximately 3 1/2 inch wide bow stated to be polyester stitched on top of an approximately 5 inch wide bow also stated to be polyester. Upon examination, both bows were determined to be not knit. At the center of the item are plastic imitation pearls with two metal bells secured to the center portion of the smaller bow. A metal bar-pin is incorporated in the rear.

You state that classification of the instant items must be considered with reference to the Court of International Trade's recent decision in Midwest of Canon Falls vs. United States (Slip Op. 96-19).

It is asserted that both items are classified within subheading 9505.10.25, HTSUS, the provision for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles. In the alternative you assert that the "angel pin" is classifiable under subheading 9503.49.00, HTSUS, the provision for toys representing animals or non-human creatures, other, toys not having a spring mechanism, other, free of duty. In the event that Customs does not agree with the aforementioned classifications, you submit that the items are classified in subheading 7117.90.90, HTSUS, the provision for imitation jewelry, other, other, valued over 20 cents per dozen pieces or parts, other, other, dutiable at the rate 11 percent ad valorem.

The NIS for festive articles reports that Slip Op. 96-19 is under appeal and is not to be followed until the appeal is decided and further that the items at issue are not considered festive articles because small textile pins are not associated with any festivity. The motif of the item is not dispositive of its classification.

The NIS for toys reports "Counsel alternatively agues that the "Angel Pin" is a toy classifiable in 9503.49, HTS, because it is designed and decorated for entertainment, diversion and "amusement".' Heading 9503, HTS, provides for, inter alia, other toys. The Explanatory Notes to chapter 95, HTS, indicate that "this chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults." It is Customs' position that the amusement requirement means that toys should be designed and used principally for amusement. See Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), HTS. Customs defines principal use as that use which exceeds any other single use of the article.

While counsel claims that the "Angel Pin" is a toy, we note that the object has no intrinsic amusing value which is the normal purpose of toys. The article is used as a display or ornamental piece. It is not meant to be a toy imitation of an angel nor will it be primarily used as such. Its physical appearance hardly provokes the type of amusement one derives from objects commonly recognized as toys. It is devoid of toy features that appeal to the fun sense such as exaggerated or comical facial features, sounds, animation, bright colors or adjustable limbs. The "Angel Pin" contemplates a different form of amusement and is representative of a class of merchandise separate and distinct from toys."

It is maintained that the textile pin is properly classified under heading 7117, HTSUS, the provision for imitation jewelry.

Chapter 71, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, imitation jewelry. The legal notes to chapter 71, HTSUSA state that this chapter does not cover goods of section XI (textile and textile articles). As the subject merchandise is a textile article, it is similarly excluded from classification in chapter 71, HTSUSA. One viable classification is in heading 6217, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, other made up clothing accessories. The EN to heading 6217, HTSUSA, state, in pertinent part:

This heading covers made up textile clothing accessories, other than knitted or crocheted, not specified or included in other headings of this Chapter or elsewhere in the Nomenclature. The heading also covers parts of garments or of clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted, other than parts of articles of heading 62.12.

The heading covers, inter alia:

(8) Labels, badges, emblems, "flashes" and the like (excluding embroidered motifs of heading 58.10) made up otherwise than by cutting to shape or size. (When made up only by cutting to shape or size these articles are excluded- heading 58.07.)

Customs has classified textile pins in the past. Textile pins have consistently been classified in the appropriate provisions in heading 6217, HTSUSA, as other made up clothing accessories. Similar to the idea of "badges" which are affixed to clothing by a bar pin, the metal bar pins on the textile item enable them to be affixed to garments and are thus considered accessories to garments. See also NY 896869, dated April 22, 1994; NY 894714, dated March 15, 1994; NY 887094, dated June 15, 1993; NY 875408, dated July 14, 1992; NY 846609, dated November 14, 1989, HQ 080498, dated December 28, 1989 and HQ 958167, dated August 30. 1995, classifying similar merchandise in heading 6217, HTSUSA.

It is asserted that the pins cannot , prima facie, be considered exclusively a textile product of Section XI by virtue of T.D. 96-24 which was concerned with textile headbands and stated pertinently with regard to the classification of articles of mixed construction in heading 6117 and 6217, "these headings refer to only part of the good when it is made of mixed construction, e.g., plastic and textiles. T.D. 96-24 went on to state that a barrette or clasp of plastic or metal decorated or covered with textile material normally would be classified in Heading 9615, HTSUS, since the essential character of the article is imparted by the metal or plastic base, which functions to hold the hair in place.

Regarding the subject textile pins, it is the textile component which imparts the essential character to the articles. The metal clasp at the rear serves only to attach the pins to a garment. The small metal clasp is not designed or used to hold the hair in place which eliminates it from consideration in Heading 9615.

It is asserted that "imitation jewelry articles are not ejusdem generis to the exemplars in the EN to heading 6217 and that although articles such as badges, labels, emblems and the like are enumerated as exemplars, these articles are further defined with the EN (heading 5807) to consist of articles of a kind normally sewn to the outer part of wearing apparel. Thus, these articles are permanently attached or sewn to wearing apparel, unlike articles of jewelry."

HRL 080498 of December 28, 1989 which ruled on a textile bow pin stated.. "Based on our reading of the Explanatory Note to heading 6217, there is nothing contained therein which would preclude the bar pin from being classified thereunder. You cite examples in the Explanatory Note which you claim distinguishes them from the bar pin at issue. Specifically, the labels, badges, emblems and the like perform primarily a decorative function. They are not designed to be worn directly on the body. They are not intended to be attached at a specific location on wearing apparel or to be sewn or otherwise attached so as to become permanent fixtures to wearing apparel. In view of the foregoing, it is our opinion that the textile pins is indistinguishable from the articles listed in the Explanatory Note as exemplars of other made-up clothing accessories."

The applicable subheading for the "Angel Pin" and "Silverbell Pin" will be 6217.10.9530, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Other made up clothing accessories; parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212: Accessories: Other... Of man-made fibers". The duty rate will be 15.2 percent ad valorem.

The pins fall within textile category designation 659. Based upon international textile trade agreements products of China and/or Taiwan are subject to quota and the requirement of a visa.

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes. To obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

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 Martin Weiss at 212-466-5881.


Paul K Schwartz
Chief, Apparel & Textiles Branch

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