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 NY Rulings > NY C88499 - NY C88640 > NY C88530

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
NY C88530

June 10, 1998

CLA-2-68:RR:NC:2:226 C88530


TARIFF NO.: 6810.99.0000

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

RE: The tariff classification of an agglomerated stone article from China

Dear Mr. Simon:

In your letter dated May 26, 1998, on behalf of your client, Russ Berrie and Company, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling regarding two Valentine's Day Shadowboxes. The first sample (item 15273(a)) will be addressed under a separate ruling (C88310). The second sample (item 15273(b)), the subject of this ruling, was examined and destroyed.

Item number 15273(b) consists of a wooden framed box measuring 6 and 5/8 inches by 6 and 5/8 inches. The front window of the box is covered by a clear square acrylic sheet and contains the inscription "Love is the life of the soul...it is the harmony of the universe." The inside of the box features an agglomerated stone gold colored heart-shaped lock and key that is attached by glue to a red colored lace patterned decoration.

You indicated that the heart-shaped lock and key decoration is composed of natural plaster powder agglomerated with polyester resin. You further indicated that these two materials are uniformly blended throughout the body of the article. You believe that the instant item should be classified as a festive article. As defined by the court, festive articles are decorations for the home for a specific holiday such as Valentine's Day. Shadowboxes are decorative items. Although the instant item will most likely be available for sale only around the Valentine's Day Holiday, it is unlikely the recipients of the the shadowbox will hang it on the wall for one day and then put it away when the holiday is over.

The instant item is similar to picture frames. They may be dressed in the symbols of a specific holiday, and sold at only a specific time of the year, but the picture frames are not used to decorate the home for that specific holiday only. The picture frame will stay out all year round.

The Court uses the five (5) factors delineated in United States v. Carborundum Co. To determine the most specific heading under GRI 3 (a). They are:

1. The general physical characteristics of the merchandise,

A. The article is decorated in a motif specific to a recognized holiday.
The heart is associated with Valentine's Day, but it is not limited to that day. When matched with the words "Love is the life of the soul...it is the harmony of the universe", the item moves beyond romantic love to universal love.

2. The use, if any, in the same manner as merchandise which defines the class,

A. All of the items are principally, if not exclusively, used only during the holiday season for the specific purpose of decorating or ornamenting the home or Christmas tree. The instant item is not exclusively used to decorate the home for a specific holiday. Once on the wall, it would not be taken down when the Valentine's Day holiday was over.

3. The expectations of the purchasers of the merchandise,

A. The purpose for the purchase is to decorate the home.
Not necessarily. The purpose of the purchase is to give a gift symbolizing love to the receiver. 4. The channel of trade in which the merchandise moves,

A. The article is marketed during, or immediately prior to, a recognized holiday. According to the law firm the answer to that is yes. However, the heart symbolizes love and would be an appropriate gift all year round. Again, with the words added to the acrylic sheet at the front of the shadowbox, the item is removed from being associated with romantic love (Valentine's Day is romantic love), and becomes more of a symbol of universal love.

5. The environment of the sale of the merchandise (i.e. accompanying accessories and the manner in which the merchandise is advertised and displayed).

A. Such merchandise is advertised with other articles that are clearly unique to a specific holiday. Although only available for sale during a specific period, the shadowbox is not limited to decorating the home for a specific holiday. It is a unique gift item which will be displayed year round by the recipient.

It is the opinion of this office that the instant item, although advertised and sold during the Valentine's Day Holiday, is not seen by the purchasers as either decoration for the home or as having use for entertainment in the home on the Valentine's Day holiday. Therefore, the shadowbox is not a festive article.

The essential character of this product is represented by the agglomerated stone article within the box. The applicable subheading for this merchandise will be 6810.99.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for articles of...artificial stone, whether or not reinforced: other articles: other. The rate of duty will be 1 percent ad valorem.

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 Jacob Bunin at 212-466-5796.


Robert B. Swierupski

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: