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NY D83640

October 22, 1998

CLA-2-93:RR:NC:SP:233 D83640


TARIFF NO.: 9307.00.0000

Mr. Vincent G. Zubras, Jr.
Ordo Pauperes Commilites Christi et Templum Solomonis, Equites Templi
P.O. Box 600231
Dallas, TX 75360-0231

RE: The tariff classification of ceremonial swords from Spain.

Dear Mr. Zubras:

In your letter dated October 5, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You indicate that you are the senior-most Administrative Officer of an ancient religious Order of Christian Knighthood, dating from the Crusade period of ancient world history. As a religious Order of Chivalry, the Investitures (Ceremonies of Initiation and Entry) and other formal Ceremonies of Order are religious services mostly conducted in established churches. You indicate that the membership of the Order dons religious, knightly regalia, including ceremonial swords, and the swords are religiously blessed as part of the ceremony. The Order, as an organization would purchase them from a supplier. Upon their arrival in the U.S., the general membership would then acquire them from the organization. The sword is paid for by each individual member and becomes the property of the member, to be worn and utilized during the religious ceremonies.

You state that the religious ceremonial swords should qualify for duty free treatment under 9810.00.15, HTS. U.S. Note 2 to Subchapter X states:

"The term "regalia", as used in this subchapter, (subheadings 9810.00.15 and 9810.00.45) embraces only such insignia of rank or office, emblems or other articles as may be worn upon the person or borne in the hand during public exercises of the institution, and does not include articles of furniture or fixtures, nor regular wearing apparel, nor personal property of individuals."

Since the swords are paid for by each individual member and become the property of each member, the religious ceremonial swords do not qualify for duty-free treatment under 9810.00.1500, HTS.

The applicable subheading for the ceremonial swords will be 9307.00.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for swords, cutlasses, bayonets, lances and similar arms and parts thereof and scabbards and sheaths therefor. The rate of duty will be 3.2% 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 Lawrence Mushinske at 212-466-5739.


Robert B. Swierupski

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