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January 14, 1999

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:225 D86109


TARIFF NO.: 9505.90.6000

Mr. Asher Rubinstein
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silberman LLP 245 Park Avenue 33rd Floor
New York, N.Y. 10167-3397

RE: The tariff classification of an Electric menorah

Dear Mr. Rubinstein:

In your letter dated December 15, 1998 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Aviv Judaica Imports, Ltd.

The item is an electric menorah made of plastic. (A menorah is a candle holder with places for eight candles plus a ninth place for the “shamash”, the single candle which lights the other eight candles.) There are eight light bulbs, plus a ninth light bulb which represents the single candle, the “shamash”.

The menorah represents an historical event in Judaism. After the liberation of the temple, it was discovered there was only enough oil for one night. However, the oil lasted for eight nights. The celebration of this event is called Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah). The menorah has come to be considered a symbol of Hanukkah.

Electric “candle holders” are generally classified in another Chapter. However, as a result of Midwest of Cannon Falls consideration must be given to the possibility of classification within Heading 9505.

In the Informed Compliance Handbook Classification of Festive Articles, various Holidays and motifs were listed which were identified as accepted holidays and their appropriate symbols. Hanukkah was not on that list. However, in that same handbook it was stated that the listed holidays and symbols were not definitive, and additional holidays and motifs would be added. Since the posting of the Informed Compliance Handbook on the world wide web in November of 1997, consideration has been given to Hanukkah as an additional accepted holiday.

In Midwest the Court considered as Festive Articles certain items which were advertised and sold to consumers before the particular holiday with which they were associated. It was determined that the items must be used in celebration of and for entertainment on a joyous holiday. It would appear that Hanukkah meets the court’s standard of a joyous holiday as it is a celebration of a miraculous event.

The menorah today can come in many forms, as long as it contains the necessary eight plus one configuration. In the instant case, the menorah is designed so there is no need to use candles. It can be placed in a window without fear that drapes would catch fire. It can be left “burning” all night. Nonetheless, it will be used to decorate the home and is a necessary part of the celebration of Hanukkah.

By classifying this menorah within Heading 9505, Hanukkah is recognized as an accepted holiday and the menorah is recognized as an accepted symbol of that holiday.

The applicable subheading for the electric menorah will be 9505.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles,....: Other: Other. The rate of duty will be free.

The sample is being retained by the National Import Specialist for training purposes.

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 Alice J. Wong at (212) 466-5538.


Robert B. Swierupski
Director National Commodity

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