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September 14, 1999

CLA-2-94:RR:NC:2:227 E85113

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 6912.00.4400

Mr. Paul A. Barkan
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman, LLP 245 Park Avenue, 33rd Floor
New York, NY 10167-3397

RE: The tariff classification of ceramic mugs from China.

Dear Mr. Barkan:

In your letter dated July 29, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Sample is being returned as requested.

The sample submitted is the “Chanukah Musical Mug” (item number TY-Mug), which consists of a barrel-shaped ceramic mug that measures approximately 3 7/8 inches high with a top diameter of 3 inches and features a looped handle. It also possesses an exterior that depicts dancing draydels, musical notes and wording “Draydel, Draydel, Draydel.” It is noted that when the mug is lifted, it plays a traditional Chanukah melody, “The Draydel Song,” which ceases to play once the mug is put down.

You state that this merchandise should be classified under subheading 9505.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other festive, carnival or other entertainment articles. This claim is substantiated in stating that the subject article meets the following festive criteria as stated in the decision of Midwest of Cannon Falls, Inc. vs. U.S. 96-1271,-1279:

1) Is not predominately of precious or semiprecious stones, precious metal or metal clad with precious metal.

2) Functions primarily as a decoration or functional item used in celebration of, and for entertainment on, a holiday (Chanukah).

3) Is associated with or used on a particular holiday (Chanukah).

In addition to the above criteria, this office must consider the general physical characteristics of the article, the expectation of the ultimate purchaser, the channels of trade, the environment of sale (accompanying accessories, manner of advertisement and display), the use in the same manner as merchandise which defines the class, economic practicality of so using the import, and recognition in the trade of this use.

It has been determined that the “Chanukah Musical Mug” does not meet criteria 2 and 3 as outlined above. This office acknowledges that the article will likely be marketed in association with Chanukah, however, marketing alone does not necessarily warrant classification as a festive article. In the case of a utilitarian article, the court has accepted only three-dimensional, full-bodied representations of accepted symbols of a recognized holiday. A list of accepted motifs or symbols for various holidays may be found in the Informed Compliance Handbook on the Classification of Festive Articles, dated November 1997. The handbook further indicated that the stated symbols were not definitive and that additional motifs would be added.

The instant mug is not sculpted or designed in such a manner as to limit its use in celebration of, or for entertainment on, Chanukah. This mug is suitable for use in the home as a drinking cup all year long. The musical feature of playing a tune does not impair or diminish its use as a receptacle for beverages. For these reasons, this item does not fall within the realm of festive articles, thereby precluding consideration of classification under subheading 9505.90.6000, HTS.

The applicable subheading for the “Chanukah Musical Mug” will be 6912.00.4400, HTS, which provides other ceramic tablewareother than of porcelain or china: mugs and other steins. The rate of duty will be 10 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 George Kalkines at 212-637-7073.

Sincerely,

Robert B. Swierupski
Director,

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