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HQ 966425

July 17, 2003

CLA-2: RR:CR:TE 966425 ASM


TARIFF NO.: 5605.00.1000

Yolanda S. Massey
Import Manager
Michaels ®
Import Department
8000 Bent Branch Drive
Irving, Texas 75063

RE: Request for Binding Ruling; Decorative Wired Trim

Dear Ms. Massey:

This is in response to your request dated March 21, 2003, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of certain decorative wired tinsel. Samples have been provided with the request.


The subject article is identified as a 9-foot “wired tinsel knitted trim”, Item # MXT 12212. The article is composed of short metalized plastic strips which measure approximately 5/8 of an inch in length and 1/2 of a millimeter in width, that have been inserted into the loops of a knit yarn tubing to provide a colorful, decorative sheen. The strips are considered textile material for tariff classification purposes. The knit tubing consists of acrylic yarns. A thin wire has been inserted through the knit yarn tubing so that it is not visible. This allows the finished product to be bent and shaped for decorative purposes. The fiber content is listed as 60 percent acrylic and 40 percent metallic. Based on information received from the import quote sheet supplied by Michaels®, we note that the subject article is described as a metallic knit trim. As such, we have determined that the plastic strips are metalized.


What is the proper classification for the merchandise?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While neither legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

We begin by noting that the subject article is not classifiable pursuant to GRI 1 as a “festive article” under heading 9505, HTSUSA, which provides for, among other items, festive, carnival or other decorative articles such as festoons, garlands, and Christmas tinsel. The subject trim is marketed in a variety of colors and doesn’t necessarily function primarily as a decoration or functional item used in celebration of or in association with a particular holiday. See Midwest of Cannon Falls, Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 96-19 (Ct. Int’l Trade, 1996), aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 122 F.3d 1423, Appeal Nos. 96-1271, 96-1279 (Fed. Cir. 1997).

The subject article cannot be classified pursuant to a GRI 1 analysis because it is composed of three different materials, i.e., metalized plastic strips, acrylic yarns, and wire. Taken separately, each of these three materials would be classified in different headings under the HTSUSA. Accordingly, GRI 2(b) provides that the classification of combinations, which are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings, must be classified according to the principles of Rule 3. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. The EN for GRI 3(b) states, in relevant part, that the factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods, e.g., by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In applying a GRI 3(b) analysis to this decorative trim, we find that the essential character may be determined by comparing the role of the three constituent materials. We recognize that the textile tubing is important because it provides a base for the decorative plastic strips and masks the thin flexible wire. We also note that the thin flexible wire permits the article to be used in a variety of different shapes. However, it is the presence of the colorful plastic strips that truly define the article as a trim or other decorating accessory. Furthermore, the plastic strips convey the greatest visual impact and provide a colorful sheen that is very important to the consumer when color coordinating with other decorative accessories. Thus, we have decided that the plastic strips convey the essential character of this article.

Heading 5605, HTSUSA, specifically provides for “Metalized yarn, whether or not gimped, being textile yarn, or strip or the like of heading 5404 or 5405, combined with metal in the form of thread, strip or powder or covered with metal.” In addition, the EN’s to heading 5605 state, in relevant part, that the heading covers:

Yarn of any textile material (including monofilament, strip and the like, and paper yarn) covered with metal by any other process.

The EN to 5605 further states that the heading covers products consisting of a core of plastic film coated with “metal dust, sandwiched by means of an adhesive between two layers of plastic film.” The EN also provides exemplars of the types of yarns covered by heading 5605, e.g., “ fancy cords as used by confectioners, obtained by twisting together two or more metalized yarns.”

Inasmuch as the subject articles consist of metalized strip of the type used as decorating accessories, we find that they are specifically provided for in heading 5605, HTSUSA, as “Metalized strip”.


The subject merchandise is correctly classified in subheading 5605.00.1000, HTSUSA, which provides for, “Metalized yarn, whether or not gimped, being textile yarn, or strip or the like of heading 5404 or 5405, combined with metal in the form of thread, strip or powder or covered with metal: Metal
coated or metal laminated man-made filament or strip or the like, ungimped, and untwisted or with twist of less than 5 turns per meter.” The general column one duty rate is 8.2 percent ad valorem.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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