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HQ 967566

May 31, 2005

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 967566 MG


TARIFF NO.: 4420.10.0000

Ms. Shirley Schmidt
Pier 1 Imports, Inc.
100 Pier 1 Place, Level 16
Fort Worth, TX 76102

RE: Ruling Request for “Apple & Pear Fruit Photoholders”, SKU 2059031 (“photoholder”)

Dear Ms. Schmidt:

In your letter to the Director, National Commodity Specialist Division (NCSD), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, New York, NY, dated January 24, 2005, you inquire as to the classification of the Apple & Pear Fruit Photoholder under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Your letter was forwarded to this office for reply. The classification of the Photoholder is set forth below.


Based upon examination of a sample and the information you submitted, the products in this ruling request consist of a pair of hand carved wood ornaments with wire attachments. The ornaments are hand-painted and carved and represent an apple and a pear. Each is carved from solid Albasia wood. An iron wire attached through a hole in the wood curls up from the top of the apple and pear forming the stem of the fruit and extends 3” and 2,” respectively. According to your letter, the curled portions of the wires are intended to be used to hold photos, recipe cards, notes or similar flat, thin items. Additionally, a leaf made of zinc decorates the top of the apple and the pear.

The material breakdown indicates that the value of the wood is almost twice that of the iron wire and the zinc leaf combined. The material breakdown by weight is stated to be 75% for the wood, 15% for the iron and 10% for the zinc.


Whether the instant photoholders are classified as articles of heading 4420, HTSUS, which provides for statuettes and other ornaments, of wood; or as articles of heading 8306, HTSUS, which provides for statuettes and other ornaments of base metal.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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 headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description And Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN’s) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System. While not legally binding on the contracting parties, and therefore not dispositive, the EN’s provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are thus useful in ascertaining the classification of merchandise under the system. CBP believes the EN’s should always be consulted. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (Aug. 23, 1989).

The HTSUSA provisions under consideration are as follows:

4420 Wood marquetry and inlaid wood; caskets and cases for jewelry or cutlery and similar articles, of wood; statuettes and other ornaments, of wood; wooden articles of furniture not falling within chapter 94:

4420.10.0000 Statuettes and other ornaments, of wood.

Bells, gongs and the like, nonelectric, of base metal; statuettes and other ornaments, of base metal; photograph, picture or similar frames, of base metal; mirrors of base metal; and base metal parts thereof:

Statuettes and other ornaments, and parts thereof:

8306.29.0000 Other.

At the outset, we note that the EN to heading 4420 states that the heading covers “decorative articles” and includes “Statuettes, animals, figures and other ornaments.” We further note that the EN to heading 8306 does not single out animals. Heading 8306 (B) specifically requires that the ornaments be “of base metal (whether or not incorporating subsidiary non-metallic parts)”. Because each photoholder is an ornament of wood incorporating subsidiary metallic parts, they are prima facie classifiable in heading 4420.

The competing subheadings at issue provide for statuettes and other ornaments designed essentially for decoration, articles which have little or no peripheral utility value. The “Apple & Pear Fruit Photoholders” are essentially decorative woodcarved ornaments in which every component adds to the decorative aspect.

In this regard, the manufacturer has meticulously designed the wood ornaments, attaching the metal leaf and curled wire attachment, thus enhancing the decorative nature. The iron wire inserted into the apple and pear is shaped to resemble a stem on the fruit, fitting the overall visual theme of the product.

Although photos, recipe cards, notes or similar things can be inserted into the curled part of the wire, there is no requirement that it be used as such, as would be the case with a picture frame that is principally designed to hold a picture, or a napkin ring principally designed to hold a napkin, regardless of ornaments. See HQ 089651, dated September 11, 1991.

The subject photoholders are primarily designed for use as statuettes or ornaments for display on a desk or table and are not meant to be stored until they may be used as photo or note holders. When displayed, each product may or may not be used as a photo or note holder. The wire attachments blend with each ornament’s design to enhance its appearance and to create a theme. The photo-holding aspect is, therefore, a secondary feature of the decorative woodcarvings. We also note that the amount of metal, by value and weight, is relatively insignificant.

Photo holders have been classified under subheading 8306.29.0000, HTSUSA. See NY K80391, dated November 7, 2003; NY F88037, dated July 7, 2000; NY J86304, dated June 24, 2003; NY K88530, dated August 19, 2004; and NY E88565, dated October 21, 1999. However, the information pertaining to the details and components of those photo holders is insufficient to allow reasonable comparisons with the instant photoholders.

In light of the level of design and detail of the instant woodcarving and the above discussion, we find that the photoholders are properly described as statuettes or ornaments of wood under heading 4420. The instant photoholders are, therefore, similar to the hand-carved and hand-crafted decorative wood ornaments of subheading 4420.10.0000, HTSUSA. See, NY G89579, dated April 24, 2001; NY C83037, dated January 20, 1998; NY 882505, dated February 24, 1993; and NY 880772, dated December 22, 1992. The photoholders are classifiable according to GRI 1, under subheading, 4420.10.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for “Statuettes and other ornaments, of wood.”


The “Apple & Pear Fruit Photoholders” are classifiable under subheading 4420.10.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for “Statuettes and other ornaments, of wood.” The 2005 column one, general rate of duty is 3.2 percent ad valorem.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on the World Wide Web at www.usitc.gov/tata/hts.


Myles B. Harmon, Director

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