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NY L81907

January 21, 2005

CLA-2-56:RR:NC:N3:351 L81907


TARIFF NO.: 3926.40.0000, 5609.00.4000

Peggy Montonera
Customs and Cost Import Analyst
Sears, Roebuck, and Company
3333 Beverly Road D5-257B
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179

RE: The tariff classification of decorative Styrofoam balls from the Philippines

Dear Ms. Montonera:

In your letter dated January 5, 2005, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The three samples submitted are all Styrofoam balls, approximately 5” in diameter, with various coverings.

The first sample, identified as Stock No. 90404, is described as covered with bromine dyed/painted tapioca beads; we assume these are beans or seeds, not beads. The beans are arranged in a flower pattern.

The second sample, 90405, is covered with bromine dyed/painted tapioca beans and spirals of paper twine. The spirals are arranged in a dot pattern.

The third sample, 90506, is covered with paper twine wrapped around the Styrofoam ball with 1” spiraled twine dots inset randomly.

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Since no one heading in the tariff schedules covers all of the components of these decorative balls, GRI 1 cannot be used as a basis for classification. GRI 3(a) states in part that where goods are, prima facie, classifiable in two or more headings, the heading that provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. GRI 3(b) provides that composite goods such as these, consisting of different materials, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component that gives them their essential character. GRI 3(c) states that when goods cannot be classified by reference to GRI 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading that occurs last in numerical order among those that equally merit consideration.

In the case of these three items, no single component imparts the essential character, and they will be classified in accordance with GRI 3(c). The competing tariff headings are 1404, articles of vegetable matter (the tapioca beans); 3926, articles of plastic (Styrofoam is a plastic); and 5906, articles of yarn or twine (the paper yarn).

The applicable subheading for 90404, (flower pattern, beans over Styrofoam) will be 3926.40.0000, HTS, which provides for other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Statuettes and other ornamental articles. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

The applicable subheading for 90405 (dot pattern, paper twine and beans over Styrofoam) and 90406 (paper twine over Styrofoam) will be 5609.00.4000, HTS, which provides for articles of yarn or twine, not elsewhere specified or included; other.

You suggest that 90404 and 90405 are classifiable in subheading 9602.00.5000, HTS, which provides for, inter alia, other molded or carved articles, not elsewhere specified or included. However, since neither is worked, molded, or carved, that would not be correct.

You also suggest that 90406 is classifiable in subheading 4823.90.8600, HTS, which provides for other articles of paper or paperboard. However, since the paper is in the form of yarn or twine, the article is more specifically classifiable as an article of yarn or twine in heading 5609.

The samples will be returned as requested.

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 Mitchel Bayer at 646-733-3102.


Robert B. Swierupski

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