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HQ W968064

October 5, 2006



TARIFF NO.: 1404.90.0000

Ms. Elizabeth Mince
Import Manager
Atlanta Customs Brokers
5099 Southridge Parkway, Suite 116
Atlanta, Georgia 30349

RE: Revocation of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 956065, dated July 25, 1994; Classification of ornamental mushroom articles.

Dear Ms. Mince:

This letter is to inform you that the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reconsidered Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 956065, issued to you on July 25, 1994, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of ornamental mushroom articles. The articles were classified in subheading 3926.40.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914: Statuettes and other ornamental articles”. We have reviewed that ruling and found it to be in error. Therefore, this ruling revokes HQ 956065.


The article at issue is a bird that measures approximately 1-1/2 x 2 inches (plus a 1 inch tail). The body of the bird is made of Styrofoam (plastics). White paper made of wood fibre wraps the body. Dried paper thin pieces of mushrooms are glued onto the body in the form of wings and tails. The material for the eyes and mouth was not stated. The bird is painted and decorated with various colors and has a flat bottom. The bird contains no strings or hooks for hanging purposes such as ornaments for Christmas trees.


Whether the mushroom bird is classified in heading 1404, HTSUSA, as a vegetable product not elsewhere specified or included or in heading 3926, HTSUSA, as an article of plastics.


Classification under the 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 headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

The item is not specifically provided for in any one heading. Accordingly, the article may not be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1. The subject mushroom bird is a decorative item consisting of a Styrofoam shape and dried mushrooms. Thus, for tariff purposes, it constitutes a good consisting of two or more substances or materials. GRI 2(a) is inapplicable because it applies to incomplete or unfinished articles, and the article is imported in a finished complete condition. GRI 2(b) states that the classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of GRI 3. The bird is arguably classifiable under heading 3926, HTSUSA, as an article of plastics or heading 1404, HTSUSA, as a vegetable product not elsewhere specified or included.

GRI 3(a) states that when, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods. As the subject mushroom birds are a composite good, we must apply rule 3(b), which provides that composite goods are to be classified according to the component that gives the good its essential character. We must determine whether the Styrofoam or the dried mushrooms impart the essential character to the article.

EN VIII to GRI 3(b) explains that "[t]he factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods."

The internal Styrofoam may provide the bulk and shape, however the mushrooms that cover the bird provide the texture, markings and design. The mushrooms impart the visual impact, consumer appeal and nature of the mushroom bird. The essential character of the mushroom bird is the mushrooms. The mushroom bird is accordingly classifiable in heading 1404, HTSUSA. It is specifically provided for in subheading 1404.90.0000, HTSUSA.


The mushroom bird is classified in heading 1404, HTSUSA. It is specifically provided for in subheading 1404.90.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for "Vegetable products not elsewhere specified or included: Other." The general, column one rate of duty is Free.


HQ 956065, dated July 25, 1994, is hereby revoked.


Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division

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