HQ 958406

CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 958406 ASM

Ms. Laura Fumagalli
Dakin, Inc.
P.O. Box 7746
San Francisco, CA 94120

RE: Revocation of HRL 083788 concerning the tariff classification of a padded textile shamrock pin

Dear Ms. Fumagalli:

This letter concerns the revocation of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 083788, dated March 30, 1989, regarding the classification of a padded textile shamrock pin. Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Schedule of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed revocation of HRL 083788 was published December 13, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 50.


In HRL 083788, the subject merchandise was described as designed in the shape of a shamrock with the message "Happy St. Paddy's Day!" displayed on the front. The shamrock is composed of man-made fibers and stuffed with polyester staple fibers. The shamrock has a bow sewn by the stem and a metal clip on the back to attach to clothing. It was further indicated in HRL 083788 that the finished product would include a musical chip to be activated by squeezing the shamrock. The music was to be of an Irish jig.

HRL 083788 classified the padded textile shamrock pin under subheading 9505.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles, parts and accessories thereof, other, other, and dutiable at the rate of 3.1 percent, ad valorem (currently, all the provisions of heading 9505, HTSUSA, are duty free under the column one rate). - 2 -


Whether the sample at issue is classifiable as a festive article in heading 9505, HTSUSA, or as an other made up clothing accessories of heading 6217, HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA, is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, 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's may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN's), 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's. Heading 9505, HTSUSA, includes articles which are for "Festive, carnival, or other entertainment purposes." The EN's to 9505, state that the heading covers:

(A) Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, which in view of their intended use are generally made of non-durable material. They include:

(1) Decorations such as festoons, garlands, Chinese lanterns, etc., as well as various decorative articles made of paper, metal foil, glass fibre, etc., for Christmas trees (e.g., tinsel, stars, icicles), artificial snow, coloured balls, bells lanterns, etc. Cake and other decorations (e.g., animals, flags) which are traditionally associated with a particular festival are also classified here.

* * *

In general, merchandise is classifiable in heading 9505, HTSUSA, as a festive article when the article, as a whole, meets the following criteria:

1. is of nondurable material or, generally, is not purchased because of its extreme worth, or intrinsic value (e.g., paper, cardboard, metal foil, glass fiber, plastic, wood);

2. functions primarily as a decoration (e.g., its primary function is not utilitarian); and

3. is traditionally associated or used with a particular festival (e.g., stockings and tree ornaments for Christmas, decorative eggs for Easter). - 3 -

Although this product may be of nondurable material, we have determined that it does not meet the criteria established for classification as a "festive" article within heading 9505, HTSUSA. The article is purchased and intended to function primarily as "personal adornment" rather than as a "decoration" which is required for classification as a festive article.

In HRL 087960, dated January 4, 1991, which involved the classification of an article claimed to be a "Christmas Corsage" pin, it was stated that "Although an article may have the design or ornamentation appropriate for use during a specific holiday, it may still not qualify for classification in the festive article provision." Further, in HRL 951137, dated February 17, 1993, in classifying "pop-up" pins described as having various heart and animal shapes, and the messages "I Love You" or "You're Special," it was determined that "the motif of an article is not dispositive of its classification and, consequently, does not transform an item into a festive article." In both HRL 087960 and HRL 951137, the pins were classified under subheading 7117.90.5000, HTSUSA, as imitation jewelry (see also HRL 087109, dated August 16, 1990, which classified a "Dancing Halloween Skeleton" pin in heading 7117, HTSUSA, as imitation jewelry).

Finally, in HRL 958167, dated August 30, 1995, a textile shamrock pin bearing the words "Happy St. Patrick's Day" was classified under subheading 6217.10.9030, HTSUSA, because it was determined that the merchandise did not satisfy the requirements for classification of an article under the festive article provision in heading 9505, HTSUSA, and was excluded from classification in chapter 71, HTSUSA (see legal notes to chapter 71, which state that the chapter does not cover goods of section XI, textile and textile articles). Further, the ruling notes that Customs has classified similar textile pins under the appropriate provisions in heading 6217, HTSUSA, as other made up clothing accessories which are similar to the idea of "badges" affixed to clothing by a pin and thus considered accessories to garments.

In view of the foregoing, it is our determination that the pin which was classified in HRL 083788, as a "festive article" under heading 9505, HTSUSA, should now be classified as a "clothing accessory" under heading 6217, HTSUSA.


The article identified in HRL 083733, dated March 30, 1989, as a padded textile shamrock pin, is properly classified under subheading 6217.10.9030, HTSUSA, which provides for "Other made up clothing accessories; parts of garments or of clothing accessories, other than those of heading 6212: Accessories: Other: Of man-made fibers" which is dutiable under the general column one rate of 15.4 percent ad valorem. The quota category is 659.

HRL 083788 dated March 30, 1989, is hereby revoked. In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)). - 4 -

The designated textile and apparel categories may be subdivided into parts. If so, the visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available we suggest your client check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available at the local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification
Appeals Division