CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087958 WAW
Ms. Kristina Roloff
1245 S. Flagler Ave.
Pompano Beach, FL 33060
RE: Picture; Collage; Heading 9701
Dear Ms. Roloff:
This letter is in response to your request, dated August 10,
1990, for a binding ruling concerning the tariff classification
of pictures under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States Annotated (HTSUSA). No sample of the articles was
submitted along with your request.
The pictures are said to range in size from 2 inches to
approximately 5 inches. The pictures are described as collages
which consist of dried, pressed, natural plants and vegetable
materials mounted on a backing. They are designed to be hung on
the wall as decorative articles. The pictures have several
layers of resin to preserve and protect the plants and
vegetables. Each of the pictures weighs between 10-13 ounces.
Whether the subject merchandise is classifiable as a
"collage" or "similar decorative plaque" under the duty-free
provision in Chapter 97, HTSUSA, or whether the article is
classifiable under some other tariff provision.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the
manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA.
GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according
to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative
section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required,
according to the remaining GRI's, taken in order.
Heading 9701, HTSUSA, provides for "Paintings, drawing and
pastels, executed entirely by hand, other than drawings of
heading 4906 and other than hand-painted or hand-decorated
manufactured articles; collages and similar decorative plaques;
all the foregoing framed or not framed." (Emphasis added).
Although not legally binding, the Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA
represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the
international level. The EN's offer guidance in understanding
the scope of the provisions within each chapter of the schedule.
Explanatory Note (B) to Heading 9701, HTSUSA, provides the
This group covers collages and similar decorative
plaques, consisting of bits and pieces of various
animal, vegetable or other materials, assembled so as
to form a picture or decorative design or motif and
glued or otherwise mounted on a backing, e.g., of wood,
paper or textile material. The backing may be plain or
it may be hand-painted or imprinted with decorative or
pictorial elements which form part of the overall
design. Collages range in quality from articles
cheaply produced in quantity for sale as souvenirs up
to products which require a high degree of
craftsmanship and which may be genuine works of art.
* * *
Frames around paintings, drawings, pastels, collages or
similar decorative plaques are to be treated as
forming part of those articles and classified with
them in this heading only if they are of a kind and of
a value normal thereto (see Note to to this Chapter).
Based on the information you have provided, we have
determined that the sample merchandise falls within the
definition of "collages" as defined in the above Explanatory
Notes. The articles at issue are pictures made of dried,
pressed, natural plants and vegetables which have been mounted on
a backing. The pictures are designed to be hung on the wall for
decorative purposes. They are mass produced by craftsmen and
may be purchased for approximately twenty dollars in gift stores.
Therefore, based on the Explanatory Notes to Chapter 97, the
pictures are classified as collages in subheading 9701.90.0000,
The pictures made of dried, pressed, natural plant and
vegetable materials are classified in subheading 9701.90.0000,
HTSUSA, as collages and similar decorative plaques. Articles
classified under this subheading are entitled to duty free
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division