CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 950041 NLP
Mr. James H. Bartee
House of Lloyd, Inc.
11901 Grandview Road
Grandview, MO 64030
RE: Porcelain ornamental articles; Poly resin plastic figurines;
Festive articles; Decorative articles; Heading 3926; Heading
6913; Heading 9405; Heading 9505; GRI 3b; goods put up in
sets for retail sale
Dear Mr. Bartee:
This is in response to your letter of June 27, 1991, on
behalf of House of Lloyd, Inc., in which you requested a tariff
classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United
States Annotated (HTSUSA) for The Little Village Collection (the
Collection). Samples of this merchandise were submitted for our
The Collection is imported and sold as a set that is
comprised of four porcelain buildings, a porcelain tree and
lamppost figure, a poly resin plastic news stand and 8 poly
resin plastic figurines. The porcelain buildings are decorated
with snow, holly and wreaths. The tree and lamppost figure is
also decorated with snow and a vine of holly. The poly resin
news stand is decorated with snow and little gift boxes. The
figurines are clad in winter attire and depict various winter
scenes including two boys on a sled, three carollers and a girl
standing next to a snowman.
Whether the pieces that comprise the Collection are
classified as festive articles in Heading 9505, HTSUSA, or in
Heading 6913, HTSUSA, as statuettes and other ornamental ceramic
articles and Heading 3926, as other articles of plastic.
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 9505, HTSUSA, provides for festive, carnival, and
other entertainment articles. The Harmonized Commodity
Description and Coding System (HCDCS) Explanatory Notes, although
not dispositive, are to be looked to for the proper
interpretation of the HTS. Explanatory Note 95.05 of the HCDCS
(page 1590) indicates that Heading 9505, HTSUSA, 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.
(2) Articles traditionally used at Christmas
festivities, e.g., artificial Christmas trees
(these are sometimes of the folding type),
nativity scenes, Christmas crackers, Christmas
stockings, imitation yule logs.
* * *
Articles classifiable in Heading 9505, HTSUSA, tend to have
no other function than decoration. Heading 9505, HTSUSA, is
generally regarded as a use provision. Hence, Additional U.S.
Rule of Interpretation 1(a) must be reviewed.
Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a) indicates that:
In the absence of special language or context
which otherwise requires--
(a) a tariff classification controlled by use
(other than actual use) is to be determined in
accordance with the use in the United States at,
or immediately prior to the date of importation,
of goods of that class or kind to which the
imported goods belong, and the controlling use
is the principal use.
While the subject articles are decorative, porcelain and
poly resin figures and figurines as a class or kind of
merchandise are not specifically festival related; they are used
all year round and come in a wide variety of motifs.
Accordingly, the Collection is not classified as a festive
article in Heading 9505, HTSUSA. Classification must be found
GRI 3(b) provides for the classification of goods put up in
sets for retail sale. The rule states in pertinent part:
(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different
materials or made up of different components, and goods put
up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by
reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted
of the material or component which gives them their
essential character, insofar as this criterion is
Explanatory Note (X) (page 4) to GRI 3(b) states that the
term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods which:
(a) consist of at least two different articles which are,
prima facie, classifiable in different headings;
(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet
a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and
(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to
users without repacking.
In the instant case, the Collection qualifies as a set
within the meaning of GRI 3(b). The Collection consists of
products that are classifiable in three different headings.
Heading 6913, HTSUSA, provides for statuettes and other
ornamental ceramic articles. Explanatory Note 69.13 of the
HCDCS, (page 923) provides that Heading 6913, HTSUSA, covers the
(A) Articles which have no utility value but are wholly
ornamental, and articles whose only usefulness is to
support or contain other decorative articles or to add
to their decorative effect, e.g.:
(1) Statues, statuettes, busts, haut or bas reliefs, and
other figures for interior or exterior decoration; ornaments
(including those forming parts of clock sets) for
mantelpieces, shelves, etc.,....
The ceramic houses and tree and lamppost figure are
ornamental and decorative. Heading 6913, HTSUSA, is the
appropriate heading for these pieces. Inasmuch as they are made
of porcelain they would be classified in subheading 6913.10.50,
Heading 3926, HTUSA, provides for other articles of plastics
and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914.
Subheading 3926.40.00, HTSUSA, provides for statuettes and other
ornamental articles, of plastic. The newsstand and figurines are
ornamental articles and because they are made of a poly resin
plastic they are classified in subheading 3926.40.00, HTSUSA.
Heading 9405, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, lamps and
lighting fittings. Subheading 9405.40, HTSUSA, provides for
other electric lamps and lighting fittings. The instant light
cord with a bulb is considered a light fitting and is classified
in subheading 9405.40, HTSUSA.
Furthermore, the Collection contains figures which are
intended to be used together to ornament the home and to portray
a complete village setting. The Collection is put up in a manner
suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.
As the Collection is considered a set we must determine its
essential character in accordance with GRI 3(b). Explanatory
Note VIII (page 4) to GRI 3(b) states that:
The 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 a
constituent material in relation to the use of the
In this case, the porcelain buildings represent the
essential character of the Collection. The buildings are the
largest components in terms of bulk and weight. The porcelain
buildings weigh .40 kilograms and the porcelain tree and lamppost
figure weighs .08 kilograms, while the poly resin news stand
weighs .04 kilograms and the 8 poly resin figurines weigh .13
kilograms. The light cord weighs .03 kilograms. Inasmuch as
the buildings are the largest pieces, the village would likely be
centered around them. The porcelain buildings also have a
greater value than the poly resin figures and the light cord.
The porcelain buildings cost $5.00 and the porcelain tree and
lamppost figure costs $0.80, while the poly resin news stand
costs $0.30 and the 8 poly resin figurines cost $0.80. The light
cord costs $1.20. Therefore, because the porcelain buildings
represent the essential character of the Collection, it is
classified in subheading 6913.10.50, HTSUSA.
The Little Village Collection is considered to be a set and
is classified in subheading 6913.10.50, HTSUSA, which provides
for statuettes and other ornamental ceramic articles, of
porcelain, other. The rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division