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Court Finds Holiday-Themed Items Not Necessarily Classified as Festive Articles

The U.S. Court of International Trade has ruled that the following items are classifiable as toys under HTSUS heading 9503 rather than as festive articles under heading 9505 because despite incorporating holiday themes in various ways they have the amusing characteristics of toys and lack the characteristics of ornaments or decorations. The CIT states that heading 9505 “is not so broad as to encompass any kind of a toy simply because it has the theme of a holiday or festive occasion.”

  •  “Trolls” dolls dressed in outfits with Christmas-related themes
  • rubber finger puppets in designs that include a bat and a devil
  • small plastic monsters, witches and similar figures with holographic faces
  • self-standing plastic push puppets with Halloween-related designs
  • small, rounded objects depicting non-human creatures that come with messages related to Christmas

The CIT’s decision, which covers goods imported in 1992, also finds the following.

  • A collection of gift items packaged and sold together and intended to be given to trick-or-treaters on Halloween cannot be classified as a single collection because it is not packaged exclusively for retail sale and the individual goods do not all carry out a specific activity.
  • Various holiday-themed candleholders are properly classified as lamps under heading 9405 rather than as festive articles under heading 9505 because goods that are holiday-themed decorations as well as lamps only fall within the scope of heading 9505 if they are of a non-durable construction.
  • An Easter-themed plaque is classified as a festive article under heading 9505 because it incorporates images and messages that are symbolic of the Easter holiday.
  • Holiday-themed footwear designed to be worn by infants is classifiable as footwear under heading 6405 because it is dissimilar to items described as festive articles in the Explanatory Notes.
Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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