A Harmonized (Tariff) Christmas
By Tyler Brown, Senior Export Technical Representative, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Office of Export Compliance
For this analysis, we assumed that the Lords, Ladies, maids and entertainers are not performing defense services. Articles and material would appear to all be EAR99. Dealing only with the associated hardware, I propose the following HTS designations:
* Twelve drummers drumming: 9206.00.2000 - Percussion musical instruments (for example, drums, xylophones, cymbals, castanets, maracas): Drums
* Eleven pipers piping: 9188.8.131.52 - Woodwind instruments: Flutes and piccolos (except bamboo)
* Ten lords 'a-leaping: Since there are no hereditary Lords in the U.S., the Country of Origin of the Lords would need to be specified, and the leaping activity subjected to an analysis as to whether it constitutes a defense service.
* Nine ladies dancing: See above.
* Eight maids a-milking: Given a modern interpretation: 8434.10.00.00 - Milking machines and dairy machinery, and parts thereof: Milking machines
* Seven swans a-swimming: 0106.39.00.00 - Birds: Other
* Six geese a-laying: (Assume the geese weigh over 185 gms.) 0105.99.00.00 - Live poultry of the following kinds: Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and guineas: Other, Other
* Five golden rings: Note: 9. For the purposes of heading 7113, the expression "articles of jewelry" means: (a) Any small objects of personal adornment (for example, rings, bracelets, necklaces, broaches, earnings, watch chains, fobs, pendants, tie pins, cuff links, dress studs, religious or other medals and insignia); 7113.19.50.00 - Of other precious metal, whether or not plated or clad with precious metal: Other, other.
* Four calling birds: Today when people sing that song they usually sing about calling birds. But actually many years ago they sang the song's old English words. They sang about colly, or collie, birds. Colly or collie means black, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation. It comes from an old word for coal. The Internet Wikipedia pins down colly bird even more: to the European blackbird. Common in parks and cities in Europe, it looks like a dusky version of its cousin, the American robin. Both belong to the thrush family. Like all thrushes, they sing (or call) beautifully. 0106.39.00.00 - Birds: Other
* Three French hens: Live poultry of the following kinds: Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and guineas: Chickens, Weighing not more than 185 g: 0105.11.00; Breeding stock, whether or not purebred: 10 Layer-type (egg-type), 20 Broiler-type (meat-type), 40 Other; Chickens, Weighing more than 185 g: 0105.94.00.00 (I actually spent some time worrying about whether the "French Hens" might be a re-export...)
* Two turtle doves: 0106.39.00.00 - Birds: Other
* A partridge in a pear tree: 0106.39.00.00 - Birds: Other; 0602.20.00.00 - Trees, shrubs and bushes, grafted or not, of kinds which bear edible fruit or nuts
And remember, any Christmas ornamentation falls under 9505.10: Festive, carnival, or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles; parts and accessories thereof: Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof.
Editor's Note: Thanks to Tyler Brown for permission to publish "A Harmonized (Tariff) Christmas." Happy Holidays!