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The European Commission has now adopted a binding additional note concerning the classification of Christmas and winter articles under subheading 9505 10 (Regulation[EU] 2016/2222, OJ EU, No L 336, 17). Depending on whether the article refers to Christmas-related topics, it is classified under subheading 9505 10, which entered into force on 30.12.2016. Entrepreneurs should check to what extent their tariff classification complies with the applicable legal situation and whether binding tariff information (vZTA) has become invalid.

Thematic reference to the Christmas season is decisive

Subheading 9505 10 covers such articles which are widely regarded as[bold] articles[/bold] traditionally used at Christmas or Advent and which have been manufactured and designed exclusively as Christmas articles.

Traditionally used Christmas articles include items related to the birth of Christ, such as nativity figures. In addition, articles such as artificial Christmas trees, Christmas socks, logs of Christmas wood, Christmas bangers, Santa Clauses and Christmas angels are also classified under subheading 9505 10.

However, articles suitable for more general use as winter decoration articles are not classified under subheading 9505 10 (e.g. icicles, snow crystals, stars, reindeer, robins and snowmen).

Companies must consider classification changes

Economic operators should review the impact of the change in legislation on their business. Customs requires companies to keep themselves regularly informed of changes to the classification of their products. Incorrect classification can have far-reaching consequences in terms of tax and criminal law. Binding tariff information which has become invalid should not continue to be used and would have to be requested again if necessary.

Our experienced customs lawyers are available to answer your questions.

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