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HQ 083279

February 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083279 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 9503.70.8000

Mr. Bernard D. Liberati
Morris Friedman & Co.
320 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-3883

RE: G.I. Joe Field Patrol and G.I. Joe Field Belt Your item numbers: 61020 and 62815

Dear Mr. Liberati,

This letter is in response to your inquiries dated November 7, 1988, requesting tariff classification of toy army equipment. Your letters and samples of the goods have been forwarded to us by our New York office for a classification ruling.


Two requests, each accompanied by a sample, were submitted. The inquiries have been consolidated due to the similarity of the samples and the issues presented. Each sample is a group of items, consisting of various individual pieces of toy camping and/or army equipment. The individual samples are described below.

Your item number 61020, described as a G.I. Joe Field Patrol kit consists of a mess kit with simulated breakfast, silverware, shovel, flashlight, compass, and canteen. The kit also includes a backpack to carry or hold the other items. Most of the pieces are made of plastic, including the backpack. Both the flashlight and compass contain parts of metal or other substances.

Your item number 62815, described as a G.I. Joe Field Belt consists of a shovel, canteen, flashlight, whistle, compass and plastic knife. The kit also has a plastic belt with hooks for carrying the replica military items. The pieces are, for the most part, plastic, although the compass and flashlight both contain parts of metal or other substances.

Each of the samples is packaged and sold as a set in a single box with a cellophane "window" on the front. They are clearly marketed as toys for children, ages 3 and up, and would be used in dramatic play activities.


How are these items classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1; that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes.

At the outset, it seems obvious that the merchandise submitted in this case is intended for use as toys. The size and appearance of the individual pieces, coupled with the fact that they are replicas of genuine products, all point to that conclusion. While all of the items contain some amount of functionality, most lack the strength and other attributes normally associated with genuine camping or army items. For example, the mess kit and silverware could not withstand the heat or other abuse of ordinary use; nor did either compass produce true, consist directional readings. While the flashlight is a functioning item, it is also of the build and weight that suggest its use is intended primarily as a toy. Likewise for the canteens.

Toys are classified in headings 9501 through 9503, HTSUSA. Specifically, subheading 9503.70, HTSUSA, classifies other toys put up in sets and would appear to include these goods. The question in this case is whether or not this merchandise is considered a "set" as that term is used in 9503.70, HTSUSA.

The relevant Legal Notes do not address the scope of the term "set" in 9503.70, HTSUSA. The Explanatory Notes indicate that the heading is intended to cover all toys not included in the other "toy" headings, and enumerates a number of different types of toys that would fall within heading 9503, HTSUSA. The Notes go on to state, in relevant part, that:

Certain of the above articles (toy arms, tools, gardening sets, tin soldiers, etc.) are often put up in sets.

Certain toys (e.g., electric irons, sewing machines, musical instruments, etc.) may be capable of a limited "use"; but they are generally distinguishable by their size and limited capacity from real sewing machines, etc.

Each paragraph explains, to an extent, what may constitute a "set". The first paragraph indicates that groups or collections of toys may constitute a set. This type of set would be composed of individual pieces, all of which would be classified individually as toys. The second paragraph indicates that items with a limited functional "use" may still be considered toys, and may be included individually within the headings, as well as in sets.

In the instant case, it is the opinion of this office that each piece in the sample is considered a "toy" for classification purposes. Some of the items are clearly toys, while others, like the flashlights and canteens, have a limited use, but are still considered "toys". The sample merchandise is therefore, in our opinion, a collection of toys put up in a set. As such, each is classifiable by GRI 1 in subheading 9503.70.8000, HTSUSA.


The sample merchandise, referred to "G.I. Joe Field Patrol" and "G.I. Joe Field Belt" are classified under 9503.70.8000, HTSUSA, as other toys, put up in sets, other, other, with duty at the rate of 6.8% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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