United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0085756 - HQ 0085839 > HQ 0085801

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 085801

January 23, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085801 HP


TARIFF NO.: 9503.70.8000

Mr. Murray Shulman
Vice President, Operations
AMAV Industries Ltd.
2345 Lapierre St.
Lasalle, Quebec

RE: String art kit for ages 6 to adult is a toy where any decorative or functional effect is secondary to its being put up in a form clearly indicating its use as a toy. CITA;visa;FTA; Canada;U.S. goods exported and returned;9801;9802

Dear Mr. Shulman:

This is in reply to your letter of September 20, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of a string art kit, imported from Canada, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of a string art kit, labeled product Code 4671. It includes twelve spools of colored sewing thread, two sheets of black flocked paper, two sheets of corrugated cardboard, one sheet of thirty double sided sticky dots, eighty metal-plated pins, and four printed paper pages of instructions and patterns for creating "beautiful results suitable for framing

The box containing the aforementioned components displays pictures with the finished products, and recommends ages "6 years to adult." From this, we assume that the instant merchandise is principally designed for children. The sewing thread is produced in Taiwan, while the remaining components are made in Canada or the
United States. The container also states that the kit is packaged in either Canada or the United States; for the purposes of this ruling, we will assume the former.


Whether the instant merchandise is a toy under HTSUSA? LAW AND ANALYSIS:

Subheading 9503.70, HTSUSA, provides for toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. EN (A) to this heading states that:

Collections of articles, the individual items of which if presented separately would be classified in other headings of the Nomen clature, are classified in this Chapter when they are put up in a form clearly indicating their use as toys (e.g., instructional toys such as chemistry, sewing, etc., sets).

It is clear that, imported separately, the diverse components of the String Art kit are classifiable separably in the HTSUSA. Therefore, we must determine whether the kit is put up in a form clearly indicating its use as a toy.

In HRL 084895 of October 12, 1989 (Cast & Color plaster molding kit), we stated:

EN 9503 ...state[s], in pertinent part:

This heading also excludes:

(a)Paints put up for children's use (hea ding 32.13).

(b)Modelling pastes put up for children's amusement (heading

(c)Children's picture, drawing or colouring books of heading

(h)Crayons and pastels for children's use, of heading 96.09.

Although the exclusionary language of EN
9503, supra, might lend one to believe that art sets or kits are not within the scope of Chapter 95, HTSUSA, the exclusions are merely statements that ... individual articles are more specifically provided for elsewhere in the Nomenclature. * * * When combined in a [String Art kit], this set is a toy in the same manner as "instructional" chemistry and sewing kits are classified as toys.

It has been argued that since the func tion of the [String Art kit] is to create decorative/functional items, classification as a toy is precluded. However, certain articles are classifiable as toys, e.g., electric irons, sewing machines, musical instruments, etc., even though they may be capable of a function distinct from the amusement of child ren and adults. With respect to the instant merchandise, the finished products displayed on the box are clearly meant to be made by children for their use[, noting both the recommended ages and the emphasis on "fun and easy]. Any other use, i.e., as a [tapestry], is clearly secondary to the principal use of the []2 projects included therein: the amuse ment of children.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 9503.70.8000, HTSUSA, as other toys; reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; and accessories thereof, other toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof, other, other.

Articles which meet the definition of "goods originating in the territory of Canada" are subject to reduced rates of duty under the United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1988 ("FTA"). General Note 3(c)(vii), HTSUSA. Goods are considered "originating in the territory of Canada" if:

(2)they have been transformed in the ter ritory of Canada and/or the United
States, so as to be subject--

(I)to a change in the tariff clas sification in Canada as des cribed in the rules of sub division (c)(vii)(R) ....

Subdivision (c)(vii)(R), supra, provides, in pertinent part, that for Section XX, HTSUSA (Chapters 94 through 96), "[a] change from one chapter to another ..." is a sufficient transformation under the FTA for the instant merchandise to be considered as originating in Canada. As we stated above, when imported separ ately, whether into Canada or the United States, several com ponents of the String Art kit are classifiable in different chap ters within the HTSUSA. It would therefore appear that the in stant merchandise is considered a product of Canada for clas sification purposes.

General Note 3(c)(vii)(C), HTSUSA, is inapplicable here, since the components of the String Art kit are not merely packaged in Canada. Rather, several of the key components are made in Canada. See HRL 084935 of August 23, 1989. Consequently, if all other applicable conditions under the FTA are met, the String Art kit is eligible for a reduced duty rate of 5.4 percent ad valorem; otherwise, the General rate of duty is 6.8 percent ad valorem.

Headings 9801 and 9802, HTSUSA, provide for products of the United States exported and returned. The question has been raised as to whether these headings would impact on the rate of duty being applied under the FTA. Section 10.303, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 10.303), states that goods may be eligible for a preference under the FTA if "[t]he goods are wholly obtained or produced in Canada or in the United States, or both." Emphasis added. It is our opinion that this language does not require a further reduction in the duty rate; headings 9801 and 9802, there fore, do not apply.

Pursuant to the Directive of December 23, 1988 to the Commis sioner of Customs from the Chairman, Committee for the Implementa tion of Textile Agreements, Department of Commerce, as amended August 24, 1989, all textile items which normally require a visa, if imported separately, would require a visa if imported as part of a set as defined under General Rule of Interpretation 3. The instant merchandise, however, is not such a set. The language of subheading 9503, "toys, put up in sets or outfits," is put forth only as a description of various ways the toys can be put to gether. A visa, therefore, would not be required.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling