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HQ 086649

May 4, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086649 MBR


TARIFF NO.: 8543.80.90

Mr. Jerrold E. Anderson
Katten Muchin & Zavis
525 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, Illinois 60606-3693

RE: PreComputer 1000 Junior electronic educational computer

Dear Mr. Anderson:

This is in reply to your letter of January 11, 1990, on behalf of Video Technology Industries, requesting classification of the PreComputer 1000 Junior, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The Precomputer 1000 Junior (hereafter PreComputer) has a small LCD display screen that flips up from the chassis of the unit, similar to a lap-top computer. Nine plastic insertable disks are supplied with the unit, allowing the user to select from 18 educational activities including math, science, spelling, music and art. The disks are essentially keys that trigger a program selection inside the unit and are in no way electronic. The PreComputer is designed solely for children ages 6-10.


Under which of the following HTSUSA headings is the PreComputer properly classified:

8472, HTSUSA, which provides for other office machines (for example, hectograph or stencil duplicating machines, addressing machines, automatic banknote dispensers, coin- sorting machines, coin-counting or wrapping machines, pencil-sharpening machines, perforating or stapling machines).

9504, HTSUSA, which provides for articles for arcade, table or parlor games, including pinball machines, bagatelle, billiards and special tables for casino games; automatic bowling alley equipment.

8543, HTSUSA, which provides for electrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter.

9503, HTSUSA, which provides for other toys; reduced-size ("scale" models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; and accessories thereof: other: other: other toys (except models), not having a spring mechanism.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

...classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes...

Subheading 8472.90.80, HTSUSA, provides for: "[o]ther office machines: [o]ther." The other office machines that are provided for eo nomine are:"[a]utomatic bank note dispensers and other coin or currency handling machines; [p]encil sharpeners; [n]umbering, dating and check-writing machines; [o]ther. The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes to heading 84.72, page 1302, state:

The term "office machines" is to be taken in a wide general sense to include all machines used in offices, shops, factories, workshops, schools, railway stations, hotels, etc., for doing "office work" (i.e., work concerning the writing, recording, sorting, filing, etc., of correspondence, documents, forms, records, accounts, etc.). (Emphasis added).

The heading includes, inter alia: (1) Duplicating machines; (2) Addressing machines; (3) Ticket issuing machines; (4) Coin sorting or coin-counting machines; (5) Automatic banknote dispensers; (6) Pencil sharpening machines; (7) Punching machines; (8) Machines for perforating paper bands so that they can be used in automatic typewriting machines; (9) Perforated band operated machines. Clearly, these are all machines that are to be used in offices, for office work.

The PreComputer is designed and marketed for the exclusive use of children ages 6-10. These children are not likely to be working in factories, hotels or railway stations, etc. It is clear that the PreComputer is not likely to be used in offices, for office work.

The question arises whether the PreComputer is a toy classifiable under heading 9503, HTSUSA. To determine this, the issue of the PreComputer's essential character is presented. Is the article's essential character that of a toy that is also educational or is its essential character that of an educational article that has toy features? There can be no question that this article is designed as an educational device and that parents would purchase it as an educational tool for their children. Furthermore, the ultimate consumer, the child, is learning the same basic skills taught in school, as the parents intended. Therefore, we find that the essential character is that of an educational article.

However, there is no provision in the HTSUSA for "educational articles," per se. The EN to heading 9503, page 1588, state that this heading includes: "(17) Educational toys (e.g., toy chemistry, printing, sewing and knitting sets)." However, the "General" Explanatory Note to chapter 95, page 1585, states: "[t]his covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults." It is Customs position that the PreComputer is not designed to amuse children or adults and is therefore not classifiable in Chapter 95.

Therefore, the PreComputer is classifiable under subheading 8543.80.90, HTSUSA, which provides for: "[e]lectrical machines and apparatus, having individual functions, not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; [o]ther." See HQ 085758 (January 2, 1990) for a similar holding regarding similar merchandise.


The PreComputer 1000 Junior is classifiable under the provision for electrical machines and apparatus in subheading 8543.80.90, HTSUSA. The rate of duty is 3.9% ad valorem.


In Ruling Letter NY 830452 (September 14, 1988) Customs determined that the "Socrates," (an educational video system used in conjunction with a television), and the "PreComputer 1000" (a self-contained electronic educational device) were classifiable under 9504.10.00, and 9504.90.40, respectively, which provide for video game machines. Both items were also manufactured by Video Technology Industries "Educational Electronics." It is now Customs position that the "Socrates" and the "PreComputer 1000" are properly classifiable in subheading 8543.80.90, for the
reasons stated above. Ruling Letter NY 830452, (September 14, 1988), is modified under authority of section 177.9(d), Customs Regulations.


Jerry Laderberg

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