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HQ 087708

September 28, 1990
CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087708 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.5000

Mr. D.F. Miller
Import Manager
F. W. Woolworth Co.
233 Broadway
New York, NY 10279

RE: Revocation of HRL 083471 dated June 8, 1989; Animated Display Figures

Dear Mr. Miller:

On June 8, 1989, our office issued Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 083471 classifying certain animated display figures as dolls in subheading 9502.10.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have found that classification to be in error.


The facts are as stated in HRL 083471.


Whether animated display figures depicting human beings are classifiable as dolls in heading 9502, HTSUSA, or as festive articles in heading 9505, HTSUSA.


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.

Heading 9502 provides for dolls representing human beings. Heading 9502 is considered as an eo nomine (i.e., "by name") provision. This heading also happens to describe the articles at issue.

Heading 9505 provides for festive, carnival and other entertainment articles. The Explanatory Notes, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, offer guidance in understanding the scope of the headings. The explanatory note to heading 9505 indicates that the heading covers:

(A) Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles which in view of their intended use are generally made of non-durable material. They include:

(1) Decorations such as festoons, garlands, Chinese lanterns, etc., as well as various decorative articles made of paper, metal foil, glass fibre, etc., for Christmas trees (e.g., tinsel, stars, icicles), artificial snow, coloured balls, bells, lanterns, etc. Cake and other decorations (e.g., animals, flags) which are traditionally associated with a particular festival are also classified here.

(2) Articles traditionally used at Christmas festivities, e.g., artificial Christmas trees (these are sometimes of the folding type), nativity scenes, Christmas crackers, Christmas stockings, imitation yule logs.

Articles classifiable in heading 9505 tend to have no other function than decoration. Heading 9505 is generally regarded as a use provision.

The instant animated display figures belong to a class of merchandise whose principal use is festive. Moreover, these articles serve to decorate the home. Accordingly, the animated display figures are classifiable as festive articles in heading 9505.

As the subject articles are prima facie classifiable in two headings, GRI 3 must be consulted. GRI 3(a) directs that the heading which provides the most specific description of the merchandise is to be preferred. As between eo nomine and use provisions, the latter is generally regarded as being the more specific provision because it is the hardest to satisfy. Consequently, the instant animated display figures are classifiable as festive articles in heading 9505.


The animated display figures depicting human beings associated with Christmas are classifiable in subheading 9505.10.5000, HTSUSA, which provides for 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: other, other, dutiable at 5.8 percent ad valorem.

HRL of 083471 of June 8, 1989 is hereby revoked.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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