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 > 1991 HQ Rulings > HQ 0087695 - HQ 0087776 > HQ 0087715

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 087715

November 9, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087715 STB


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.5000

Mr. Marc S. Greenberg
American Shipping Company
600 Sylvan Avenue
P.O. Box 1486
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

RE: Modification of HRL 083978 dated June 9, 1989; Animated Display Figures

Dear Mr. Greenberg:

On June 9, 1989, our office, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 083978, classified certain animated display figures representing human characters as dolls in subheading 9502.10.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have since reviewed this classification and have found it to be in error.


The display figures, styles SA 2635, SA 2135 and SA 2145 are all Santa Claus figures ranging in size from 21 inches to 26 inches. Each figure is mounted on a base, and is clothed in traditional Santa Claus garments and accessories. Each figure has a mechanism within the body that when switched on causes the head and an arm holding the candle to move. The mechanism works on electrical current.


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


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the legal framework in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise
required, according to the remaining GRI's taken in order.

Heading 9502 provides for dolls representing human beings. Heading 9502 is considered 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 associated 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 function other than decoration. Heading 9505 is generally regarded as a use provision.

The instant animated display figures belong to a class of merchandise which is holiday related. Moreover, these articles are used during specific holidays 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, reference must be made to GRI 3. 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 usually more difficult 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, other, other, dutiable at a rate of 5.8 percent ad valorem.

HRL 083978, dated June 9, 1989, is modified accordingly.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: