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HQ 087716

November 9, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087716 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 083835 dated June 9, 1989; Animated Display Figures

Dear Mr. Greenberg:

On June 9, 1989, our office, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 083835, classified certain animated display figures representing human characters as dolls in subheading 9502.10.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA). We also classified one sample of an angel in subheading 9505.90.60, HTSUSA. We have since reviewed these classifications and have found them to be in error.


The facts are as stated in HRL 083835.


What is the proper classification of the subject animated display figures?


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 two of the
items at issue, i.e., the articles representing Mrs. Claus and the caroler.

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 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 articles representing Mrs. Claus and the caroler 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 usually the more difficult to satisfy. Consequently, these two animated display figures are classifiable as festive articles in heading 9505.

The angel figure was correctly classified under heading 9505; however, classification in subheading 9505.90.60, HTSUSA, was incorrect, because this provision covers festive articles other than articles for Christmas festivities. This angel is an article associated with Christmas and Christmas festivities and is classified in item 9505.10.5000 with the other animated display figures.


Animated display figures which depict human beings associated with Christmas, in this case Mrs. Claus and the caroler, as well as those representing non-human figures associated with Christmas, in this case the angel, 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 a rate of 5.8 percent ad valorem.

HRL 083835 of June 9, 1989 is modified accordingly.


John Durant, Director

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