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HQ 087717

September 28, 1990
CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087717 SLR


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.5000

Ms. Kathy Frank
Flower City
1695 N. Highway 169
Plymouth, MN 55441

RE: Revocation of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 842242; Animated Display Figures

Dear Ms. Frank:

On June 23, 1989, our New York office, in NYRL 842242, classified certain animated display figures as dolls in subheading 9502.10.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have found that ruling to be in error.


These animated display figures depict human beings. The figures are style #86130, "Mrs. Santa," style #88700, "Caroler Girl," style #CHCB30, "Mr. Santa," style #88150, "Caroler Boy," and style #88140, "Caroler Girl." Each figure is 24 inches tall and functions on an electrical plug-in system.


Whether the subject animated display figures 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 are primarily decorative. 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.

In accordance with the above, NYRL 842242 of June 23, 1989 is revoked.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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