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HQ 087718

November 9, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087718 STB


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.5000

Mr. Paul L. Greenlee
Import Department
John A. Steer Co.
28 South Second Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

RE: Modification of HRL 084205 dated August 3, 1989; Animated Display Figures

Dear Mr. Greenlee:

On August 3, 1989, our office, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084205, 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 items at issue are the animated figures of a witch, a snowman, and a Santa Bear. In HRL 084205, the figures of the snowman and the witch were determined to be figures representing human beings and were classified as dolls in subheading 9502.10.8000, HTSUSA. The figure of the Santa Bear was determined not to be a representation of a human being and was classified as a festive article under subheading 9505.10.50, HTSUSA. The Santa Bear figure is not at issue in this modification.


Whether animated display figures depicting human beings are 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 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 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 usually more difficult to satisfy. Consequently, the instant animated display figures are classifiable as festive articles in heading 9505.


All three of the animated figures discussed in HRL 084205 are properly classifiable in subheading 9505.10.5000, HTSUSA, which provides for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, parts and accessories thereof, articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof, other, other, dutiable at 5.8 percent ad valorem. This classification represents a change for the snowman and witch figures only.

HRL 084205 of August 3, 1989, is modified accordingly.


John Durant, Director

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