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HQ 088415

February 10, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 088415 STB


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.4500, 6601.99.00, 4202.22.1500, 4202.32.2000, 4820.10.2010, 4820.10.2020, 9004.10.0000, 9609.10.0000, 9503.90.6000, 9615.11.3000, 9603.29.4000, 9502.10.4000

Mr. Kenneth R. Paley
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. Sixty-Seven Broad Street
New York, N.Y. 10004

RE: Request for Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 852224 concerning the tariff classification of merchandise marketed as "L'il Hands Rainbow Purse", the "LoveLines Rainy Day Set", and the "LoveLines Ten Piece Deluxe Set."

Dear Mr. Paley:

This letter is in response to your request for a reconsideration of NYRL 852224, dated May 31, 1990, regarding the tariff classification of various merchandise imported by your client, Wholesale Supply Company, Inc. Samples were submitted with your request.


The articles in question are sets of different products that are imported in their retail packages. The L'il Hands Rainbow Purse is a group of items packaged together for young girls aged 3 and over. It contains a hard plastic "purse" container, a plastic comb, a plastic mirror, a pair of plastic sunglasses, a tube of plastic play lipstick, and a 3-inch doll. The inside of the "purse" has special fittings to hold the comb, mirror, lipstick, and sunglasses, while the exterior of the "purse" features a small compartment, covered by a hinged door, into which the doll may be placed.

The LoveLines Rainy Day Set, which is also marketed for girls of ages 3 and up, consists of a vinyl tote bag and a vinyl umbrella which are coordinated in both color and design. The umbrella is constructed with a metal frame, a plastic handle, and protective plastic coverings around its base and the ends of its ribs. It opens to a diameter of 25 inches. The tote bag
measures approximately 9-1/2 inches by 15 inches, has a textile lining, and features two carrying straps, an external pocket with snap closure, and a specially shaped sleeve which holds the matching umbrella when it is not in use. It is designed to be worn on the shoulder, as illustrated on the front of the box.

The LoveLines Ten Piece Deluxe Set includes a PVC shoulder bag, a plastic comb, a plastic brush, a plastic mirror, a pair of plastic sunglasses, an address book, a pencil pouch, a memo pad, and two pencils. The shoulder bag can hold all the other articles in the set simultaneously. Other than the two pencils and the memo pad, all the articles in the set are colored the same shade of pink and, except for the pair of sunglasses, are decorated with white dots.


What is the proper classification of this merchandise?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may then be applied.

The Li'l Hands Rainbow Purse

In this instance, the merchandise consists of several items packaged together for retail sale and thus may constitute a set. With particular regard to the classification of items put up in sets for retail sale, GRI 3(b) provides in part that:

[G]oods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

In order to classify the subject merchandise, it must first be determined if the goods constitute a set, then, if so, which component imparts the essential character to the set. As to the preliminary issue, the Explanatory Notes (EN's), which constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, state in Note X to Rule 3(b) that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings...;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking....

We find that the items packaged together in this instance fail to satisfy the above criteria of a set. Although criteria (a) and (c) are satisfied, criteria (b) is not. The doll does not have the requisite relationship with the other items sold with it, i.e., all the items cannot be said to be put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity. Playing with dolls is one activity and dressing up as an adult, for which the other items are designed, is another, very different activity. You contend that the requisite relationship is present in that the doll serves as a make-believe daughter to the dressed-up, make-believe mother. It is our determination, however, that this theory of one possible use of the merchandise does not establish the necessary interrelationship of the items. In prior Customs rulings in which merchandise including a doll has been classified as a set, the other items have been items that were designed for use with the doll itself, for example, doll combs, doll cribs, etc. Such determinations are certain not to conflict with the obvious intent of the GRI's, which is to require an interdependent relationship between the items of a set. Since a set does not exist in this instance, these items must be classified on an individual basis.

The LoveLines Rainy Day Merchandise

In this instance, since the umbrella and tote bag are classifiable in different headings, we again refer to GRI 3(b) and the relevant explanatory notes, set out supra. It is our
determination that the tote bag and umbrella do not constitute a set or composite good. The purpose of the umbrella is to protect the individual from rain; the purpose of the tote bag is to carry books or other items and also, perhaps, to protect those items from the rain. The umbrella and tote bag thus perform diverse functions and are not geared to a "particular need" or a "specific activity."

We refer also to Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084045, dated July 21, 1989. In that ruling we determined that a tote bag and pair of sunglasses did not constitute a composite good even though a transparent sunglasses case, which held the sunglasses, was attached to the tote bag. Demonstrating an even closer connection between the two items in that case is the fact that the sunglasses, when carried in the case, were attached to the tote bag so as to give the appearance that an elephant, depicted on the bag, was wearing the sunglasses.

The tote bag and umbrella, therefore, must be classified separately. The pocket that holds the umbrella, however, will be classified as a component part of the tote bag as was the sunglasses case in HRL 084045. The classification for these two items will remain the same as in NYRL 852224. It is important to note here that these items, although designed for use by children, are not marketed as toys, and do not show any indication that they are to be used as toys unlike the L'il Hands Rainbow Purse, discussed supra.

LoveLines Ten Piece Deluxe Set

The primary issues regarding this merchandise are (1) whether these items constitute a set, and (2) whether, if a set is formed, it will be classified in heading 9503, HTSUSA, as a toy set, or as some other type of set.

We find that these items do not constitute a set. This merchandise includes a wide variety of items with varying and disparate purposes; there is no one particular need or specific activity represented by this collection of articles as required by Explanatory Note X(b) to GRI 3(b). We disagree with your contention that this merchandise, if not considered a toy set, should be classified as a handbag and accessory set. In support of your argument, you cite HRL 081304, dated December 23, 1988, and HRL 081265, dated April 24, 1989. Those rulings can be differentiated from the case at hand, however, in that the items that were classified with the bags as accessories in those prior rulings were the typical accessories that one might expect to be sold with a hand bag or sports bag, i.e., coin purses, cosmetic purses, key cases, etc. They were all items related to the use
of a hand or sports bag, and the singular purpose of helping the user to carry various items. The items that accompany the subject handbag, however, i.e., pencils, sunglasses, brush, comb, etc., for the most part have no real relationship to the handbag other than the fact that they might be carried therein.

It is also our determination that these items are not toys. They are functional, relatively sturdy items. They do not appear to be marketed as toys. The Explanatory Notes to Chapter 95 state that collections of articles, the individual items of which, if presented separately would be classified elsewhere, are classifiable as toys when put up in a form clearly indicating their use as toys. We have considered your arguments but we do not agree that the packaging of this merchandise clearly indicates its use as toys. Therefore, these items are not classifiable individually as toys or as a toy set.


The merchandise marketed as the "Li'l Hands Rainbow Purse" (Item 2980MAX) is classified as set out below:

ITEM Subheading, HTSUSA Rate of Duty
purse/doll house 9503.90.6000 6.8% ad valorem play lipstick 9503.90.6000 6.8% ad valorem mirror 9503.90.6000 6.8% ad valorem doll 9502.10.4000 12% ad valorem sunglasses 9004.10.0000 7.2% ad valorem comb (assuming the 9615.11.3000 28.8 cents per gross is valued over $4.50 per plus 4.6% ad valorem gross)

The merchandise marketed as the "LoveLines Rainy Day Set" (Item 8368CTD) is classified as follows: the vinyl tote bag is classified in subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, the provision for trunks, suitcases...handbags..., other, other. The applicable duty rate is 20% ad valorem. The umbrella is classified in subheading 6601.99.0000, HTSUSA, the provision for umbrellas, other, other. The applicable duty rate is 8.2% ad valorem.

The merchandise marketed as the "LoveLines Ten Piece Deluxe Set" (Item 8338CTD) is classified as set out below.

ITEM Subheading, HTSUSA Rate of Duty

Shoulder bag 4202.22.1500 20% ad valorem pencil case 4202.32.2000 20% ad valorem
address book 4820.10.2010 4 % ad valorem memo pad 4820.10.2020 4% ad valorem sunglasses 9004.10.0000 7.2% ad valorem pencils 9609.10.0000 14 cents per gross plus 4.3% ad valorem mirror 9503.90.6000 6.8% ad valorem comb (assuming the 9615.11.3000 28.8 cents per gross comb is valued over plus 4.6% ad valorem over $4.50 per gross) brush (assuming the 9603.29.4000 0.2 cents each plus brush is valued not over 7% ad valorem.
40 cents each)

NYRL 852224, dated June 19, 1990, is hereby affirmed.


John Durant, Director

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