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HQ 089932

August 13, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 089932 STB


Ms. Jan McLean
Heirloom Dolls
21 Moana Crescent
New Zealand

RE: Importing Cloth Stuffed Dolls

Dear Ms. McLean:

This is in reference to your letter dated July 12, 1991, requesting information concerning the importation from New Zealand of dolls with cloth stuffed bodies.

In your letter, you stated that you were given a tariff classification number "9902-9501" for dolls with cloth stuffed bodies from a U.S. buyer "who has imported those goods free of duty in the past." You stated that you would like a confirmation as to whether your dolls could actually be imported into the United States free of duty.

First, we would like to note that many issues can be involved when determining the proper classification of dolls under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). In order to provide you with a ruling stating the accurate classification and applicable duty rate, we ask that you provide U.S. Customs with samples of the merchandise that you intend to import, accompanied by any relevant written information and descriptions. To obtain a ruling, you should send a ruling request and samples, etc. to any Customs District Director or to the Area Director of Customs, New York Seaport, 6 World Trade Center, New York, N.Y. 10048. If you desire that your samples be returned to you, please include a statement to that effect in your letter.

To assist you, we will briefly discuss the factors that will arise in the classification of your merchandise.

Stuffed dolls are classifiable in subheading 9502.10.20, HTSUSA. Dolls classifiable in this subheading are entitled to duty-free entry under subheading 9902.95.01, HTSUSA. Dolls that are determined to be non-stuffed are classifiable in subheading 9502.10.40, HTSUSA, and would be subject to a duty of 12 percent
ad valorem when imported into the United States from New Zealand.

All dolls that contain some stuffing, or that you may generally think of as "stuffed dolls", will not necessarily qualify for the stuffed doll classification. First, the question must be answered as whether the item is, in fact, a doll. Heading 9502 of the tariff schedules applies to "dolls representing only human beings." Therefore, a figure which represents what is readily apparent as a non-human creature, i.e., an angel, devil, monster, etc., may not qualify for the doll classification. Customs must examine the sample to make that determination.

If the item is determined to be a doll, the next question that must be answered concerns whether or not the doll is stuffed. The torso of the doll should be fully stuffed with traditional stuffing material. It is not normally required that the head or the extremities be stuffed. However, as you are aware, many of the collectible-type dolls possess harnesses or overlays which are usually constructed of porcelain. These overlays extend from the neck, covering the shoulders of the dolls, and often extend down the torso covering a portion of the torso and sometimes forming the breasts of the dolls. Customs allows such harnesses to an extent, to allow the importers to steady the heads of the dolls and perhaps improve the appearance of the dolls. In order to retain the soft, stuffed character of the doll, Customs places certain limits on how far this harness can extend down the torso, and how much of the torso, front and back, can be enveloped by this hard material. If too much of the torso is covered by this harness, the doll may not be stuffed. Again, samples are required for examination so that Customs may arrive at an accurate determination of this issue.

To further assist you, we have enclosed a book entitled Importing into the United States. This book explains the procedures and regulations that must be followed to import into the U.S. We have also enclosed a leaflet entitled "District Rulings Program" which provides additional advice concerning what information must be included in your ruling request.


John Durant, Director

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