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NY 865671

August 22, 1991

CLA-2-95:S:N:N3D:225 865671


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.2000, 9902.95.01

Mr. Alan J. Panzer, Esq.
300 Winston Drive
Cliffside Park, New Jersey 07010

RE: The tariff classification of an unfinished stuffed doll from China

Dear Mr. Panzer:

In your letter dated July 29, 1991, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Catco, Inc.

Submitted with your inquiry are photographs and a sample of the "StuffinPuffs" doll. The "StuffinPuffs" series is based on the well known "Cabbage Patch Kids" doll collection. The "StuffinPuffs" are made of a printed fabric that is comprised of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. The character measures approximately 20 inches in height (stuffed). The printed features of the character appear on the front and back of the doll. These features include a head, arms, torso and legs. Drawstrings are located just below the head and torso areas. The drawstrings are intended to be pulled and tied, after the article is stuffed, thus adding a more pronounced shape to the figure. A zipper is located at the bottom of the character to allow insertion and removal of the stuffing material. One of the marketing features of the "StuffinPuffs" is that the stuffing may be removed by the consumer, permitting the outer fabric to be machine laundered, and the stuffing returned to a cleaned doll.

You indicate in your letter that the "StuffinPuffs" will be stuffed with poly-rolled fiber material subsequent to importation by Catco Inc. Following this process the drawstrings will be pulled and tied. The "StuffinPuffs" will then be placed in its retail packaging which consists of a cardboard box with cellophane window.

We emphasize that the conclusions expressed in this ruling are based, among other things, on your assurance that the client importer in every instance will stuff the imported merchandise fully and to distention with poly-rolled fiber or other acceptable filler material upon importation and prior to distribution to retail outlets.

This office finds that the "StuffinPuffs Cabbage Patch Kids" series are representations of human beings and therefore classifiable in heading 9502 as dolls. Classification is based upon the condition of the article at or immediately prior to the time of importation. In this case the doll is imported unstuffed and lacking its final shape. GRI 2(a) is the applicable rule pertaining to the instant case which states:

"any reference in a heading to an article shall be taken to include a reference to that article incomplete or unfinished, provided that, as entered, the incomplete or unfinished article has the essential character of the complete or finished article."

This office believes that the "StuffinPuffs", at time of importation, possess the essential character of the completed article. Therefore, the "StuffinPuffs - Cabbage Patch Kids" series, imported incomplete or unfinished would be classified in the same subheading as the complete article, by virtue of GRI 2(a), HTSUS.

Additionally, you request written confirmation that this ruling may be applicable for various other editions in the "StuffinPuffs - Cabbage Patch Kids" series. Specifically covering male and female characters of different ethnic backgrounds. Alterations in skin tone or sex would not change the classification of the article as a doll. Therefore, provided that all other aspects of the doll's description remain as herein stated, this ruling will be applicable. Your sample is being returned under separate cover as requested.

The applicable subheading for the "StuffinPuffs - Cabbage Patch Kids" series will be 9502.10.2000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for dolls representing only human beings: whether or not dressed: stuffed. The duty rate will be 12 percent ad valorem.

Merchandise classifiable in HTS subheading 9502.10.2000, will be eligible for duty free consideration under HTS subheading 9902.95.01, if imported on or before December 31, 1992.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire

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