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HQ 087893

September 15, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 087893 STB


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.4000, 9503.70.8000

Ms. Becky Green
Senior Account Executive
M-B Sales
916 Harger Road, Suite 200
Oak Brook, IL 60521

RE: Modification of NYRL 844348 concerning Peanuts Farm Sets

Dear Ms. Green:

On August 22, 1989, our New York office, in New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 844348, classified various Peanuts character farm sets in subheading 9503.70.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have since reviewed this classification and have found it to be partially in error.


On August 9, 1989, your company requested a classification ruling letter regarding the following merchandise:

1. Snoopy with Cart and Hay Bale-(1) Snoopy, approximately 2 1/2 inches tall, (2) a cart designed to be "pulled" by the figure, and (3) a hay bale which rests on the cart.

2. Charlie Brown with Tiller and Seed Bag - (1) Charlie Brown, approximately 2 1/2 inches tall, (2) a tiller designed to be "pushed", and (3) the seed bag worn over the figure's shoulder.

3. Lucy with Wheelbarrow and Apple Basket - (1) Lucy, approximately 2 1/2 inches tall, (2) a wheelbarrow designed to be "pushed" by the figure, and (3) a basket of apples to be placed in the wheelbarrow.

4. Linus with Hand Cart and Milk Can - (1) Linus, approximately 2 1/2 inches tall, (2) a cart designed to be "pushed" by the figure, and (3) a milk can which rests on the milk cart.

All of the figures depict Peanuts cartoon characters and are made of roto-cast polyvinyl chloride. The farm implements are packaged and imported with a particular figure, specially fitted to be "held" in the molded grip of the figures' hands, and are interchangeable among the figures. The loose items are also interchangeable to a degree. In sum, the groups are marketed and promoted as a collection, but each is sold separately and as imported constitutes a complete product in and of itself.

The goods were classified in NYRL 844348 as other toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof, under subheading 9503.70.8000, HTSUSA.


What is the proper classification of the subject Peanuts Farm Sets?


Classification under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 3(b) determines classification of items in a set put up for retail sale. The rule states in pertinent part:

[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.

The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, state in Note X to Rule 3(b) that the phrase "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...

In the case of the instant merchandise, there are three human figures and one non-human figure (Snoopy) packaged and sold with the plastic farm items.

First, we will discuss the merchandise that includes the human figures. This merchandise satisfies the above criteria of a set for the following reasons:

(1) The human Peanuts figures and the items sold with them are classifiable under different headings. The human figures are properly classifiable under Heading 9502, HTSUSA, as "dolls representing only human beings." The items included with the figures are clearly not classifiable as dolls.

(2) In the instant case, the items are packaged together to provide dolls with the accessories necessary to allow the ultimate user to engage in a specific activity, i.e., to pretend that the dolls are pushing or pulling the various farm implements loaded with the accompanying items.

(3) The items are packaged together in a manner suitable for sale without the need for repacking.

The instant merchandise thus meets all the requirements of a set. Once the existence of a set is established, GRI 3(b) indicates that the goods are to be classified according to the material or component which gives them their essential character. Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) provides the following guidance for determining essential character:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

In each of the three sets under discussion, the doll provides the essential character. The doll is the central item used in conjunction with all the other items. The sets are formed and marketed around the Peanuts dolls; it is these dolls that represent the "draw" that spurs the purchase of the goods, and will likely be the center of attention to the anticipated child (or any other) user. These facts are further demonstrated in the packaging of the sets themselves; the one word that is immediately apparent to someone looking at the package is the word "Peanuts."

The dolls in these sets are not stuffed, and are thus properly classifiable in subheading 9502.10.4000, HTSUSA. As explained in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086633, dated September 18, 1990, the same classification result occurs when these items are classified on the basis that this merchandise
consists of dolls with accessories; accessories are specifically included by the language of Heading 9502, HTSUSA.

The Snoopy figure and accompanying items

The proper classification of the items entitled "Snoopy with Cart and Hay Bale" remains as set out in NYRL 844348, i.e., under subheading 9503.70.8000, HTSUSA, the provision for other toys, put up in sets or outfits. This classification is accomplished in accordance with GRI 1 since this merchandise is specifically provided for in the HTSUSA.


The merchandise that includes dolls representing human figures, i.e., Charlie Brown with Tiller and Seed Bag, Lucy with Wheelbarrow and Apple Basket, and Linus with Hand Cart and Milk Can, are classified under subheading 9502.10.4000, HTSUSA, as dolls representing human beings, whether or not dressed, not over 33 cm in height. The applicable rate of duty is 12 percent ad valorem. The merchandise entitled "Snoopy with Cart and Hay Bale" is classified under subheading 9503.70.8000, HTSUSA, the provision for other toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof, other, other. The applicable duty rate is 6.8% ad valorem.

Pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d), NYRL 844348 of August 22, 1989, (copy enclosed) is hereby modified. This modification is not to be applied retroactively to NYRL 844348 (19 CFR 177.9 (d) (2) (1989)) and will not, therefore, affect the transaction for the importation of your merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, NYRL 844348 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importation arriving at a port subsequent to the release of HRL 087893 will be classified under the new ruling. If such a situation arises, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of the new ruling as may be dictated by the circumstances.


John Durant, Director

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