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HQ 089529

October 1, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 089529 STB


TARIFF NO.: 9505.90.2000

Mr. Henry Van
BJ Customs Brokerage Co.
P.O. Box 91034
Los Angeles, CA 90009-1034

RE: Weepy the Wee Wee

Dear Mr. Van:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of May 31, 1991, requesting a tariff classification of an article marketed as "Weepy the Wee Wee" to be imported from China. A sample was submitted with your request.


The sample submitted is a plastic representation of a young man standing on a base. The article is approximately 7-1/2 inches (19 centimeters) in height. The base can be filled with water by the end user of the item; pulling down the pants of the figure then causes water to squirt out from a hole in the front pelvic area.


Whether the subject item should be classified as a doll or as a practical joke article?


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.

First, we will determine whether this item can be properly classified by reference to GRI 1 as a practical joke article under heading 9505, HTSUSA, and particularly subheading 9505.90.2000, HTSUSA. If Weepy the Wee Wee (Weepy) does not qualify for classification in heading 9505, HTSUSA, then, as a full-bodied representation of a human being, it may be classified under heading 9502, HTSUSA, the provision for dolls representing only human beings.

Subheading 9505.90.2000, HTSUSA, applies to the following:

Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles; parts and accessories thereof:


Magic tricks and practical joke articles: parts and accessories thereof.

The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, provide guidance as to what types of items are to be classified in the various headings and the first six digits of subheadings of the tariff schedule. Explanatory Note 95.05(B) states that the subheading includes:

(B) Conjuring tricks and novelty jokes, e.g. packs of cards, tables, screens and containers, specially designed for the performance of conjuring tricks; novelty jokes such as sneezing powder, surprise sweets, water-jet button-holes and "Japanese flowers".

This list of examples is obviously not all-inclusive but does indicate what types of items are intended to be included within the relevant subheading.

It is our determination that the Weepy the Wee Wee figure is properly classifiable as a practical joke article. In Parksmith Corporation v. United States, 67 Cust. Ct. 405, 408, C.D. 4304 (1970), the court stated that a practical joke article is an article which causes humor by "somehow placing an individual at a disadvantage through a trick or prank." The court adopted this definition as a summary of several dictionary definitions of the term "practical joke" as well as the results of other court cases. All of the items listed in Explanatory Note 95.05(B) fit
into this definition as does Weepy the Wee Wee. It is not patently obvious that the Weepy figure has a squirting feature. The item is sold as a novelty item that will surprise and trick individuals and place them at a humorous disadvantage when the unsuspecting victim, or his/her surroundings, are squirted as a result of Weepy's pants being lowered. This item possesses the same surprise squirting ability that is present in the water-jet button-holes and "Japanese flowers" mentioned in the explanatory note, as well as the additional humorous quality associated with the source of the squirt and the action necessary to cause the squirt.


The article marketed as "Weepy the Wee Wee" is properly classified under subheading 9505.90.2000, HTSUSA, the provision for festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, other, magic tricks and practical joke articles. The applicable duty rate is 5.8% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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