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HQ 950354

January 29, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950354


TARIFF NO.: 9603.10.40

District Director of Customs
O'Neil Federal Building
10 Causeway Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02222-1052

RE: Internal Advice Request 49/91 Regarding the Classification of a Broom Made of Broom Corn With a Handle

Dear Mr. Linde:

This request for internal advice was initiated by the law firm of Sullivan and Lynch, P.C., on behalf of Come Play Products Co., concerns the classification of a corn broom with a handle. The request was forwarded to our office for final determination.


The article under consideration consists of broom corn bound together and attached to a handle approximately 18 1/2 inches in length. The article, which has an overall length of approximately 27 inches has the appearance of a small broom. Your office has classified the article as a broom under subheading 9603.10.40, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Counsel states that the article is imported by a toy company and is intended to be used as a toy and is classifiable under subheading 9503.90.60, HTSUSA. The entry covering this merchandise was liquidated, at the request of the Customs broker, on October 18, 1991, under subheading 9603.10.40, HTSUSA. That liquidation has been protested under protest number 0401-91-100700, which was filed on October 24, 1991, is presently pending in your district. A sample of the article was submitted with the internal advice request.


Is the article under consideration a broom or a toy?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require the remaining GRI's are applied taken in order.

The merchandise under consideration was initially entered under subheading 9603.10.50, HTSUSA, under the provision for "other brooms, wholly or in part of broom corn, other". The entry was accepted as entered because it was initially felt that the quantitative limitations of subheading 9603.10.40, HTSUSA, were filled. Subsequent thereto it was determined that there was sufficient quota available to classify the merchandise under the last noted subheading. In order to take advantage of such fact and to receive a partial refund of duties paid, the broker requested that the entry covering the merchandise be liquidated. The entry was liquidated and most of the duties paid were refunded. The importer protested such liquidation claiming that the brooms were classifiable under subheading 9503.90.6000, HTSUSA, as "other toys". The importer noted that the brooms were imported by a toy company and were being sold to the toy departments of variety stores for resale purposes. The protest reiterated claims and arguments previously put forth in Internal Advice Request 49/91 which is the subject of this ruling.

We have considered the arguments put forth by counsel and the broker in support of classification of the merchandise under subheading 9503.90.6000, HTSUSA. Since Heading 9503 is generally regarded as a use provision, we referred to provision 1(a) of the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation which states:

In the absence of special language or content which otherwise requires--

(a) A tariff classification controlled by use (other thanactual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use;

While counsel claims that the instant article is a toy we note that the article has no intrinsic amusing value which is the normal purpose of toys.

The instant article is clearly a functional well made broom. The fact that it has a short handle does not alter this fact and the fact that it can be used as a broom. We note, in fact, that subheading 9603.10, HTSUSA, specifically provides that brooms of vegetable matter are classifiable thereunder regardless of whether or not they have handles. We have observed brooms of this nature being used on a daily basis in conjunction with a dustpan to keep areas clean of small trash items such a cigarette butts and chewing gum wrappers. We have ascertained that brooms with short handles are regular stock items of janitorial supply companies.

The imported article is clearly used as as a broom. This use is not altered by the nature of the importer. If we were to follow counsel's suggestion, the article, if imported by his client, would be a toy, but the same article, if imported by a janitorial supply company, would be a broom. This incongruity would not be proper. We do not believe that Headquarters Rulings Letters 082974 and 083279, referenced by counsel, which deal with certain toy sets where one or more the components thereof have some functional capacity is pertinent to the issue. This article is not part of a set and it is clearly a functional item as used commercially.


Based on the foregoing analysis, we conclude that the imported article is a broom is properly classifiable under subheading 9603.10.40, HTSUSA, and subject to a general rate of duty of 8 per cent ad valorem, if the entered quantity is within the quantitative limitations thereof. If the imported quantity is not within the quantitative limitations of the aforementioned subheading, the imported article is properly classifiable under - 4 -
subheading 9603.10.50, HTSUSA, and subject to a general rate of duty of 32? each.

Protest 0401-91-100700 should be processed in accordance with the above finding.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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