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HQ 950695

July 21, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950695 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.2000, 9502.99.3000

Mr. Daniel Rainer
Director, International Trade Affairs
Hasbro, Inc.
32 W. 23rd St.
New York, NY 10010

RE: "Little Lullabye" Cabbage Patch Kids Doll; Cabbage Patch Kids Musical Mechanism; Heading 9502, HTSUSA; Stuffed Doll; Stuffed Doll Accessory

Dear Mr. Rainer:

This is in response to your letter of October 21, 1991 submitted on behalf of Hasbro, Inc. Your inquiry requests the proper classification of a Cabbage Patch Kids doll called "Little Lullabye," item number 30900, and a Cabbage Patch Kids musical mechanism under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). You submitted a sample with your request for a binding ruling.


The "Little Lullabye" Cabbage Patch Kids doll measures approximately twelve inches in height. Its head is made of soft vinyl. The doll's body, including the arms and legs, is made of fabric stuffed with traditional stuffing material. A zipper compartment, located in the lower back portion of the doll, is designed to incorporate a Cabbage Patch Kids musical mechanism which will be sold with the doll. The Cabbage Patch Kids musical unit measures approximately four inches in length and two inches in width. It operates by pressing a button which activates the musical lullaby.

You state that the importer intends to import the doll and musical mechanism separately from China. However, in a telephone conversation, Ms. Cormier, of Hasbro, explained it was possible that in some instances both articles could be imported in the same container on the same vessel. For the purposes of this ruling we will address the general expectation of the importers that the articles will be imported separately. In any event, both the doll and musical unit will be packaged together once in the U.S. The musical mechanism will not be sold inside the doll
but rather will be separate from the doll within the same retail package. Thus, you contend that the article is designed to allow the user either to play with the musical unit itself as a toy, or to place it inside the doll to play with the musical unit and doll together.


Whether the "Little Lullabye" Cabbage Patch Kids doll is classifiable as a stuffed or non-stuffed doll and whether the musical mechanism is classifiable as a part or accessory of the doll, or rather as an individual component provided for in its own appropriate HTSUSA heading.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. The majority of imported 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. The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

The subject article is classifiable by applying GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the applicable heading. Heading 9502, which provides for dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof, is further divided into various subheadings.

Classification of doll

Any doll classified in subheading 9502.10.2000 as "stuffed" is entitled to duty-free treatment by virtue of subheading 9902.95.01, which suspends the duty on stuffed dolls until December 31, 1992. Ordinarily, any doll determined to be "other than stuffed" would be classified in subheading 9502.10.40, if not over 33 cm in height, subheading 9502.10.60, if capable of electromechanical movement of body parts, or subheading 9502.10.80, if not provided for by the foregoing provisions. These three provisions carry a duty rate of 12 percent ad valorem. Dolls classified within these latter three provisions also could be entered free of duty under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA), or the United States - Israel Free Trade Agreement, if applicable regulatory requirements are met.

Accordingly, Customs must utilize criteria which provide a viable distinction between stuffed and non-stuffed dolls. The problem in determining whether or not dolls are stuffed arises primarily in two instances: (1) when the dolls have a stuffed torso, but also have porcelain harnesses (or harnesses constructed of any "hard" material) which are attached to the head and neck and extend downward to cover a portion of the upper torso, and (2) when the dolls have internal mechanisms (musical devices, etc.), or non-traditional stuffing material items, included in the torso. In some instances, a combination of (1) and (2) will occur.

Over the past several years, Customs has consulted with various importers regarding the definition of stuffed dolls. Due to the complexities involved in resolving this issue, approximately nine (9) months ago Customs concluded it would publish a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on the definition of stuffed dolls. Shortly thereafter, an amendment to HR 1705, a bill to extend for three (3) years the existing suspension of duty on stuffed dolls and to define stuffed dolls, was proposed in Congress. At a House Ways and Means Committee meeting, Customs testified that it concurred with the opinion held by various doll importers, that the current "tests" (e.g., definitions of "stuffed") were applied very subjectively and, thus, created a number of administrative problems for both Customs and the importers. The Committee requested that Customs consult with the various entities involved in this matter to resolve this issue and reach a consensus definition. Subsequent discussions and meetings with representatives of the trade, other Government agencies and Congressional members and their staffs led to the evolution of a "stuffed doll" definition, as applied by the trade. This definition, which Customs adopted in Headquarters Ruling Letter 086264 (issued June 22, 1992) and in Customs Service Decision 92- 28, provides that a doll will be classified as "stuffed" if:

(a) the torso (which in this use means the body of the doll from the bottom of the neck to the groin) is, in whole or in part, manufactured to contain either:

(i) traditional stuffing material, which includes natural or synthetic textile materials,
(ii) filling material, which includes pellets, beans, or crushed nutshells, or
(iii) any combination of the stuffing or filling material referred to in (i) and (ii);

(b) any insert in the doll, which may include a mechanism, voice unit, sound device, head stabilizer, music box, battery pack, or similar device, or compartment in which a person's hand can be placed, is covered by the stuffing of filling material referred to in (a) on at least 3 of the 4 sides of the torso;

(c) at least a portion of the skin of the torso is constructed of soft or pliable material or fabric; and

(d) any hard-surface harness, chestplate, or backplate making up or over a portion of the body of the doll does not extend below half of the distance from the bottom of the neck to the bottom of the groin.

Examination of the sample submitted to this office and application of the above definition indicates that the doll is classifiable as a stuffed doll in subheading 9502.10.2000. The entire torso of the doll is stuffed to distention with traditional stuffing material and its skin is covered, in part, with soft fabric. Additionally, the compartment which incorporates the musical mechanism is completely covered by traditional stuffing material.

Classification of musical mechanism

The EN's to heading 9502 provide, in pertinent part, that parts and accessories of dolls include: heads, bodies, limbs, eyes, moving mechanisms for eyes, voice-producing or other mechanisms, wigs, dolls' clothing and hats. Since the musical mechanism may be considered a "voice-producing or other mechanism," we must consider whether the mechanism is a part or accessory.

Originally, for an article to be classified as a part of another article, that article must have been "something necessary to the completion of that article...[and] an integral, constituent, or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined, could not function as such article." United States v. Willoughby Camera Stores, Inc., 21 CCPA 322, 324, T.D. 46, 51 (1933), cert. denied, 292 U.S. 640 (1934); United States v. Antonio Pompeo, 43 CCPA 9, 11, C.A.D. 602 (1955). This rule has been somewhat modified so that a device may be considered a part of an article even though the device is not necessary to the operation of the article, provided that once the device is installed, the article cannot function properly without it. Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 90-22 (Ct. Int'l Trade, decided March 13, 1990).

In this case, the stuffed doll can function properly without the musical mechanism. This is true even after the musical mechanism is placed in the doll. Thus, the musical mechanism does not fit the criteria describing a part. Alternatively, the musical mechanism may be considered an accessory.

Since there is no legal definition provided in the HTSUSA for an "accessory," we must use other sources to define the term. An accessory is defined as, "a thing of secondary importance; an object or device not essential in itself but adding to the... convenience or effectiveness of something else." See Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary 49 (1990). See also Auto- Ordinance Corp. v. U.S., 822 F.2d 1566 (Fed. Cir. 1987), citing, U.S. v. Liebert, 59 CCPA 43, C.A.D. 1035, 450 F.2d 1405 (1971). Among other things, accessories may widen the range of uses of the main article. The musical mechanism, although not essential in itself, adds to the effectiveness and widens the range of use of the doll. Additionally, the musical mechanism, by its particular shape and size, conveniently fits in the zipper compartment in the back of the doll. We also reiterate that it is sold within the same retail package as the doll. Thus, because the musical mechanism appears to be principally used with the stuffed doll, it may be considered an accessory.

In this regard, Note 3 to Chapter 95 provides that parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles. Since the doll is classifiable in heading 9502, the musical mechanism is classifiable as an accessory to the doll in subheading 9502.99.3000.


The "Little Lullabye" Cabbage Patch Kids doll is classifiable in subheading 9502.10.2000, HTSUSA, as "[d]olls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: Dolls, whether or not dressed: Stuffed." The general column one rate of duty is 12 percent ad valorem. However, any duty on the article is temporarily suspended under subheading 9902.95.01, HTSUSA, until December 31, 1992.

The Cabbage Patch Kids musical mechanism, when imported separately from the doll, is classifiable in subheading 9502.99.3000, HTSUSA, as "[d]olls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: Parts and accessories: Other: Other." The general column one rate of duty is 12 percent ad valorem.

John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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