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HQ 951457

September 15, 1992
CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951457 STB


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.4000

Mr. Bruce A. Bell
W.N. Proctor Company, Inc.
115 Broad Street
P.O. Box 192
Boston, Massachusetts 02101

RE: "Bungee Jumper"

Dear Mr. Bell:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of March 30, 1992, concerning the tariff classification of an item marketed as "Bungee Jumper" to be imported from China. A sample was submitted with your inquiry.


The "Bungee Jumper", item number 618, consists of a plastic figure of a human being attached to an expansion cord. The cord is attached to a suction cup. The packaging makes much of the fact that the human figure is "bendable" and states that the consumer may do the following to the figure; "Pose, Bend, Twist, and Bounce'em." This particular figure is constructed so that he is wearing bandages over much of his body. The importer also markets two other figures that are attached to the same type of cord but do not appear to have any bandages or other signs of injury. The packaging of this sample directs the consumer to "collect them all." Each "Bungee Jumper" is sold separately. As illustrated by the instructions on the package, the item is intended to replicate, on a miniature scale by use of the figure, the currently popular sport of bungee jumping.


Whether the "Bungee Jumper" should be classified as a doll or as an "other toy?"


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. 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 competing provisions in this instance are heading 9502, HTSUSA, the provision for dolls and heading 9503, HTSUSA, the provision for "other toys."

Heading 9502, HTSUSA, provides for "[D]olls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof." EN 95.02 states that "[T]he heading includes not only dolls designed for the amusement of children, but also dolls intended for decorative purposes (e.g., boudoir dolls, mascot dolls), or for use in Punch and Judy or marionette shows, or those of the caricature type." The EN further states that dolls "may be jointed and contain mechanisms which permit limb, head or eye movements as well as reproductions of the human voice, etc...."

The EN's to Chapter 95, at p. 1585, which explain the general scope of the chapter (including heading 9502 as well as heading 9503), provide that "This Chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults...."

A common point of agreement among all the judicial decisions is that the scope of the term "doll" is extremely broad. In Dan- Dee Imports, Inc. v. United States, 7 CIT 241, 246 (1984), the court stated that "perhaps because the variety of merchandise within the common meaning of doll is so vast, the courts have not been able to render a comprehensive definition of, nor all- embracing finding as to what is, a doll." In Hasbro Industries, Inc. v. United States, 703 F. Supp. 941, 945, 12 CIT 983, 988 (1988), the court stated that a broad scope has been given to this term "almost without exception."

It is our determination that the "Bungee Jumper" can be classified according to GRI 1 as a doll. The three figures are clearly representative of human beings. The capability of these figures to be positioned into different poses is further evidence of their status as dolls. See, C.S.D. 84-32, January 26, 1983, concerning the classification of G.I. Joe figures.

You contend that the sample figure lacks sufficient individual identity to be considered a doll and you cite Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 064721, issued under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). We disagree. We note that HRL 064721 indicates that an individual identity, or lack thereof, is only one factor to consider in the doll versus toy determination and is not necessarily a deciding factor. The ruling also states that toy animate objects normally do not have names "but in general, belong to a broad class of action figures such as cowboys, soldiers, construction workers, indians, etc." The "Bungee Jumper", of which there are only three different and very distinguishable figures in the line to be imported, have sufficient identity to be classified as dolls. They are clearly distinguishable from toy soldiers (specifically included as other toys by the EN's) and cowboys and indians all of which are often sold by the score with many figures sharing the same unmovable poses with the other figures with which they are imported and sold. The facial features of these types of figures, if they are recognizable at all, are normally identical to one another. Other items that have been classified as dolls by Customs are the "Moonies" and a doll known as "Little Talking Farmer." Although these dolls are not marketed with what we would normally consider "names", they are considered to have enough of an identity, especially when considered with their other doll qualities, to be classified as dolls.

You also contend that the cord sold with the figure makes the "Bungee Jumper" "more than a doll." We note, however, that dolls are frequently imported and sold in their retail packages with rather elaborate environments; this does not change the basic character of the doll. Additionally, dolls designed for use in marionette shows, specifically included in the doll provision by the EN's, require the use of wires and strings to perform their intended functions. Similarly, the cord is needed to allow the subject doll to be displayed and/or manipulated as a bungee jumper. Customs has also classified as dolls a series of figures which are sold with suction cups to allow display of the figures on automobile windows.


The figure known and marketed as "Bungee Jumper", item no. 618, is classified in subheading 9502.10.4000, HTSUSA, the provision for dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof, other, not over 33 centimeters (cm) in height. The applicable general rate of duty is 12 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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