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HQ 952331

January 5, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952331 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.2000; 9902.95.01

Mr. Fermin Cuza
Mattel, Inc.
333 Continental Boulevard
El Segundo, California 90245-5012

RE: Reconsideration of New York Preclassification Ruling (PC) 861827; Four dolls

Dear Mr. Cuza:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of July 8, 1992, concerning the tariff classifications of dolls described as "Liliane," "Shireem," "Neblina," and "Mo-American Baby Boy" (Mo)," to be imported by Mattel, Inc. A sample of each doll was examined by the Customs National Import Specialist at your premises on February 13, 1991.


In PC 861827, dated April 11, 1991, Customs classified the dolls under subheading 9502.10.8000, HTSUSA, the provision for dolls, whether or not dressed, that are other than stuffed. The applicable duty rate for that subheading is 12 percent ad valorem. We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be partially in error.

The first three dolls, Liliane, Shireem, and Neblina, are of the "China-head" type, i.e., with porcelain heads and porcelain extremities, including porcelain segments of the lower arms and legs that lead to the extremities. The head of each doll is attached to a porcelain harness or chest plate which overlays a portion of the torso, extending down both the back and front to a -2-
length not exceeding half the distance from the bottom of the neck to the groin. Each of the three torsos is filled with traditional stuffing material.

The fourth doll, Mo, has a porcelain head and neck which, instead of attaching to a porcelain harness, directly connect to the torso. This torso is filled with a stuffing material comprised of plastic pellets.


Whether the dolls should be classified as stuffed, or as other than stuffed.


Classification under the 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 proper heading in this case is clear, i.e., heading 9502 for dolls. The subheadings at issue differentiate between stuffed dolls and those that are not stuffed. Therefore, only reference to GRI 1 is necessary here, as a determination of what constitutes a stuffed doll is dispositive of the issue. The definition of "stuffed doll," for tariff purposes, is set out in Customs Service Decision (CSD) 92-28, dated July 8, 1992. This definition states that a doll is "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, -3-

(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 or 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.

It is our determination that each of the dolls is classified in subheading 9502.10.2000, HTSUSA, the provision for stuffed dolls. The torso of each doll is stuffed with either traditional stuffing material or, in the case of the Mo doll, with acceptable filling material consisting of plastic pellets. Each torso is covered in a skin of soft fabric. The chestplates and backplates of the Liliane, Shireem, and Neblina dolls extend to considerably less than "half of the distance from the bottom of the neck to the bottom of the groin."


The dolls at issue, marketed as "Liliane," Shireem," Neblina," and "Mo-American Baby Boy," are properly classified under subheading 9502.10.2000, HTSUSA, the provision for dolls representing human beings and parts and accessories thereof, dolls, whether or not dressed, stuffed. The duty on entries of this merchandise made on or prior to December 31, 1992, is temporarily suspended under subheading 9902.95.01, HTSUSA. For merchandise entered after that date, the general column one duty rate of 12 percent ad valorem will apply.

NY PC 861827, dated April 11, 1991, is hereby modified.


John Durant, Director

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