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HQ 952379

January 5, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952379 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.20

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

RE: Reconsideration of HRL 089418; School Kids doll; Subheading 9502.10.20, HTSUSA; Dolls representing only human beings, stuffed; San Francisco Newspaper Printing Co.; HRL 086264; CSD 92-28.

Dear Mr. Rainer:

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 089418, issued October 2, 1991, a doll belonging to the series known as School Kids dolls was classified in subheading 9502.10.80, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as "Dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: Dolls, whether or not dressed: Other [than stuffed]: Other: Other." Pursuant to your request we have reviewed that ruling. The correct classification is as follows.


The sample doll submitted to this office measures approximately 35 centimeters (14 inches) from head to toe and the torso (neck to crotch) is approximately 5-1/2 inches long. The head is connected to the torso by a plastic shaft which extends approximately 3-3/4 inches down the torso. The torso also contains traditional stuffing material. The arms and head are constructed of plastic and are not stuffed. The legs are stuffed with traditional stuffing material. The marking on the sample indicates that the article is imported from China.


Whether the subject doll is classifiable in subheading 9502.10.20 as a stuffed doll or in subheading 9502.10.80 as a doll that is other than stuffed.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. Most 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 good 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.

Any doll classified in subheading 9502.10.20 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.

In HRL 086264, issued June 22, 1992, and in Customs Service Decision 92-28, Customs ruled that a doll would 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 9502.10.20. The torso of the doll is stuffed to distention with traditional stuffing material and its skin is covered, in part, with soft fabric. Additionally, the head stabilizer is completely covered by traditional stuffing material.

However, because HRL 089418 was a protest decision, under the precedent established in San Francisco Newspaper Printing Co. v. United States, 9 CIT 517, 620 F. Supp. 738 (1985), Customs cannot affect a change to the classification of the merchandise which was the subject of entries covered by HRL 089418. In San Francisco Newspaper, the CIT stated that:

Although [19 U.S.C.] section 1515 limits to two years the time in which Customs must grant or deny a protest, it does not authorize Customs to exercise jurisdiction over a protest after it has been denied.

The CIT also explained that once Customs mails the denial of a protest, a plaintiff has but two courses it could pursue: to abandon the protest, or to bring forth an action in the CIT.

Accordingly, the merchandise covered by entries which were the subject of HRL 089418 will remain classified according to that decision. However, for the purposes of current or future importations, and for protests not yet decided, HRL 089418 does not serve as precedent. For the reasons discussed above, such merchandise is classifiable in subheading 9502.10.20 as stuffed dolls.


The subject School Kids doll is classifiable in subheading 9502.10.20, 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, for entries made up to December 31, 1992.

The decision reached in HRL 089418 stands, but future shipments will be classified in accordance with the foregoing.


John Durant, Director

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