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HQ 952413

February 17, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952413 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.6000

Mr. Jerrold E. Anderson
Katten, Muchin & Zavis
525 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, Illinois 60661-3693

RE: "Rub 'N' Draw templates;" Not Drawing Instruments

Dear Mr. Anderson:

This letter is in further response to your inquiry of July 9, 1992, on behalf of your client, concerning the tariff classification of four separate articles identified as "Balance Builders," an "Animation Wheel," a "Rainbow Viewer," and "Rub 'N' Draw templates," to be imported from China by M-B Sales. In New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 876199 you were notified as to the classification of the first three articles. Your inquiry and a sample of the "Rub 'N' Draw templates" were forwarded to this office for a response.


The articles at issue are six flat pieces of hard plastic, each measuring approximately 3 inches by 2 inches, and having various raised designs (of animals, scenery, celestial bodies, musical instruments, etc.) on their tops and bottoms. Whether joined together or placed individually on a hard surface, the "templates" are used by placing paper over them, then coloring the paper with a pencil or crayon in a random hand motion to produce a picture or design.


Whether the plastic articles should be classified in heading 9017, HTSUSA, the provision for drawing instruments; or in heading 9503, HTSUSA, the provision for other toys. -2-


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.

It is apparent that these articles will be classified according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule. Heading 9017, HTSUSA, provides for "[d]rawing, marking-out or mathematical calculating instruments (for example, drafting machines, pantographs, protractors, drawing sets, slide rules, disc calculators); instruments for measuring length, for use in the hand (for example, measuring rods and tapes, micrometers, calipers), not specified or included elsewhere in this chapter; parts and accessories thereof...."

The EN to heading 9017 indicates that, among other instruments, the heading covers drawing instruments. In addition to drawing instruments such as pantographs and eidographs, drafting machines, drawing compasses, rulers, drawing curves, various squares (set, adjustable, and "T" types), and protractors, the specific language of the EN states that heading 9017 covers "[s]tencils of a kind clearly identifiable as being specialised as drawing instruments." (emphasis in original)

It is clear that the only kind of stencils classifiable in heading 9017 are those which are specialized as drawing instruments. The words "stencil" and "template" have somewhat similar definitions. The American College Dictionary (1970), defines "stencil" as "a thin sheet of cardboard or metal cut through in such a way as to reproduce a design or ornament when color is rubbed through it." "Template" or "templet" is defined as "a pattern, mold, or the like, usually consisting of a thin plate of wood or metal, serving as a gauge or guide in mechanical work."

While we do not believe that the "Rub 'N' Draw templates" precisely fit the definition of template, we do find these articles to be similar to the essential character component of a "Stencils and Pencils" set we classified as a toy (not a drawing instrument) in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950926, dated March 31, 1992.

Heading 9503, HTSUSA, provides for "[o]ther toys; reduced- size ("scale") models...and accessories thereof...." The notes to chapter 95 indicate that the chapter covers toys of all kinds, whether designed for the amusement of children or adults. The EN to heading 9503 indicates, in pertinent part, that certain toys may be capable of a limited "use," but are generally distinguishable by their size and limited capacity to function as real machines, instruments, etc.

Although having some limited capacity for use as drawing instruments, we note from the sample articles submitted that they are clearly designed for the amusement of children and are not identifiable as specialized drawing instruments. The impression produced by the packaging and the articles themselves, is rich in color, smiles, and movement. A child may utilize various types of drawing instruments on the overlying paper to reproduce any of the articles' raised figures. In comparing headings 9017 and 9503, HTSUSA, it appears that heading 9503 most accurately describes the templates.

It is our determination that the "Rub 'N' Draw templates" are classified in subheading 9503.90.6000, HTSUSA, the provision for other toys...(except models), not having a spring mechanism.


The "Rub 'N' Draw templates" are classified under subheading 9503.90.6000, HTSUSA, the provision for "[o]ther toys...: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther toys (except models), not having a spring mechanism," dutiable at the general column one rate of 6.8 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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