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HQ 952482

January 6, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952482 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.2000

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

RE: Reconsideration of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 089969; a farmer talking doll

Dear Mr. Cuza:

This letter is in response to your request for a reconsideration of HRL 089969, dated September 13, 1991, concerning the tariff classification of a doll to be imported from China by Mattel, Inc. A sample was submitted with both your original inquiry and this request.


In HRL 089969, dated September 13, 1991, Customs classified the doll under subheading 9502.10.8000, HTSUSA, the provision for dolls, whether or not dressed, that are other than stuffed, and over 33 cm. in height. The applicable duty rate for that subheading is 12 percent ad valorem.

The doll, which represents a child farmer, measures approximately 14 inches in height, with an arm span of approximately 11 inches. Small electronic sensors are placed beneath the soft outer fabric in the head, hand, arm, stomach, and foot which, when pressed, cause the doll to "talk." The head, extremities, and torso of the doll are filled with traditional stuffing materials. Inserted within the torso's stuffing is a large, plastic, battery-powered voice mechanism which the sensors activate. The mechanism imparts a hard feel to the doll's torso.


Whether the doll 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,
(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 the doll is classified in subheading 9502.10.2000, HTSUSA, the provision for stuffed dolls. The torso of the doll is filled with traditional stuffing material, covered in a skin of soft fabric, and the inserted voice mechanism is covered by the stuffing on at least 3 of the 4 sides.


The farmer talking doll is 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.

HRL 089969, dated September 13, 1991, is hereby modified.


John Durant, Director

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