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HQ 952604


December 2, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952604 GGD

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.2000; 9902.95.01

Mr. John A. Slagle
Wolf D. Barth Co., Inc.
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19153

RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 851192; two musical dolls from Taiwan, "April" and "Missy"

Dear Mr. Slagle:

This letter is in further response to your inquiry of April 2, 1990, concerning the tariff classifications of dolls described as "April" and "Missy," to be imported from Taiwan for Goebel. A sample of each doll was submitted with your original ruling request.

FACTS:

In NYRL 851192, dated April 24, 1990, 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 doll, April, is of the "China-head" type, i.e., with a porcelain head and porcelain extremities, including porcelain segments of the lower arms and legs that lead to the extremities. The head of the 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 length not exceeding half the distance from the bottom of the neck to the groin. The torso is filled with traditional stuffing material, surrounding a
hard music box in the lower torso, that is acivated by a winding mechanism attached to the doll's lower back. The music box imparts a hard feel to the doll's torso.

The second doll, Missy, has a porcelain head and neck which attaches directly to the torso. The torso is filled with traditional stuffing material. In the center of the torso is a large music box, which is surrounded on three sides by the stuffing material, and is activated by a winding stem inserted through the back of the doll. The music box imparts a hard feel to the doll's torso, particularly in the back where there is no surrounding stuffing.

ISSUE:

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

LAW AND ANALYSIS:

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 each of the dolls are classified in subheading 9502.10.2000, HTSUSA, the provision for stuffed dolls. The torso of each doll is stuffed with traditional stuffing material and covered in a skin of soft fabric. The chestplate and backplate of the "April" doll extend to considerably less than "half of the distance from the bottom of the neck to the bottom of the groin." The music boxes inserted in both dolls are covered by the stuffing material on at least three of the four sides of the torso.

HOLDING:

The dolls at issue, marketed as "April" and "Missy," 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 this merchandise is temporarily suspended under subheading 9902.95.01, HTSUSA, until December 31, 1992. After that time, the general column one duty rate of 12 percent ad valorem will apply.

NYRL 851192, dated April 24, 1990, is hereby modified.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director

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