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HQ 952614

December 2, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952614 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.2000; 9902.95.01

Mr. Thomas C. Hoke
TCA Group, Inc.
11 Huron Drive
Natick, Massachusetts 01760

RE: Modification of NYRL 858941; "Care For Me Cuddles" doll

Dear Mr. Hoke:

This letter is in further response to your inquiry of December 11, 1990, concerning the tariff classification of a doll to be imported from China by TCA Group, Inc. A sample was submitted with your original ruling request.


In New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 858941, dated January 16, 1991, Customs classified the doll under subheading 9502.10.4000, HTSUSA, the provision for dolls, whether or not dressed, that are other than stuffed, and not over 33 cm. in height. 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 doll measures approximately 12 inches in height, has a vinyl head, and a cloth body, arms, and legs. The torso of the doll contains traditional stuffing material, surrounding a plastic-housed, wind up music movement with key. The doll is clothed in pajamas and a night cap. When the key is wound, the head of the doll moves to the music of a popular lullaby. The musical device imparts a hard feel to the doll's otherwise stuffed 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 contains traditional stuffing material and is covered in a skin of soft fabric. The musical movement is covered by the stuffing material on at least 3 of the 4 sides of the torso.


The "Care For Me Cuddles" 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 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 858941, dated January 16, 1991, is hereby modified.


John Durant, Director

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