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HQ 952617


December 2, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952617 GGD

CATEGORY: CLASSIFICATION

TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.2000; 9902.95.01

Ms. Lisa Crum
International Brokers
5777 West Century Boulevard, Suite 775
Los Angeles, California 90045

RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 864645; "Precious Playmates," five vinyl skin dolls from China

Dear Ms. Crum:

This letter is in further response to your inquiry of June 5, 1991, on behalf of your client, concerning the tariff classification of five dolls to be imported from China by Playmates Toys. A sample of each doll was submitted with your original ruling request.

FACTS:

In NYRL 864645, dated July 10, 1991, Customs classified the dolls under subheadings 9502.10.4000 and 9502.10.8000, HTSUSA, the provisions for dolls, whether or not dressed, that are other than stuffed, and are either less than 33 cm. (9502.10.4000), or greater than 33 cm. (9502.10.8000) in height. The applicable duty rate for these subheadings is 12 percent ad valorem. We have reviewed that ruling and have found it to be partially in error.

The first two dolls measure approximately 8 inches in height, the second two dolls measure approximately 12 inches in height, and the fifth doll measures approximately 15 inches in height. The first four dolls will be imported with certain additional items, such as plastic bathtubs, plastic bottles, fabric washcloths, sleeping bags, and/or extra clothing, and each is designed with an inner tube, which allows the doll to drink and wet. The fifth doll will be imported without accessories.

Each of the five dolls is made of a soft vinyl skin, which is filled with polyester stuffing material. Although the stuffing material enhances the shape and gives a feeling of softness to each doll, it is the vinyl which provides the form of each doll's torso.

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 five dolls is classified in subheading 9502.10.2000, HTSUSA, the provision for stuffed dolls. The torso of each doll is filled with traditional stuffing material and covered in a skin of soft or pliable material or fabric.

HOLDING:

The five "Precious Playmates" dolls 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 864645, dated July 10, 1991, is hereby modified.

Sincerely,

John Durant, Director

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