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HQ 953884

August 5, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 953884 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.49.0020

District Director of Customs
1000 Second Avenue, Suite 2200
Seattle, Washington 98174-1049

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 3001-93-100101, filed February 4, 1993, concerning the classification of articles identified as "Jungle and Farm Squeeze Pets."

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on a protest filed February 4, 1993, against your decision in the classification and liquidation on December 11, 1992, of "Jungle and Farm Squeeze Pets" entered on August 12, 1992.


You classified the merchandise under subheading 9503.49.0020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), the provision for other toys representing animals or non-human creatures, other than stuffed, not having a spring mechanism. Protestant claims that the merchandise should be classified under subheading 9503.41.1000, HTSUSA, the provision for other toys representing animals or non-human creatures, stuffed toys; and that the goods should be free of duty under subheading 9902.95.02, HTSUSA, which provides for the suspension of duty on entries of stuffed animals made on or prior to December 31, 1992.

The samples submitted are textile toy figures of eleven different jungle and farm animals. The articles, identified by item nos. SP01 (jungle animals) and SP02 (farm animals) measure
approximately six inches by four inches by four inches, have plastic eyes, and are comprised of plush knit fabric. Inserted within the torso of each figure is a battery operated, electronic sound mechanism which emits the particular animal's vocal sound when the torso is squeezed. Little, if any, stuffing material surrounds the devices or is otherwise present in the torsos.


Whether the "Jungle and Farm Squeeze Pets" should be classified as stuffed toys, or as toys that are not stuffed.


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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 GRIs may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (ENs) 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 GRIs.

Customs and the protestant agree that the article is a toy animal. The proper heading is clear, i.e., heading 9503 for toys. The subheadings at issue essentially differentiate between toy animals that are stuffed, and those which are not stuffed.

In determining whether an article classifiable within heading 9503 is stuffed for tariff purposes, it is Customs position that the stuffing materials must impart the shape and form of the torso of the animal or creature. Customs has also held that the "feel" of an article may be relevant to the determination as stuffed or non-stuffed. This long-standing position is based, in part, on the dictionary definition of the verb "stuff," which was adopted in Customs Information Exchange Ruling (C.I.E.) 449/46, issued August 7, 1946. The cited definition is as follows:

Stuff, v. I.t. 1. To fill to distention by crowding something into; cram; pack full; as, to stuff a trunk full of clothes; to stuff the head with knowledge. 2. Specif., to fill with material specially prepared for such use; as, to stuff a cushion, to stuff a fowl for cooking. 3. In taxidermy, to fill out with suitable material (the skin of a bird or beast), and arranged so as to make a life-like form. 4. To cram into a small space; crowd; as, to stuff a newspaper into one's pocket. 5. To fill full or distend by crowding or being crowded into; often with out; as the strangers stuffed the gallery; the sawdust stuffs out the doll's body.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 089334, issued August 26, 1991, Customs, after citing this definition, stated that:

It is apparent that the emphasis of the above definition is upon the filling and/or distending of the article that is "stuffed." There is a generous use of words and phrases such as "cram," "crowd," and "pack full." Customs has reiterated its acceptance of the above definition on many occasions since the C.I.E. ruling was published, and has not altered its rather strict standards concerning the "stuffed" classification of articles similar to the item at issue.

In this case, the stuffing materials do not impart the shape or form of the squeeze pets, which are not "crammed" with stuffing so as to fully distend the shell. The figures' torsos contain cavities designed for the insertion of sound devices, but very little stuffing material. The sound mechanisms, which feel hard on four of their six sides, may be manipulated to rotate around and around inside the torsos. Although the torsos may contain some stuffing material, they are not fully stuffed. In light of the fact that the stuffing materials do not impart the shape and form of the figures' torsos, the squeeze pets are properly classified in subheading 9503.49.0020, HTSUSA.


The articles identified as item nos. SP01 and SP02, "Jungle and Farm Squeeze Pets," respectively, are properly classified in subheading 9503.49.0020, HTSUSA, the provision for other toys
representing animals or non-human creatures (for example, robots and monsters) and parts and accessories thereof, other, toys not having a spring mechanism, other. The general column one duty rate is 6.8 percent ad valorem.

The protest should be denied in full. A copy of this decision should be attached to the Form 19 to be returned to the protestant.


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