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NY 875232

July 9, 1992

CLA-2-95:S:N:N3D:225 875232


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.6000

Mr. Jerrold E. Anderson
Katten, Muchin & Zavis
525 West Monroe Street Suite 1600
Chicago, Illinois 60661-3693

RE: The tariff classification of an educational toy from China .

Dear Mr. Anderson:

In your letter dated June 1, 1992, received in this office on June 10, 1992, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Video Technology Industries, Inc.

The product submitted, "Little Smart Super Sorter", is an electronic learning device for children age one to three years old. The article has six learning activites which include numbers, shapes, colors, matching and memory skills. The item also has a musical sound module which plays up to eight notes. Although battery operated, the "Sorter" has manipulative play value without batteries, created by removal and insertion of various plastic shapes in appropriate slots on the article. The electronic features serve to further enhance the quality of the item by producing musical sounds and activating an instructional voice which directs a child to select numbers, colors and shapes through correct insertion of the pieces.

An educational item classifiable as a toy, relies upon self learning, creative imagination and trial and error. It is the natural curiosity of the child which motivates continued use. In addition, the item itself must provide play value even if the child never makes any educational leaps of logic. For example, an electronic toy which makes the sound of a cow when the picture of the cow is pressed can be a toy. Even if the child never connects that the sound he is hearing is the sound a cow makes, he will enjoy hearing it, and all the other noises the item makes. A chemistry set will provide lots of fun with mixing, and manipulating and making believe one is a Mad Scientist, or even just a great scientist. However, if the child follows the instructions provided, and successfully completes experiments, he might learn some principles of science.

Educational items, for infants, classifiable as toys generally cause the child to develop motor skills, and some recognition of color, shape, sound, etc. This is usually done through bright colors, sounds, and movement. Infants need stimulation to grow and thrive. These toys provide that stimulation. However, to be toys these items must keep the child's attention, i.e. amuse him, even if no learning goes on. A child will enjoy hearing the sounds of animals or nursery rhymes, even if no connection is made to a specific picture. Colorful plastic shapes which may be sorted and placed in specific slots are amusing to a child, even if the child does not learn a square from a circle or a rectangle from an oval, etc. Clearly the "Little Smart Super Sorter" qualifies as an educational toy.

The applicable subheading for the "Little Smart Super Sorter" will be 9503.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other toys (except models), not having a spring mechanism. The duty rate will be 6.8 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire

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