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HQ 951464

October 29, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951464 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 3924.90.10

Ms. Sandy Klenk
MSR Imports, Inc.
6920 Central Highway
Airport Circle Industrial Park
Pennsauken, New Jersey 08109

RE: "Gag Noise Making Mat"

Dear Ms. Klenk:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of February 21, 1992, concerning the tariff classification of an article identified as a gag noise making mat, to be imported from Taiwan. A sample was submitted with your inquiry.


The article is comprised of two components, a mat and a sound box. The mat, which measures approximately 13-1/2 inches by 18-1/2 inches, is fairly flimsy and is not designed to sustain the wear and tear associated with doormats used for wiping feet. It consists of a foam layer placed between two sheets of conductive paper, encapsulated by two sheets of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), heat sealed together at their edges. There are holes in the foam layer which allow contact between the papers when compressed. Wires connect the conductive papers to a sound box that is proximately, but separately located. The sound box measures approximately 1 inch by 2-1/2 inches by 3-3/4 inches, and contains a speaker, a battery compartment, and a circuit board with a prerecorded integrated circuit chip. When batteries are inserted in the sound box and pressure is applied to the mat,
an electrical circuit is completed, activating the sound box. Depending upon the particular prerecorded chip, the box emits the sound of a train, a barking dog, or Halloween noises. Neither the mat nor the sound box contains any decoration or design, and they will be imported and sold as a unit.


What is the proper classification of the "gag noise making


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.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950236, issued June 29, 1992, we reconsidered the tariff classification of goods identified as a "Screaming Halloween Mat" and a "Talking Santa Doormat." HRL 952042, issued September 23, 1992, concerned the classification of an article identified as a "Boo Doormat." Although the top plastic sheets of the mats in both cases were printed with decorative motifs (and in the earlier ruling, were flocked with a man-made fiber), the articles were otherwise substantially similar to the instant item. In each of the rulings, we held that the goods were properly classified in subheading 3924.90.10, HTSUSA, the provision for other household articles of plastics, other, mats.

In this case, we find that the "gag noise making mat's" lack of decorative features is not a significant distinction for purposes of classification in the cited provision. Consistent with our determinations in HRLs 950236 and 952042, the "gag noise making mat" is classified in subheading 3924.90.10, HTSUSA.


The article identified as a "gag noise making mat" is classified under subheading 3924.90.10, HTSUSA, the provision for, among other items, "...other household articles...of plastics: Other:...mats...and like furnishings." The applicable duty rate is 3.36 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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