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HQ 953473

September 15, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 953473 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.7030; 9502.10.4000

Mr. Michael K. Tomenga
McKenna & Cuneo
1575 Eye Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

RE: Modification of NYRL 880176; "Boy on Wheeled Carpet" and "Wizard with Wind-up Parrot"

Dear Mr. Tomenga:

This letter is in response to your request of February 19, 1993, on behalf of your client, Alcone Sims O'Brien, for reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 880176 (issued December 8, 1992), concerning the tariff classification of two separate imported articles. Samples of each article have been submitted. We have considered your request for confidential treatment as to costs per unit. The request is granted and such information has been omitted from this ruling.


In NYRL 880176, Customs found that the first article, now referred to as "Aladdin and the Wheeled Carpet," comprised a set, and that the essential character was imparted by the male figure. The item was classified in subheading 9502.10.40, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for "Dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: Dolls, whether or not dressed: Other: Not over 33 cm in height." Customs considered the second item, now referred to as the "Wizard and Spinning Parrot," to be a composite article with the essential character imparted by the wizard figure. Thus, the second item was also classified in
subheading 9502.10.40, HTSUSA. We have reviewed this ruling and found it to be partially in error. The correct classification is as follows.


Whether the essential character of the articles is provided by the doll components, or by the other toy components.


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 GRI's 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 GRI's.

The first item consists of a doll (Aladdin) and a toy (the wheeled carpet). The article cannot be classified by reference to GRI 1 because each component is classifiable in a different heading. We thus look to GRI 2(b), which in pertinent part states that:

[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3(a) directs that, when the two headings each refer to only part of the items of a set or composite good, the headings are regarded as equally specific. Therefore, in determining whether the article will be classified under a provision for the doll or the toy, we next look to GRI 3(b), which states that:

[m]ixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Explanatory Note VIII to GRI 3(b) provides the following guidance concerning the essential character determination:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

Because a doll is frequently presented with an elaborate environment, Customs generally finds that the doll provides the environment's essential character and classifies sets having doll components in doll provisions. Some items presented with dolls, such as toy cars or boats, may be considered to possess more independent play value than items worn or held by, or used to transport a doll.

In this case, the wheeled carpet has considerable play value separate from the doll. The vehicle's spring mechanism, when wound and released, allows the vehicle to move not only forward, but also into changes of direction and various spins. The colorful Aladdin figure also possesses significant play value apart from the wheeled carpet environment. When the figure's feet are attached to the pegs on top of the carpet, the standing doll negotiates all the carpet's motions with the appearance of being firmly in command. The doll can also be placed standing on any flat surface. Considering the characteristics of the two components, we find that neither the doll nor the toy imparts the essential character, but that each component contributes equally to the aesthetic value and attraction of the complete set. We thus look to GRI 3(c) which states:

When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

Therefore, the "Aladdin and the Wheeled Carpet Toy" article is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.60, HTSUSA, the provision occurring last of the two headings equally meriting consideration.

With respect to the "Wizard and Spinning Parrot," the composite item also consists of two components, a doll (the wizard) and a toy (the parrot). The article cannot be classified by reference to GRI 1 because the components are classifiable in different headings. Although these components do not comprise a set, classification of the article is determined by application of the GRIs in the same order and manner employed above to classify "Aladdin and the Wheeled Carpet Toy," until arriving at the essential character analysis directed by GRI 3(b), and guided by Explanatory Note VIII.

You essentially contend that the role of the spinning parrot is a more appropriate factor to consider than the bulk of the wizard figure in determining this item's essential character. It is asserted that the article's distinctive feature is the parrot's spinning motion (caused by the relatively costly spring mechanism inside the doll), which attracts a child's attention, creates excitement, and provides the primary draw for the consumer. You maintain that the motionless human figure functions merely to hide the spring mechanism while providing atmosphere and a shoulder platform for the parrot.

The respective roles of the components are surely important factors to consider in the determination of this article's essential character. However, the wizard's height, stance, facial expression, and status as a (representative) human being shouldering a parrot, strongly suggest his prominent role as owner, trainer, feeder, and controller of the bird. The plastic figure's molded robes, hands, goatee, and decorated turban collectively display five separate colors to draw the consumer and interest a child to a greater extent than the entirely red parrot, whose only distinctive feature is its motion. It is our determination that the wizard component gives this composite article its essential character. Thus the "Wizard and Spinning Parrot" article is properly classified in subheading 9502.10.40, HTSUSA.


The item identified as "Aladdin and the Wheeled Carpet Toy" is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.7030, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys...: Other: Other: Other, Other toys, having a spring mechanism." The general column one duty rate applicable to this merchandise is 6.8 percent ad valorem.

The item identified as the "Wizard and Spinning Parrot" is properly classified in subheading 9502.10.4000, HTSUSA, the provision for "Dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: Dolls, whether or not dressed: Other: Not over 33 cm in height." The general column one duty rate applicable to this merchandise is 12 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 880176, dated December 8, 1992, is hereby modified.


John Durant, Director

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