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HQ 954345

April 13, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 954345 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.40; 9801.00.10

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

RE: Four Dolls: "Birthday Party Barbie, Paint'n Dazzle Barbie, Romantic Bride Barbie, and Western Stampin' Barbie;" Printed Paper Advertising Inserts: American Goods Returned

Dear Mr. Anderson:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of May 12, 1993, on behalf of your client, M-B Sales, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of four dolls imported from China. Each doll has a paper insert that has been printed with advertising in the U.S., then sent to China to be packaged with the dolls and returned. Production sample dolls were submitted with your inquiry.


Each of the dolls at issue measures approximately 4-1/2 inches in height, and is comprised essentially of molded plastic with clothing and facial features painted on. The dolls have long, fibrous hair that is capable of being combed. Each doll is imported in a sealed plastic bag with a paper advertising insert previously printed in the United States.


1) What is the proper classification of the dolls?

2) Whether the U.S.-origin printed matter is entitled to a duty exemption under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS.


Classification under the HTSUS 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 HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

The proper heading in this case is clear, i.e., heading 9502, for dolls representing only human beings. Since the dolls are not stuffed, and are not over 33 cm. in height, only one subheading is applicable. The dolls are classified in subheading 9502.10.40, HTSUS.

Subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, provides for the duty-free entry of products of the U.S. that are returned after having been exported, without having been advanced in value or improved in condition by any process of manufacture or other means while abroad. In Superscope, Inc. v. United States, 13 CIT 997, 727 F.Supp. 629 (1989), the court held that certain glass panels of U.S. origin that were exported, repacked abroad with certain foreign components, and returned to the U.S. as part of unassembled audio cabinets, were entitled to duty-free entry under item 800.00, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), since the U.S. panel portion of the imported article was "not 'advanced in value or improved in condition ... while abroad,' but [was] merely repacked." Id. at 631.

Although the Superscope case concerned the TSUS, the decision is equally applicable to similar situations arising under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, since that provision's predecessor - item 800.00, TSUS - and relevant Schedule 8, TSUS, headnotes, were carried over into the HTSUS, virtually unchanged. See also Headquarters Ruling Letter 555428, issued April 17, 1990.

In this case, because the U.S.-origin printed advertising inserts are merely placed inside the plastic bags and sealed, they are not advanced in value or improved in condition while
abroad. Therefore, when the dolls are imported, the printed matter will be entitled to duty-free treatment under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, assuming compliance with the documentation requirements of 19 CFR 10.1.


The four dolls, identified as "Birthday Party Barbie, Paint'n Dazzle Barbie, Romantic Bride Barbie, and Western Stampin' Barbie," are properly classified in subheading 9502.10.40, HTSUS, 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 applicable duty rate is 12 percent ad valorem.

The U.S.-origin printed advertising inserts are entitled to a duty exemption under subheading 9801.00.10, HTSUS, assuming compliance with the documentation requirements for this tariff provision.


John Durant, Director

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