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HQ 954382

September 14, 1993

CLA-2-CO:R:C:F 954382 K


TARIFF No.: 4906.00.00

Mr. Joseph A. Black
Dewey Ballantine
1775 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006-4605

RE: Classification of "Animation Cels", Walt Disney Co. Characters

Dear Mr. Black:

The following is in response to your request of May 11, 1993, for a classification ruling referenced above. Samples were submitted and are retained in the file.


An animation cel is described as a portion of one frame of an animated film. A number of cels are used to produce one frame. Together the cels comprise the foreground of the frame. A series of frames of these cels provides the animated motion for film used for children's television shows.

The Walt Disney characters are first sketched by hand and then the sketchings (or drawings) are transferred to a celluloid transparency. The sketchings on the transparency are then hand painted with various colors. The reverse side of the transparency depicts the finished cels and the original sketchings (or drawings) are intact.


The issue is whether the plastic transparencies containing animation cels are drawings for purposes of subheading 4906.00.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


Subheading 9701.10.00, HTSUS, provides for the free entry of paintings and drawings executed entirely by hand other than drawings of subheading 4906.00.00 and other than hand-painted or hand-decorated manufactured articles.

Subheading 4906.00.00, HTSUS, provides for the free entry of plans and drawings for architectural, engineering, industrial, commercial, topographical or similar purposes, being orginals drawn by hand. Subheading 9701.10.00 specifically excludes the coverage of merchandise that is covered by subheading 4906.00.00. Concededly, the cels are imported for commercial purposes and are therefore precluded from coverage under subheading 9701.10.00.

The Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), a guideline for use in determining classification under HTSUS, states that designs or drawings for fashion models, jewellery, wallpaper, fabrics, furniture, etc., being originals drawn by hand and covered by subheading 4906.00.00, are excluded from coverage under 9701.10.00. The EN also states that subheading 4906.00.00 includes drawings and sketches for publicity purposes (e.g., fashion drawings, poster designs, designs for pottery, wallpaper, jewellery, furniture). The fact that such drawings and sketches may contain coloring matter should not exclude coverage under subheading 4906.00.00.

We note the Customs position for the predecessor of subheading 4906.00.00, HTSUS, items 273.45, 273.50, and 273.55, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS). In Headquarters Ruling Letter dated March 31, 1967 (C.I.E. 370/67, dated April 19, 1967), published as an abstracted decision, Treasury Decision 67-96(6), we held that paintings produced by an artist with the intent that they be sold for the sole purpose of being reproduced and used industrially, such as in the preparation of lithographic plates for greeting cards, were classifiable under the other provision for architectural, engineering, industrial, or commercial drawings, item number 273.55, TSUS.

The cels are commercial sketchings or drawings drawn by hand which have been hand painted. As noted, the drawings are intact as shown by the transparencies. We are satisfied that the transparencies are classifiable as drawings under subheading 4906.00.00.


Plastic transparencies containing hand drawn cartoon characters that have been painted with various colors and designed to provide for the animation motion for film used for children's television shows are classifiable as drawings for
industrial and/or commercial purposes being originals drawn by hand, subheading 4906.00.00, HTSUS, free of duty.


John Durant, Director

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