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HQ 955241

November 29, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 955241 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.49.0020; 9503.90.6000

Ms. Barbara Willey
Applause, Inc.
6101 Variel Avenue
Post Office Box 4183
Woodland Hills, California 91365-4183

RE: "Genie" and "Magic Carpet;" PVC Toy Figures

Dear Ms. Willey:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of October 12, 1993, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of articles identified as "Genie" and "Magic Carpet," imported from China. Samples were submitted with your inquiry.


The two samples comprise stock no. 45751, which is identified as the "Mini Bendables Prepak." The polyvinyl chloride (PVC) articles are molded in the shapes of the two characters from the Disney movie "Aladdin." The "Genie" design consists of a traditionally configured, blue genie, with somewhat distorted head, ears, and facial features; an upper torso, arms and hands; and a lower anatomy which is funnel-shaped and capable of being bent into various shapes. When the lower portion is made straight and extended, the figure measures approximately 7 inches in length by 3 1/4 inches in width (from outstretched hand to hand). The "Magic Carpet" design is a colorful rectangle which measures approximately 3-1/4 inches by 1-1/2 inches and contains a molded tuft at each corner. The carpet may be bent into various shapes and postures. Although imported together in
one polybag, the figures are not put up in a set for retail sale, nor do they fit together physically in any way. They are related only in that they are both drawn from the "Aladdin" theme.


1) Whether the "Genie" figure should be classified in heading 9502, HTSUSA, as a doll; or in heading 9503, HTSUSA, as an other toy representing a non-human creature.

2) Whether the "Magic Carpet" figure should be classified in subheading 9503.49, HTSUSA, as an other toy representing a non-human creature; or in subheading 9503.90, HTSUSA, as an other toy.


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.

With respect to classification of the "Genie" figure, we note that heading 9502, HTSUSA, provides for "Dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof." The ENs to heading 9502 state that the heading includes not only dolls designed for the amusement of children, but also dolls intended for decorative purposes (e.g., boudoir dolls, mascot dolls), or for use in Punch and Judy or marionette shows, or those of a caricature type.

Heading 9503, HTSUSA, provides for "Other toys; reduced- size ("scale") models and...parts and accessories thereof." The ENs to heading 9503 state that, among other things, the heading covers:

(A) All toys not included in headings 95.01 and 95.02. Many of the toys of this heading are mechanically or electrically operated.

These include:

(1) Toys representing animals or non-human creatures even if possessing predominantly human physical characteristics (e.g., angels, robots, devils, monsters) including those for use in marionette shows.

Customs has issued several decisions interpreting and applying the above ENs, and discussing the relationship of competing headings 9502 and 9503, HTSUSA. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086088, dated February 21, 1990, we stated the following:

At their joint meeting on May 4, 1985, the Nomenclature Committee and the Interim Harmonized System Committee decided that angels and devils could not be regarded as dolls within the meaning of heading 9502. This decision was based on the argument that this heading restricts its contents to dolls representing only human beings. The majority of the participants adopted the viewpoint that angels and devils should be regarded as toys under heading 9503.

It is Customs position that the intent of the committees in reaching this conclusion is to deny the doll classification to those figures which possess non-human characteristics that are immediately apparent to the casual observer. Where the non- human feature(s) can only be discovered by close examination, the doll classification may be appropriate. The phrase "close examination" may encompass the need to look closely, the need to remove the clothes of the figure, or perhaps even the need of the observer to guess as to whether a feature that appears to be non- human is, in actuality, such a feature. Most angel and devil figures possess readily apparent non-human features (i.e., halos, large wings, visible horns, pointed tails, etc.). However, if a figure is marketed as an angel or devil, yet appears human to the casual observer, then again, the doll classification may be appropriate.

In HRL 085855, dated August 9, 1990, we discussed the test above, noting that a person viewing a figure should be able to identify it as non-human without having to be familiar with a particular movie or story line.

In HRL 081201, dated October 3, 1988, we pointed to the ENs which state that dolls should "represent" human beings. We cited Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961), in which "represent" is defined as "to portray by pictorial, plastic, or musical art: delineate, depict...to serve as the counterpart or image of: typify." In that case, we held that although certain troll figures may have "resembled" human beings, the figures did not "represent" human beings, and therefore, were not dolls.

The American College Dictionary (1970), defines "genie" as "a jinni or spirit of Mohammedan mythology." "Jinn," which is the plural form of "jinni," is defined as "a class of spirits lower than the angels, capable of appearing in human and animal forms, and influencing mankind for good and evil." The "Genie" figure subject to this case not only bears an accurate resemblance to the prominent character in the movie "Aladdin," but also to the traditional folklore conception of a supernatural being which grants wishes on command following its release from a magic lamp. The "Genie" figure possesses sufficient non-human characteristics to allow a casual observer to recognize that the item does not represent a human being. It is therefore our determination that the "Genie" figure is not a doll but a toy representing a non-human creature, and is classified in heading 9503, HTSUSA.

With respect to the classification of the "Magic Carpet" figure, the proper heading is clear, i.e., heading 9503 for other toys. The proper subheading is dependent upon whether or not the toy figure is found to represent a non-human creature. In the movie "Aladdin," the magic carpet is a character which plays an animated role, displaying a personality and an ability to act on its own. These creature-like characteristics, however, may not be apparent to children or adults who are unfamiliar with the movie, but who nevertheless find that the "Magic Carpet" figure provides amusement. We thus find that the "Magic Carpet" figure is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.6000, HTSUSA.


The "Genie" figure is properly classified in subheading 9503.49.0020, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys...and accessories thereof: Toys representing animals or non-human
creatures (for example, robots and monsters) and parts and accessories thereof: Other, Toys not having a spring mechanism: Other." The applicable duty rate is 6.8 percent ad valorem.

The "Magic Carpet" figure is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.60, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys...and accessories thereof: Other: Other: Other toys (except models), not having a spring mechanism." The applicable duty rate is 6.8 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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