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HQ 955342

November 30, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 955342 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9505.10.50

Ms. Cecilia Cormier
Hasbro, Inc.
1027 Newport Avenue
Post Office Box 1059
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02862-1059

RE: Reconsideration of NYRL 886808; "Sandy Claws" Santa Claus Puppet; Festive Article

Dear Ms. Cormier:

This letter is in response to your request of October 13, 1993, for reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 886808 (issued June 25, 1993), concerning the tariff classification of a hand puppet imported from China. A hand-made, prototype sample was submitted with your original request for a binding ruling. Subsequent to the issuance of NYRL 886808, you apprised Customs that the prototype sample did not accurately represent the imported article.

With your request for reconsideration, you have submitted a more fully decorated sample, said to reflect the actual appearance of the imported item. Although we find that NYRL 886808 was correct based upon the prototype sample submitted and the facts available at the time the ruling was issued, we also note that the product name and item no. of the original sample have been retained and applied to the newly submitted sample. Therefore, to prevent any future confusion for Customs personnel and the importing public reviewing NYRL 886808, the ruling will not apply to the product described herein, even though the names and style numbers are the same.


In NYRL 886808, Customs found that the prototype sample of "Sandy Claws," identified by item no. 80118.00, was not recognizable as Santa Claus as he is traditionally known. Since the motif of an article is not dispositive of its classification, only three dimensional forms of Santa - identifiable as such upon importation - are classifiable within heading 9505, HTSUSA, as festive articles. The item was thus classified in subheading 9502.10.40, 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 "Sandy Claws" newly submitted sample article is again identified by item no. 80118.00, but is more fully decorated. The figure is a puppet measuring approximately 12 inches in height (from the top of the head to the bottom of the coat) designed to represent Santa Claus as depicted in the movie "Nightmare Before Christmas." The item is comprised of a molded plastic face with a long gray beard and moustache; a long, red, textile coat and hat, each of which is trimmed with imitation fur; and upper extremities ending in black plastic, gloved hands. The head and arms may be manipulated by one's fingers after the hand is inserted upward through the coat.


Whether the decorative item is classified in subheading 9502.10.40, HTSUSA, as a doll; or in subheading 9505.10.50, HTSUSA, as a festive article.


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.

Heading 9502, HTSUSA, provides for "Dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof." The ENs to heading 9502 indicate 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 9505, HTSUSA, provides for, among other items, festive, carnival, and other entertainment articles. The EN to 9505 indicates that the heading covers:

(A) Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, which in view of their intended use are generally made of non- durable material. They include:

(1) Decorations such as festoons, garlands, Chinese lanterns, etc., as well as various decorative articles made of paper, metal foil, glass fibre, etc., for Christmas trees (e.g., tinsel, stars, icicles), artificial snow, coloured balls, bells, lanterns, etc. Cake and other decorations (e.g., animals, flags) which are traditionally associated with a particular festival are also classified here.

(2) Articles traditionally used at Christmas festivities, e.g., artificial Christmas trees (these are sometimes of the folding type), nativity scenes, Christmas crackers, Christmas stockings, imitation yule logs....

In general, merchandise is classifiable in heading 9505, HTSUSA, as a festive article when the article, as a whole:

1. is of non-durable material or, generally, is not purchased because of its extreme worth, or intrinsic value (e.g., paper, cardboard, metal foil, glass fiber, plastic, wood);

2. functions primarily as a decoration (e.g., its primary function is not utilitarian); and

3. is traditionally associated or used with a particular festival (e.g., stockings and tree ornaments for Christmas, decorative eggs for Easter).

An article's satisfaction of these three criteria is indicative of classification as a festive article. As noted above, the motif of an item is not dispositive of its classification and, consequently, does not transform an item into a festive article.

The "Sandy Claws" article is made of non-durable material. Customs considers articles such as this to be made of non-durable material since it is not designed for sustained wear and tear, and is not purchased for its extreme worth or value (as would be a decorative, yet costly piece of art or crystal). Further, the primary function of the item is decorative, as opposed to utilitarian.

Although in general, figurines and dolls are not traditionally associated or used with a particular festival (i.e., they are not of the same type of articles cited in the ENs to heading 9505 as examples of traditional festive articles), Santa Claus is a unique form that traditionally has been associated, particularly and exclusively, with Christmas. It is our determination that the fully decorated "Sandy Claws" article would be identified at the time of importation as the three dimensional form of Santa Claus, and that it meets the criteria for classification within heading 9505, HTSUSA, as a festive article.


The article identified as "Sandy Claws," item no. 80118.00, is classified in subheading 9505.10.50, HTSUSA, the provision for "Festive, carnival or other entertainment articles...parts and accessories thereof: Articles for Christmas festivities and parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other." The applicable rate of duty is 5.8 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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