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HQ 956353

May 26, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 956353 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 3926.40.00

Ms. Mary Goering
Attorney in Fact
Norman G. Jensen, Inc.
3050 Metro Drive - Suite #300
Minneapolis, MN 55425

RE: Village Animated Skating Pond; Heading 3926, HTSUSA; Other articles of plastics; Not 9503 toy; Not 8543 electrical machines and apparatus; HRL 952830

Dear Ms. Goering:

This is in response to your letter of February 17, 1994, submitted on behalf of Department 56, regarding the proper classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of the Village Animated Skating Pond. You submitted a sample with your request for a binding ruling.


The Village Animated Skating Pond consists of a large plastic base which gives the appearance of a skating pond. The synchronous motor with a rating of 220 Volts AC, 50/60 Hz, 3 Watts and switched cord are housed in this base. The article includes six plastic figures, four of which have a magnet in their base, seven sisal evergreen trees, and one birch clump. Once the product is properly arranged and the motor is turned on, the four figures which include a magnet in the base move around the pond in an intricate pattern.


Whether the Village Animated Skating Pond is classifiable in heading 3926 as an other article of plastic; 8543 as an electrical machine or apparatus; or 9503 as a toy.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of
merchandise under the HTSUS. Most imported 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.

Heading 9503, HTSUS, pertains in part, to "other toys." The ENs to Chapter 95, HTSUS, indicate that "this chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children of adults." It is Customs position that the amusement requirement means that toys should be designed and used principally for amusement. See Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), HTSUSA. Customs defines principal use as that use which exceeds each other single use of the article.

In our opinion, the Village Animated Skating Pond will not be principally used as a toy, but rather for display and ornamentation. The scene depicted by the skating pond is serene and the figures' action around the pond is relatively predictable and consistent. In essence, the article does not provide the manipulative play value or frivolous entertainment characteristic of toys. The article is distinguishable from Santa's Ski Slope of Headquarters Ruling Letter 952830, issued February 1, 1993, which although somewhat ornamental, was primarily designed for amusement. The instant article must be classified elsewhere.

Because no HTSUS heading provides for the merchandise as a whole, it is not classifiable at the GRI 1 level. Thus, we turn to GRI 3(a) to classify the article in the HTSUS heading providing for one of the components which comprise the Village Animated Skating Pond. In our opinion, the article in its entirety may be considered a composite good. Pursuant to GRI 3(a), the possible headings providing for the Village Animated Skating Pond, e.g., heading 3926 for the plastic pond, sisal trees, and figures and heading 8543 for the motor, are regarded as equally specific.

GRI 3(b) provides that articles made up of different components, that is, composite goods, shall be classified as if they consisted of the component which gives them their essential character. "Essential character" is the attribute which strongly marks or serves to distinguish what an article is. EN VIII to GRI 3(b) explains that bulk, quantity, weight, value or the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the article are indicia of essential character.

In our opinion the plastic skating pond, as compared to the motor and other plastic components, distinguishes the article. Although the motor allows the figures to move around the pond, it is the skating pond which essentially provides the article's ornamental and decorative appeal in addition to constituting the greatest bulk and weight. A consumer is likely to purchase the article for the specific scene it depicts. Furthermore, it is apparent that even when the motor is turned off, the skating pond will continue to be displayed in one's home for ornamental purposes. The motor primarily serves to embellish the overall ornamental effect of the Village Animated Skating Pond. As the plastic skating pond imparts the essential character of the article, the Village Animated Skating Pond is classified within heading 3926 as other articles of plastics. Because the skating pond is ornamental, the appropriate subheading is 3926.40.00.


The Village Animated Skating Pond is classified in subheading 3926.40.00, HTSUSA, as "Other articles of plastics...: Statuettes and other ornamental articles." The general column one rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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