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HQ 956779

September 29, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 956779 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.60

Mr. Fred Shapiro
Fasco (USA), Ltd.
2 Three Gables Road
Morris Twp., New Jersey 07960

RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 873634; "Magnetic Reminder Wipe-off Board;" Not Board with Writing or Drawing Surface

Dear Mr. Shapiro:

In NYRL 873634, issued May 4, 1992, five separate articles were classified. One of the products, identified as a "magnetic reminder wipe-off board," was classified in subheading 9610.00.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for "Slates and boards, with writing or drawing surfaces, whether or not framed." We have reviewed that ruling and, with respect to the "magnetic reminder wipe-off board," have found it to be partially in error. The correct classification is as follows.


The article at issue consists of a plastic board with magnets on the back and a magnetic marker. An impression is left when the marker is moved across the surface. The impression is removed by sliding the magnets across the back of the board. Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed revocation of NYRL 873634 was published on August 24, 1994, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 34.


Whether the article is properly classified as a board with a writing surface in subheading 9610.00.00, HTSUS, or as an other toy in subheading 9503.90.60, 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.

Heading 9610, HTSUS, provides for "Slates and boards, with writing or drawing surfaces, whether or not framed." Note 1(l) to Chapter 96 states that the chapter does not cover articles of Chapter 95 (toys, games, sports equipment). The ENs to heading 9610 indicate that the heading covers slates and boards, clearly designed to be used for writing or drawing with slate pencils, chalks, felt or fibre tipped markers (e.g., school children's slates, blackboards and certain notice boards). We note that each writing or drawing instrument mentioned for use on boards of heading 9610 leaves its own mark, unlike the magnetic marker, which draws metal particles to the underlying surface to make the mark. Thus, the "magnetic reminder wipe-off board" is not clearly designed for the uses of articles classifiable in heading 9610.

Heading 9503, HTSUS, applies to "other toys," i.e., all toys not specifically provided for in the other headings of chapter 95. Although the term "toy" is not defined in the tariff, the ENs to chapter 95 indicate that a toy is an article designed for the amusement of children or adults. The magnetic board is designed to provide amusing activity involving writing, drawing, and erasing. The ENs to heading 9503 state that the heading includes certain toys that may be capable of a limited "use," but that the heading excludes slates and blackboards of heading 9610.

Since the "magnetic reminder wipe-off board" provides amusement, but is of limited use when compared to articles clearly designed to function as writing surfaces, we find that the article is properly classified as a toy.


The "magnetic reminder wipe-off board" is classified in subheading 9503.90.60, HTSUS, 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.

NYRL 873634, dated May 4, 1992, is hereby modified.

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days from its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR


John Durant, Director

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