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HQ 957014

January 5, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 957014 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.70.0030

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

RE: "Playskool Magnetic Numbers" and "Playskool Magnetic Capital Letters;" Educational Toys Put Up in Sets

Dear Ms. Cormier:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of June 14, 1994, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of two separate articles identified as "Playskool Magnetic Numbers" and "Playskool Magnetic Capital Letters," imported from China. A sample of the "magnetic numbers" item was submitted with your inquiry.


The magnetic numbers article, identified by product no. 209, is comprised of three groups of the numbers zero through nine, and seven arithmetic symbols (plus, minus, equal, etc.). The magnetic letters article, identified by product no. 208, consists of individual letters comprising a complete alphabet plus ten extra letters. Each number, letter, and symbol - all of which are plastic - has a built-in magnet for use on any metal surface. Children can amuse themselves while learning to identify numbers, basic mathematical operations, the alphabet, basic words, and sentences. The articles are imported in retail packages, suitable for direct retail sale without repacking.


Whether the "Playskool Magnetic Numbers" and "Playskool Magnetic Capital Letters" sets are properly classified in heading 3926, HTSUS, as other articles of plastics; or in heading 9503, HTSUS, as other toys. -2-


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 3926, HTSUS, provides for "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914." Heading 3926 falls within chapter 39, HTSUS, which covers plastics and articles thereof. Note 2(u) to chapter 39 states that the chapter does not cover articles of chapter 95 (for example, toys, games, sports equipment). The ENs to heading 3926 indicate that the heading covers articles of plastics or other materials not elsewhere specified or included. Listed as examples are ornamental articles, figures and letters. We conclude from the foregoing, however, that if the magnetic numbers and letters are classifiable in chapter 95, they are excluded from heading 3926, HTSUS.

As noted above, chapter 95, HTSUS, covers, among other items, toys. Although the term "toy" is not specifically defined in the tariff, the ENs to chapter 95 indicate that the chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults. It has been Customs position that toys should be designed and used principally for amusement. Note 1(k) to chapter 95 states that the chapter does not cover "[p]arts of general use, as defined in note 2 to section XV, of base metal (section XV), or similar goods of plastics (chapter 39)."

In part, pertinent to the subject merchandise, note 2 to section XV states that throughout the tariff schedule, the expression "parts of general use" means...articles of heading 8310. Among other goods, heading 8310, HTSUS, covers sign plates and similar plates, numbers, letters and other symbols, and parts thereof, of base metal. Since note 1(k) to chapter 95 (above) excludes not only the base metal numbers, letters and other symbols of heading 8310, but also similar goods of plastics (chapter 39), we must look further to discern the similarity, if any, between the subject magnetic numbers and letters, and the numbers, letters, and symbols covered by heading 8310. -3-

The ENs to heading 8310, HTSUS, indicate that the heading includes separate letters, numbers or designs (or sets thereof), employed to make up sign-plates for shop window displays, train- indicator sign boards, etc. The ENs state that a characteristic of the heading's plates is that they are normally designed to be permanent fixtures (e.g., road sign-plates, advertising plates, machine name-plates) or to be used many times (e.g., cloakroom tokens and tags). It is clear that the plastic, magnetic numbers, letters, and symbols subject to this case are not the type of goods intended to be excluded from chapter 95 by note

Heading 9503, HTSUS, applies to "other toys," i.e., all toys not specifically provided for in the other headings of chapter 95. The ENs to heading 9503 indicate that certain toys, including toy arms, tools, gardening sets, tin soldiers, etc., are often put up in sets. The ENs to heading 9503 further suggest that collections of items separately classifiable in other headings are classified in chapter 95 when put up in a form clearly indicating their use as toys (e.g., instructional toys such as chemistry sets, sewing sets, etc.).

In HRL 950700, issued August 25, 1993, we discussed the circumstances in which certain items, normally classified elsewhere in the HTSUS, may be classified in subheading 9503.70 as toys put up in sets. We noted that the subheading encompasses a combination of two or more mutually complementary, complete articles in a retail package, the essential character of which is established by the combination of the items, and not by any individual article in the combination. The components should generally be used together, i.e., some connection exists between the items which work together to provide amusement. When an article is comprised of components individually classifiable elsewhere in the HTSUS, the manner in which the items are put up together (e.g., packaged and sold as a combination) should convert the components from their designs and uses as individual articles, to toys.

We find that the magnetic numbers and letters of this case are designed and used principally for the amusement of children. As toys of chapter 95, they are excluded from heading 3926 by note 2(u) to chapter 39, HTSUS. The individual, complementary items within each retail package are put up in a form in which the combination (i.e., letters forming words, numbers forming problems for solution, etc.) is clearly indicated for use as an instructional toy. The articles are thus properly classified in subheading 9503.70.0030, HTSUSA. -4-


The articles identified as "Playskool Magnetic Numbers" (product no. 209) and "Playskool Magnetic Capital Letters" (product no. 208) are properly classified in subheading 9503.70.0030 (formerly 9503.70.80), HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other." The applicable duty rate for entries made through December 31, 1994, was 6.8 percent ad valorem. Under the tariff effective January 1, 1995, the rate has been reduced to free.


John Durant, Director

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