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HQ 957097

January 12, 1995

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 957097 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0050

Mr. Gerald A. Wingrove
Lindum House
27 North Street
Lincoln LN4 3LY, England

RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 899263; Hand-Built, Reduced-Size, Model Cars

Dear Mr. Wingrove:

This letter is in response to your request of August 23, 1994, for reconsideration of NYRL 899263, issued July 19, 1994, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), of hand-built model cars to be imported from the United Kingdom. Photographs of an actual 1924 Hispano Suiza and your scale model of that car, as well as other photographs and color illustrations were submitted with your request.


In NYRL 899263, issued July 19, 1994, Customs classified the merchandise in subheading 9503.90.7020 (now 9503.90.0050), HTSUSA, the provision applicable to model cars not incorporating a motor, that are made to a scale of the actual article at a ratio of other than 1 to 85 or smaller, with an applicable duty rate of 6.8 percent ad valorem. The model cars to be imported are constructed to a scale of 1 to 15, and are hand-made from scratch, one or two units at a time, from brass, copper, aluminum, etc. sheets and bars. Each model measures from 12 to 15 inches in length and may feature complete details of the engine, chassis, and body interior, in which case the model could be priced as high as $15,000, depending on the actual article -2-
represented. The models are described as being non-working, very fragile, historically accurate, and are said to be created for educational display purposes only, not for recreational use.


Whether the articles should be classified in subheading 9023.00.0000, HTSUSA, the provision for "Instruments, apparatus and models, designed for demonstrational purposes (for example, in education or exhibitions), unsuitable for other uses, and parts and accessories thereof;" or in subheading 9503.90.0050 (formerly 9503.90.7020), HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys...and accessories thereof: Other: Other: Other, Model airplanes, model boats and other models: Other."


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.

Among a wide array of other items, heading 9023, HTSUS, covers models that are designed for demonstrational purposes, but are unsuitable for other uses. The American College Dictionary (1970), defines "demonstration" in pertinent part as "3. a description or explanation, as of a process, given with the help of specimens or by experiment. 4. act of exhibiting and explaining an article or commodity by way of advertising it.... 8. Math. a logical presentation of the way in which given assumptions imply a certain result. --demonstrational, adj." (emphasis in original)

The ENs to heading 9023 indicate that the heading includes small scale demonstrational models (of aircraft, ships, machines, etc.) generally of metal or wood (e.g., for advertising purposes, etc.). The ENs also relate that articles that are designed for demonstrational and recreational purposes (e.g., certain model sets of mechanical parts; mechanical or electrical toy -3-
locomotives, aircraft, etc.) are excluded from the heading. The American College Dictionary (1970), defines "recreation" in pertinent part as "a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment."

Heading 9503, HTSUS, covers other toys, i.e., all toys not included in headings 9501 and 9502. 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 American College Dictionary (1970), defines "amusement" as "1. state of being amused; enjoyment. 2. that which amuses; pastime; entertainment. --Syn. 1. recreation, frolic, pleasure, merriment. 2. diversion, game." Thus, the term "amusement" is nearly synonymous with "recreation." Heading 9503 includes reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, whether working or not. The ENs to heading 9503 indicate that the models covered by the heading are the kind mainly used for recreational purposes, for example, scale models of boats, aircraft, trains, vehicles, etc., and kits of materials and parts for making such models.

Mindful of the foregoing definitions, the guidance provided by the ENs, and the language of the tariff, we conclude that if the model cars are designed for demonstrations, and have no other use or recreational purpose, they are classifiable in heading 9023, HTSUS. If the model cars are designed for both recreational and demonstrational purposes, or are mainly used for recreational purposes, they are classifiable in heading 9503, HTSUS.

You essentially contend that, because the model cars are non-working, fragile, intended only for display, and (implicitly) expensive, they are demonstrational, and are devoid of any recreational aspect. We disagree. Model cars classifiable in heading 9503 may also be non-working, be intended only for display, and need not be designed to withstand manual play or other physical contact after construction has been completed. The term recreation does not necessarily connote roughhousing, and more accurately describes the relaxing and enjoyable pastime that many individuals find in collecting and/or simply viewing model cars such as these. On the other hand, we find the demonstrational properties of the model cars to be quite limited. They are not used to advertise, train, illustrate complex functions, or provide a glimpse of what hands-on experience with the actual article represented would be like. In light of the above, we find that the merchandise is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.0050, HTSUSA. -4-


The hand-built, reduced-size, model cars are properly classified in subheading 9503.90.0050 (formerly 9503.90.7020), HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys...and accessories thereof: Other: Other: Other, Model airplanes, model boats and other models: 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.

NYRL 899263, dated July 19, 1994, is hereby affirmed.


John Durant, Director

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