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HQ 957261

August 11, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:F 957261 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 6116.10.9500

Mr. Eugene T. Rossides
Rogers & Wells
607 Fourteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005-2011

RE: Reconsideration of NYRL 899959; "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Sound Effect Gloves;" Gloves Excluded by Chapter Note 1(u) from Chapter 95

Dear Mr. Rossides:

This letter is in response to your request of October 28, 1994, on behalf of Happiness Express, Inc., for reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 899959, issued August 4, 1994, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of merchandise identified as "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Sound Effect Gloves," imported from China. A sample pair of "White Ranger Gloves" was submitted with your request. Subsequent to your request and submission, a conference was held with Headquarters personnel on February 9, 1995. Additional written submissions dated March 24 and June 20, 1995, have been received and considered.


In NYRL 899959, Customs classified the goods in subheading 6116.10.9040 (now 6116.10.9500), HTSUSA, the provision for "Gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted: Gloves... impregnated, coated or covered with plastics or rubber: Other: With fourchettes, Other," with an applicable duty rate of 14 percent ad valorem (now 13.3 percent ad valorem).

The sample article, identified by item no. 66043, is a pair of long gloves that measure approximately 13 inches in length and are white, gold, and brown in color. The items closely resemble -2-
the gloves worn by the lead characters in the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," a popular children's television series, motion picture, etc. The gloves are made from knitted cotton fabric with a polyvinyl coating and knit fourchettes. They have an elasticized wrist and an extended gauntlet, with continuous diamond coated fabric overlays measuring approximately 4 inches by two inches. A "Power Ranger" symbol appears above the wrist on the outer portion of each glove. Sewn into the interior top of each gauntlet is a pouch containing an integrated circuit and a speaker. This battery-powered sound device, which measures approximately 2-3/4 inches in length by 2 inches in width by 1/2 inch thick, is activated by any of three buttons. When the button inside either index finger is squeezed by the thumb, the sound effect is that of a karate chop. When the button above the right wrist (palm side) is pressed, the sound effect is that of the musical chant "GO, GO, POWER RANGER!" The gloves allow a child to look and sound like a "Mighty Morphin Power Ranger" in action.


Whether the merchandise is classified in heading 9503, HTSUS, as other toys; or in heading 6116, HTSUS, as gloves.


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 6116, HTSUS, applies to "Gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted." The ENs to heading 6116 indicate that the heading covers all knitted or crocheted gloves, without distinction between those for women or girls and those for men or boys. It includes ordinary short gloves with separate fingers... and gauntlet or other long gloves that may cover the forearm or even part of the upper arm. -3-

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 specifically defined in the tariff, the ENs to chapter 95, HTSUS, indicate that the chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults. Note 1(u) to chapter 95, states that the chapter does not cover "Racket strings, tents or other camping goods, or gloves (classified according to their constituent material)."

At this juncture, in order to properly classify the goods according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes, we must discern whether the goods are gloves. The American College Dictionary (1970), defines "glove" in pertinent part as "1. a covering for the hand, now made with a separate sheath for each finger and for the thumb." Mindful of this definition, the description of the merchandise set forth in the "FACTS" section above, and the terms of the heading, it is clear that the subject goods are gloves, albeit gloves that have a battery-operated, electronic chip with a speaker.

In 1989, anticipating classification problems with respect to merchandise containing such musical mechanisms, the Customs Cooperation Council or CCC (now the World Customs Organization or WCO) provided guidance which Customs has long followed. With electronic chips having become relatively inexpensive and simple to install in a wide variety of products, the CCC suggested that merchandise containing battery-operated chips with speakers, should be classified in the same headings as the corresponding articles not incorporating such modules. We thus find that the goods comprise not gloves and a toy, but gloves containing a sound device that provides some amusement. We further find that the exclusionary language of note 1(u) to chapter 95, HTSUS, operates to specifically exclude the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Sound Effect Gloves" from the toy provisions.

Among other contentions, you assert that NYRL 880964, issued December 29, 1992, supports classification of the gloves in heading 9503, HTSUS. The cited ruling involved an article identified as a "Vrrroom Sound Glove," which consisted of one textile glove with cut off fingers and a large, battery-powered (by 2 "AAA"/"UM-4" batteries not included) sound unit, permanently attached to the top of the glove. The article, which was classified in subheading 9503.90.6000 (now 9503.90.0030), HTSUSA, allowed children to "make real motor sounds while riding their bikes...." Upon pulling the wrist back, the sound unit made engine acceleration sounds. Moving the wrist forward produced the sound of screeching brakes. -4-

While not all determinative of the separate tariff classifications, the distinctions between the "Vrrroom Sound Glove" and the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Sound Effect Gloves" are many. The former has a single, open-fingered glove component, serving essentially as a mount for the bulkier, heavier, sound effect toy. The glove frees a child's hands to steer a bicycle or tricycle. The rather plain glove component of the "Vrrroom Sound Glove" has no properties which would allow the wearer to identify with a superhero, or any other character, role, or occupation. If the sound unit were removed, a child would likely have little interest in the "Vrrroom Sound Glove."

On the other hand, if the relatively small sound devices were removed from the long, full-fingered, and authentic looking "Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Sound Effect Gloves," a child's hands and arms would remain adorned to resemble those of an actual "Mighty Morphin Power Ranger." If the gloves' only purpose was to house and provide sound effects, one glove (for the right hand) would suffice, as its buttons activate the sounds of both the karate chop and musical chant.

We find that the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Sound Effect Gloves" are gloves principally designed to replicate a portion of the popular "Power Ranger" attire, with the added capability of reproducing the familiar sounds of "Power Rangers" in action, so that a child at play may emulate a "Power Ranger." The goods are classified in subheading 6116.10.9500, HTSUSA.


The "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Sound Effect Gloves," identified by item no. 66043, are classified in subheading 6116.10.9500, HTSUSA, the provision for "Gloves, mittens and mitts, knitted or crocheted: Gloves...impregnated, coated or covered with plastics or rubber: Other: With fourchettes: Other." The applicable duty rate is 13.3 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 899959, dated August 4, 1994, is hereby affirmed.


John Durant, Director

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