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HQ 957639

May 31, 1995

CLA-2 R:C:F 957639 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0030

Lawrence R. Pilon, Esquire
Hodes & Pilon
33 North Dearborn Street, Suite 2204
Chicago, Illinois 60602-3109

RE: "Ball Barrel" Children's Play Barrel; Not Tent

Dear Mr. Pilon:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of January 25, 1995, on behalf of the Hedstrom Corporation, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of an article identified as a "Ball Barrel," to be imported from South Korea. A photograph and marketing information were submitted with your inquiry.


The article to be imported, identified by model no. 8-542, consists of a cylindrically-shaped enclosure measuring 36 inches in diameter and 48 inches in length. The cylinder walls are composed of two sections of textile, each of which extends 48 inches in length by 1/2 the cylinder's circumference. One section is composed of woven nylon taffeta and the other section consists of nylon mesh. Each end of the cylinder is made of woven nylon taffeta and has a zippered opening extending around one half of the circumference. A steel spiral coil (wrapped in woven nylon taffeta and sewn into the walls) supports the article's shape. Since the item is essentially a textile barrel having no support or stabilizing mechanism, it is free to roll when on its side. The spiral coil may be gathered up and bound (with woven nylon taffeta ties), collapsing the cylinder for storage. The taffeta portions of the ends and wall are printed with a bright, multi-colored, ball motif on a yellow background.

After importation, the "ball barrel" will be packaged with several hundred plastic balls of U.S. origin for retail sale. The balls are multi-colored and hollow, each measuring -2-
approximately 3 inches in diameter. The article is designed and marketed for use as a smaller, or home, version of ball pits currently featured at fast food restaurants and children's amusement centers.


Whether the article is more properly classified in heading 6306, HTSUS, as a tent, or in heading 9503, HTSUS, as a toy.


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 other items, heading 6306, HTSUS, covers tents, including screen houses. Chapter 63 falls within section XI, HTSUS, which covers textiles and textile articles. Note 1(t) to section XI, states that the section does not cover "Articles of chapter 95 (for example, toys, games, sports requisites and nets)." The ENs to heading 6306 indicate that tents are shelters of fabric, usually with a roof and sides or walls that permit the formation of an enclosure. The ENs also indicate that the heading covers tents of various sizes and shapes (including tents for military, camping, circus, and beach use), whether or not coated or laminated, and whether or not presented with poles, pegs, ropes, or other accessories.

Chapter 95, HTSUS, covers toys, games, sports equipment, and parts and accessories thereof. Note 1(u) to chapter 95 states that the chapter does not cover "[r]acket strings, tents or other camping goods, or gloves (classified according to their constituent material)." 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. It has been Customs position that toys should be designed and used principally for amusement. -3-

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 956974, issued November 24, 1994, this office classified an article identified as a "Ball Pit" children's play pit in subheading 9503.70.80 (now 9503.70.0030), HTSUS, the provision for "Other toys...and accessories thereof: Other toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other." That article, as imported, essentially consisted of two components: 1) a nylon mesh and woven nylon taffeta enclosure (found to be an indoor/outdoor play tent), and 2) 500 hollow, plastic balls. We found that, if imported separately, the "Ball Pit's" tent component would be classified in heading 6306, HTSUS, as a tent.

In this case, although essentially identical textile materials form an enclosure similar in size to the "Ball Pit's" tent component, the "Ball Barrel" enclosure lacks the minimal stability expected of a tent. Although a wide variety of enclosures are classifiable as tents, tents are generally designed and intended to remain where they are pitched, placed, draped, etc. A barrel is designed, in part, for mobility, to facilitate the simple movement of either lightweight or heavy contents when placed on its side and rolled. While the "Ball Barrel" may not be expressly designed to roll, we find that this feature precludes its safe use as a tent. On the other hand, the "Ball Barrel's" mobility does not detract from its play value as a toy. We thus find that the article is designed and will be used principally for amusement. Since the article is not a tent, it is not excluded from coverage in chapter 95 by note 1(u) to the chapter. The "Ball Barrel" is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUSA.


The "Ball Barrel" children's play barrel, identified by model no. 8-542, is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUSA, the provision for "Other toys...and accessories thereof: Other, Other: Other toys (except models), not having a spring mechanism." The applicable duty rate is free.


John Durant, Director

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