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NY 807209

March 1, 1995

CLA-2-95:S:N:N8:224 807209


TARIFF NO.: 9503.49.0020

Eric S. C. Wang
Dynasty Customs Broker Inc.
1409 San Mateo Ave.
So. San Francisco, CA 94080

RE: The tariff classification of a "Monitor Mate" from China.

Dear Mr. Wang:

In your letter dated February 13, 1995, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Victoria Impex Corp.

The merchandise is identified as a "Computer Companion" or "Monitor Mate" and is a molded plastic depiction of a Chameleon. It is one of a series of animal representations designed to be placed on the upper left corner of any computer monitor housing. This is accomplished by designing the back side of the "Monitor Mate" in an L-shaped configuration with two pieces of double-side adhesive tape. The article is said to decorate or ornament the computer work environment.

The General Explanatory Notes to Chapter 95 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) which represent the official interpretation of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule at the international level, provide that the chapter covers "toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults."

The definition of a toy has been the subject of numerous Customs rulings and case law. Customs Headquarters ruling 085020, dated October 30, 1989, defined a toy as an "object designed for the amusement of a child or an adult" and that the purpose of a toy is "to give the enjoyment of a plaything and generally carries little or no utilitarian value."

In United States v. Topps Chewing Gum, Inc., 440 F.2d 1384, 1385 (C.C.P.A. 1971), the court concluded that certain metal buttons designed to be worn on a shirt or sweater and on which were written humorous sayings and/or designs were classifiable as toys. In reaching this conclusion, the court reasoned that "[i]f the purpose of an object is to give the same kind of enjoyment as playthings give, its purpose is amusement, whether the object is to be manually manipulated, used in a game, or, as here, worn."

Specifically, Customs has defined the term "amusement" as "holding the attention of (someone) agreeably" or "to entertain or divert in a pleasant or cheerful manner."

It is our opinion that the articles herein are of the class or kind of merchandise classifiable as toy animals in subheading 9503 of the HTSUS as the merchandise is clearly designed and intended to be primarily used for entertainment, diversion and "amusement," as that term is defined and interpreted in the cited Customs Service rulings and case law.

The applicable subheading for the "Monitor Mate" will be 9503.49.0020, HTSUS, which provides for Other toys;...toys representing animals or non-human creatures...other, toys not having a spring mechanism. The rate of duty will be free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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