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NY 808419

March 28, 1995

CLA-2-95:S:N:N8:224 808419


TARIFF NO.: 9503.49.0020

David A. Eisen
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson, P.C.
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: The tariff classification of a toy bubble-blowing figure from China and/or Taiwan.

Dear Mr. Eisen:

In your letter dated March 21, 1995, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Avon Products.

The merchandise consists of an electrically powered bubble blowing toy. The article measures approximately six inches in height, is constructed of rigid plastic, and is designed to depict a cartoon version of a bear decorated in Santa Claus clothing. The toy is equipped with a bubble blowing wand secured within the "hand" and a removable, refillable "bowl" located in the figure's "lap" within which the bubble solution is contained. When electrically powered, the product's "arm" moves downward placing the bubble blowing wand into the bubble solution. The "arm" then moves upward placing the saturated bubble blowing wand in front of a stream of air continually flowing out of the article's "mouth," resulting in the formation of bubbles. An on and off and delay switch is located on the bottom rear. Your sample is being returned at your request.

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 article herein is of the class or kind of merchandise classifiable as a toy animal 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 "Bubble-Blowing Santa" - PP 131740 will be 9503.49.0020, HTSUS, which provides for "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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