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HQ 958152

April 2, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:FC 958152 RC


TARIFF NO.: 9017.20.90

Mr. Fred Shapiro
Fasco (USA) Ltd.
39 East Hanover Avenue
Morris Plains, New Jersey 07950

RE: "Polly Pocket, Light-Up Desk"; HRL 953922; HRL 958805

Dear Mr. Shapiro:

This is in response to your letter, dated June 1, 1995, requesting a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated, HTSUSA, for four various activity sets. The Customs National Import Specialist (NIS) in New York issued a ruling for three of these items under separate cover. With respect to the "Polly Pocket, Light-Up Desk" (Item No. 48004), the NIS forwarded your letter to our office to issue a ruling.


The article is identified as a "Polly Pocket, Light-Up Desk" (Item No. 48004). It is marketed for use by ages five and up. It consists of a "light box," six "Designer Sheets" (printed sheets of paper depicting a figure in various scenes/settings), six colored pencils, and twelve blank sheets of paper. The "light box" serves as a lighted drawing surface and carrying case. It consists of a plastic case incorporating a lighting module. When three "C" alkaline batteries (not included) are inserted into the "light box" and a switch is turned on, two tiny light bulbs illuminate the box's drawing surface. The user chooses a printed design sheet or sheets to place on the drawing surface. The illumination allows one to trace the designs on the blank paper. Then the designs may be colored. The merchandise is imported packaged for retail sale.


Whether the "Polly Pocket, Light-Up Desk" is classifiable as a drawing instrument under heading 9017, HTSUS, or as a toy or toy set.


Classification under the HTSUSA 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.

Customs has ruled on a similar product in HRL 957895, dated December 14, 1995. There, we found that the product identified as "Trace N' Color" was not classifiable as a "toy" or "toy set" under heading 9503, HTSUS, instead finding that it was a GRI 3(b) set, the essential character imparted by the "light box." In HRL 958805, dated February 8, 1996, we confirmed our position with regard to exclusion of this merchandise from heading 9503, HTSUS. However, we found that our original GRI 3(b) analysis and classification, under subheading 3926.10.00, HTSUS, were incorrect.

In HRL 958805, Customs ruled that the "Trace N' Color" was designed, and included all of the components necessary, to outline a figure and produce a likeness by means of making lines on a surface. The device was therefore classifiable, according to GRI 1, as a drawing instrument under heading 9017, HTSUS, the provision for drawing instruments, including "drawing sets." It was not necessary to resort to GRI 3. Specifically, the "Trace N' Color" was classifiable under subheading 9017.20.90, HTSUS, which provides for other drawing instruments. See HRL 958805, dated February 8, 1996. Also, see HRL 953922, dated November 17, 1993 (wherein we classified the "Video Painter," a sketching and drawing system which allowed the user to create a wide variety of colorful images on a television set or video monitor, under heading 9017, HTSUS).

We find that factually the "Polly Pocket, Light-Up Desk" product, here, presents the same characteristics for classification purposes as the "Trace N' Color" product. Therefore, the "Polly Pocket, Light-Up Desk" is classifiable under subheading 9017.20.90, HTSUS.


The "Polly Pocket, Light-Up Desk" is classifiable under subheading 9017.20.90, HTSUS, which provides for other drawing instruments. The corresponding rate of duty for articles of this subheading is 5.3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification

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