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HQ 958180

January 18, 1996

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 958180 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0030

Suzanne B. Barnett. Esquire
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 245 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10167-0002

RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 809098; "Doll-Related Toy Cases;" Other Toys; Not Carrying Cases of 4202, HTSUS

Dear Ms. Barnett:

This letter is in response to your request dated July 13, 1995, on behalf of your client, Pleasant Company, for reconsideration of NYRL 809098, issued April 28, 1995, concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of four doll-related carrying cases imported from Taiwan and/or China. Samples were submitted with the request.

In NYRL 809098, Customs classified four small carrying cases. Two vinyl-covered cases were classified in subheading 4202.12.2085, HTSUSA, the provision for "Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels and similar containers: With outer surface of plastics or of textile materials: With outer surface of plastics, Other: Other." One case covered with textile materials was classified in subheading 4202.12.8030, HTSUSA, textile category 670, the provision for "Trunks...and similar containers: With outer surface of plastics or of textile materials: With outer surface of textile materials: Other, Attache cases, brief cases, school satchels, occupational luggage cases and similar containers: Other: Of man-made fibers." One paper-covered case was classified in subheading 4202.19.0000, -2-

HTSUSA, the provision for "Trunks...and similar containers: Other." We have reviewed NYRL 809098 and have found it to be partially in error. The correct classification is as follows.

Pursuant to section 625, Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186 (1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed modification of NYRL 809098 was published on December 13, 1995, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 50.


Each of the four sample articles is a small, sturdy replica of a period travel case that is designed not only to contain/transport a large doll's accessories, but also (and principally) to be played with while playing with a doll. Item no. EWAL-01 is a vinyl-covered, decoratively-trimmed replica of a rounded-top, trunk-style case, measuring approximately 5-3/4 inches in length by 3 inches in width by 3-1/2 inches in height. Item no. SWAL-01 is a vinyl-covered replica of a valise, measuring approximately 6 inches in length by 3 inches in width by 4 inches in height. Item no. MWAL-01 is a plaid fabric-covered, decoratively trimmed replica of a suitcase, measuring approximately 6 inches in length by 2-1/4 inches in width by 4 inches in height. Item no. AWAL-01 is a decorative, paper-covered, oval-shaped replica of a bandbox (hatbox) with leather straps. The item measures approximately 5 inches in length by 4 inches in width by 3 inches in height. All of the articles open and close. All (with the exception of the bandbox, which has only small straps) have latches and small handles. The cases are marketed as accessories to dolls in "The American Girls Collection," a line of historically authentic books, dolls, and related accessories. The size of the cases is essentially proportional to dolls that measure approximately 18 inches in height.


Whether the articles are classified in heading 4202, HTSUS, as trunks, suitcases, vanity cases...and similar containers; or in heading 9503, HTSUS, as other toys not having a spring mechanism. -3-


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). 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 GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) 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 GRI.

Heading 4202, HTSUS, provides, in part, for "Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases...and similar containers...." Note 1(l) to chapter 42 states that "[t]his chapter does not cover: Articles of chapter 95 (for example, toys, games, sports equipment)...." The EN to heading 4202 indicate that the containers covered by the heading may be rigid or with a rigid foundation, or soft and without foundation, and that the articles covered by the first part of the heading may be of any material.

In Totes, Incorporated v. United States, 69 F.3d 495 (Fed. Cir. 1995), the Court of International Trade (CIT) held that the essential characteristics and purposes of the heading 4202 exemplars are to organize, store, protect and carry various items. Although the four carrying cases are able to serve the purposes enumerated by the CIT, the items are not, in essence, principally functional.

Chapter 95, HTSUS, covers "toys, games and sports equipment; parts and accessories thereof." Note 1(d) to chapter 95 states that "[t]his chapter does not cover: Sports bags or other containers of heading 4202...." Heading 9503, HTSUS, provides for "Other toys...and accessories thereof," i.e., all toys not specifically provided for in the other headings of chapter 95. Although the term "toy" is not defined in the tariff, the EN to chapter 95 indicate that a toy is an article designed for the amusement of children or adults. It has been Customs position that the amusement requirement means that toys should be designed and used principally for amusement. The EN to heading 9503 indicate that certain toys (e.g., electric irons, sewing -4-
machines, musical instruments, etc.) may be capable of a limited "use," but they are generally distinguishable by their size and limited capacity from real sewing machines, etc.

Although the four cases are small replicas of full-size, period travel cases, only the size of the handles/straps limits their uses as functional containers. It is the fact that the articles are designed principally for amusement (i.e., doll play), however, that precludes them from being prima facie classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUS. As toys, the items are excluded from coverage in heading 4202 by Note 1(l) to chapter 42. It is our determination that heading 9503 most accurately provides for the four small carrying cases, and that they are classified in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUSA.


The four carrying cases, identified by item nos. EWAL-01, SWAL-01, MWAL-01, and AWAL-01, are 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.

NYRL 809098, issued April 28, 1995, is hereby modified.

In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become effective 60 days from its publication in the Customs Bulletin. Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).


John Durant, Director

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