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HQ 952154

November 17, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952154 AJS


TARIFF NO.: 8519.91.00; 8524.21.30

Mr. Peter Jay Baskin
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C. Sixty seven Broad Street
New York, N.Y. 10004

RE: Talk N Play; HQ 088044; GRI 3; GRI 3(b); GRI 3(c); set put up for retail sale; GRI 3(b), EN (VIII); Heading 4901; Heading 8542; Heading 4903; Chapter 85, note 6; HQ 950925.

Dear Mr. Baskin:

Your letter of May 26, 1992, on behalf of Kiddesigns, Inc., requesting the tariff classification of the "Talk N Play Inter- active Entertainment System" (System) under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), has been referred to this office for reply.


The subject System consists of a children's picture book, cassette tape, and tape player which are packaged together and sold as a set. The tape player, which is also capable of playing other standard cassette tapes, features a flip-up stand on which to place the book when the article is in use. The System is intended for a child to use by following a story in the book and answering questions or partaking in other activities incidental to the story through the prompting of the accompanying tape. Aside from the usual kinds of controls commonly found on cassette players (i.e, volume, play, stop, fast forward, and rewind), the player also contains four switches that the child may use to answer questions or otherwise participate in the story. In addition, the cassette player contains storage space for additional Talk N Play books and tapes which may be purchased separately and also used with the System.

The cassette player is made in China, the cassette tape is produced in Singapore, and the book will be made in Hong Kong and/or China.


Whether the subject System is properly classifiable within heading 4903, HTSUS, which provides for children's picture books; or within heading 8524, HTSUS, which provides for records, tapes and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded phenomena; or within heading 8519, HTSUS, which provides for cassette players and other sound reproducing apparatus, not incorporating a sound recording device.


General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1 states that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the other GRIs.

In HQ 088044 (April 4, 1991), Customs addressed the classification of the "Storytime", which consisted of a children's book (provided for within heading 4901), an electronic reading tray (provided for within heading 8519), and a read only memory (ROM) cartridge (provided for within heading 8542) packed together and sold as a set. We determined that the Storytime was a GRI 3 set put up for retail sale, and that GRI 3(c) governed the classification of the set. GRI 3(c) requires that classification be based on the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration. In HQ 088044, headings 4901 and 8519, HTSUS, were considered to merit consideration. Based on GRI 3(c), the Storytime was classifiable within heading 8519, HTSUS. Heading 8542, HTSUS, was not determined to equally merit consideration, otherwise it would have governed classification.

The subject System is similar to the Storytime. It consists of a children's picture book (provided for within heading 4903), a cassette player (provided for within heading 8519), and a cassette tape (provided for within 8524). Based on HQ 088044, we find that the System is also put up in a set for retail sale. However, we find that the cassette player determines the essential character of the set, and that classification is governed by the application of GRI 3(b) (i.e., essential character) rather than GRI 3(c). Essential character may be determined by the nature of the component parts of the set or their value. GRI 3(b), Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Note (VIII). The cassette player imparts the essential character to the System because additional books and cassettes may be substituted for the original ones purchased with the System. In addition, both the book and tape
are dependent on the cassette player in order to function as intended, while the cassette player may be used to play other standard cassette tapes. Furthermore, the cassette player possesses the greatest value among the components of the System. Accordingly, the System is properly classifiable within heading 8519, HTSUS. More specifically, it is described within subheading 8519.91.00, HTSUS, which provides for cassette type sound reproducing apparatus.

Records, tapes and other media of heading 8524 remain classified in this heading, whether or not they are entered with the apparatus for which they are intended. Chapter 85, note 6. In HQ 950925 (May 12, 1992), we ruled that a component cassette included in a GRI 3 set must be broken out of the set and classified separately within heading 8524, HTSUS. The subject System consists of a cassette tape, which is provided for within subheading 8524.21.30, HTSUS. Therefore, the cassette tape must be classified separately within this subheading pursuant to the above chapter note.


The Talk N Play System is properly classifiable within subheading 8519.91.00, HTSUS, which provides for cassette type sound reproducing apparatus not incorporating a sound recording device. The cassette tape must be broken out and classified separately within subheading 8524.21.30, HTSUS, which provides for other magnetic tape recordings of a width not exceeding 4 mm.


John Durant, Director

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