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HQ 952736

June 28, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952736 LPF


TARIFF NO.: 9502.99.30

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
605 West Fourth Avenue, Rm. 205
Anchorage, AK 99501

RE: Decision on application for further review of Protest No. 3195-91-100209, filed November 14, 1991, concerning classification of doll wigs; Heading 9502, HTSUSA, dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof.

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on a protest filed November 14, 1991, against your decision in the classification of certain merchandise liquidated on August 16, 1991.


The protest involves doll wigs, imported from Korea. The protestant entered the articles under subheading 6704.20.00, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), providing for wigs...of human hair, at a general column one duty rate of 2.8 percent ad valorem.

You classified the doll wigs under subheading 9502.99.30, HTSUSA, providing for dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof, at a general column one duty rate of 12 percent ad valorem.

The articles are described as 100 percent synthetic hairgoods. Catalogues were submitted which illustrate the numerous types of doll wigs being worn by various dolls.


Whether the doll wigs are classifiable in heading 9502, HTSUSA, as dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof or in heading 6704 as wigs.


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA. Most imported 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. The Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's.

The subject articles are classifiable by applying GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the applicable heading and the relative chapter notes. The headings at issue are 9502, which provides for dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof, and 6704 which provides for wigs.

In support of the articles' classification within heading 6704, counsel cites Mattel Inc., v. United States, 61 Cust. Ct. 75, C.D. 3531 (1968), where the court held that doll wigs were classifiable within item 790.70, Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), as wigs. In addition, counsel submits that Congress did not intend that the conversion of the TSUS to the HTSUSA would result in a change of classification or rate of duty for doll wigs.

The HTSUSA, which went into effect January 1, 1989, is a new tariff system with rules of interpretation and application somewhat different from the TSUS. As noted in H. Conf. Rep. No. 576, p.550, decisions by the Customs Service and courts interpreting nomenclature under the TSUS are not deemed dispositive in interpreting the HTSUSA. Nevertheless, on a case- by-case basis, TSUS decisions should be considered instructive, in interpreting the HTSUSA, particularly where the nomenclature previously interpreted in those decisions remains unchanged and no dissimilar interpretation is required by the text of the HTSUSA.

In this instance, a dissimilar interpretation is indicated by the text of the HTSUSA, which, contrary to the TSUS, includes a subheading providing for parts and accessories of dolls and includes Note 3 to Chapter 95 which provides that parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles. Therefore, we do not find the court's interpretation of the nomenclature under the TSUS instructive in this case. We also note that while the underlying intent of the conversion from the TSUS to the HTSUSA was to be revenue neutral to the extent
possible, it was also recognized that the conversion would result, in some cases, in changes in rates of duty. See Conversion of the Tariff Schedules of the United States Annotated into the Nomenclature Structure of the Harmonized System (Conversion), USITC Publication 1400, 31, June 1983. In fact, in Annex II of the Conversion, it was noted that, under the HTSUSA, while cetain wigs would remain classified as wigs,...switches and the like (within heading 6704), others would now be classified as doll parts or accessories (within heading 9502).

It has been Customs position that doll wigs are classifiable, within 9502, HTSUSA, as dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof. See Headquarters Ruling Letter 085918, issued March 2, 1990. An established and uniform practice does not exist to the contrary, that is, of classifying doll wigs under the eo nomine provision for wigs.

The EN's to heading 9502 provide, in pertinent part, that parts and accessories of dolls include: heads, bodies, limbs, eyes, moving mechanisms for eyes, voice-producing or other mechanisms, wigs, dolls' clothing and hats (emphasis added). Contrary to counsel's position, we do not find these EN's "completely oblivious [and] utterly unauthoritative" in regard to the applicable U.S. judicial decisions and the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation (AUSRI).

Originally, for an article to be classified as a part of another article, that article must have been "something necessary to the completion of that article...[and] an integral, constituent, or component part, without which the article to which it is to be joined, could not function as such article." United States v. Willoughby Camera Stores, Inc., 21 CCPA 322, 324, T.D. 46, 51 (1933), cert. denied, 292 U.S. 640 (1934); United States v. Antonio Pompeo, 43 CCPA 9, 11, C.A.D. 602 (1955). This rule has been somewhat modified so that a device may be considered a part of an article even though the device is not necessary to the operation of the article, provided that once the device is installed, the article cannot function properly without it. Clipper Belt Lacer Co., Inc. v. United States, Slip Op. 90-22 (Ct. Int'l Trade, decided March 13, 1990).

Because 9502 provides for dolls representing only human beings, and human beings, characteristically, have hair, it may be argued that dolls (representing only human beings) cannot function properly without doll wigs. Thus, doll wigs may fit the criteria describing a part. However, in any event, doll wigs may be considered a doll accessory. Because there is no legal definition provided in the HTSUSA for an "accessory," we must use other sources to define the term. An accessory is defined as, "a thing of secondary importance; an object or device not essential
in itself but adding to the...convenience or effectiveness of something else." See Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary 49 (1990). See also Auto-Ordinance Corp. v. U.S., 822 F.2d 1566 (Fed. Cir. 1987), citing, U.S. v. Liebert, 59 CCPA 43, C.A.D. 1035, 450 F.2d 1405 (1971). Among other things, accessories may widen the range of uses of the main article. Doll wigs add to the effectiveness and widen the range of use of a doll. Additionally, the doll wigs, by their particular shape and size, specifically are designed to fit on dolls. Thus, because the doll wigs appear to be solely or principally used with dolls, they may be considered accessories.

In this regard, Note 3 to Chapter 95 provides that parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles. Counsel opines that since an eo nomine designation (i.e., wigs) requires no consideration of use, that Note 3 is inapplicable and that, in any event, Note 3 is not "special" language or context which would bar the application of AUSRI 1(c). See AUSRI 1(c) stating that in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires, a provision for parts or parts and accessories shall not prevail over a specific provision for such part or accessory.

Counsel cites C.S.D. 79-140, 13 Cust. Bull. 1198 (1978) and Pistorino & Co., Inc. v. The United States, 66 CCPA 95, C.A.D. 1227 (1979) where it was stated that a general rule exists precluding consideration of use in eo nomine designations and that use is not a criterion in determining whether merchandise is classifiable under an eo nomine designation, where the provision is clear and unambiguous, without any suggestion that the element of use should influence the classification of merchandise thereunder. However, the court frequently has considered the use of various articles in order to determine whether they were classifiable within certain eo nomine provisions. For instance, in Sanji Kobata et al. v. United States, 66 Cust. Ct. 341, C.D. 4213 (1971), W & J Sloane, Inc. v. United States, 76 Cust. Ct. 62, C.D. 4636 (1976), and J.E. Mamiye & Sons, Inc. v. United States, 85 Cust. Ct. 92, C.D. 4878 (1980), the court reasoned that it, "is not so trusting [of its] own notions of what things are as to be willing to ignore the purpose for which they were designed and made and the use to which they were actually put."

We note that Chapter 95 includes numerous eo nomine provisions. It is apparent that Note 3 (i.e., parts and accessories for use with articles of this chapter) was intended to apply to all the provisions included within Chapter 95. To hold otherwise, would render Note 3 ineffective. The use of the wigs, as evidenced by their appropriate size and design for specific dolls and marketing as doll accessories, provides indicia of their classification as doll parts or accessories.

We disagree with counsel's assessment that Note 3 is inapplicable because it does not appear within Chapter 67 (where wigs are classified) and, consequently, the goods must be classified pursuant to AUSI 1(c). GRI 1 provides that for legal purposes, classification is determined, inter alia, by chapter notes. Note 3 to Chapter 95 is legally binding and constitutes "special language or context" which prevails over AUSI 1(c).

It is Customs position that the terms of heading 9502, Note 3 to Chapter 95, and the EN's to 9502 all indicate that the doll wigs are classifiable within heading 9502. The appropriate subheading is 9502.99.3000.


The doll wigs are classifiable in subheading 9502.99.3000, HTSUSA, as "[d]olls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: Parts and accessories: Other: Other." The general column one rate of duty is 12 percent ad valorem.

Because the rate of duty under the classification above is the same as the liquidated rate, you are instructed to deny the protest in full. A copy of this decision with the Form 19 should be sent to the protestant.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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