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HQ 960030

April 23, 1997

CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 960030 GGD


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0030

Mr. Charles J. Cannon
Liberty International, Inc.
470 Main Street
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02860

RE: "Hide N Seek Playhouse;" Indoor Toy Structure; Not Tent; Note 1(u) to Chapter 95

Dear Mr. Cannon:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of November 1, 1996, on behalf of Summer Infant Products, Inc., concerning the classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of an article identified as a "Hide N Seek Playhouse," which is manufactured in China. A sample, without inserts, was submitted with your inquiry.


The article to be imported is composed of brightly colored man-made textile fabric, and is designed for indoor use for children of ages 1 to 3 years. It is described as a "flat complete form," meaning that the rectangular pieces of foam which, when inserted, cause the structure to stand erect, will be added after importation and prior to retail packaging. The form inserts will be easily removed, allowing for the imported shell to be washed after use.

Dimensions of the erected item were not provided and the unavailability of the form inserts renders the following measurements imprecise. The article is a simple, open-ended, -2-
unanchored, crawl-through structure which has only two walls (measuring approximately 17 inches in height by 19 inches in width), a floor (measuring approximately 22 inches in length by 19 inches in width), and a roof of two planes (each measuring approximately 19 inches in width by 14 inches in height) that are joined by a hook and loop fabric fastener at the peak, which will be approximately 26 inches in height above the floor. On the interior walls, there are clear plastic pockets in which photographs or a child's art work may be displayed, and mesh pouches for storing books, crayons, toys, etc. There are no means my which the open ends of the structure may be covered. The article is advertised as "A playful hideaway...soft, safe and


Whether the article is more properly classified in heading 6306, HTSUS, as a tent, or in heading 9503, HTSUS, as a toy.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined 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.

Among other items, heading 6306, HTSUS, covers tents, including screen houses. Chapter 63 falls within section XI, HTSUS, which covers textiles and textile articles. Note 1(t) to section XI, states that the section does not cover "Articles of chapter 95 (for example, toys, games, sports requisites and nets)." The EN to heading 6306 indicate that tents are shelters of fabric, usually with a roof and sides or walls that permit the formation of an enclosure. The EN also indicate that the heading covers tents of various sizes and shapes (including tents for military, camping, circus, and beach use), whether or not coated or laminated, and whether or not presented with their tent poles, tent pegs, guy ropes, or other accessories. -3-

Chapter 95, HTSUS, covers toys, games, sports equipment, and parts and accessories thereof. Note 1(u) to chapter 95 states that the chapter does not cover "[r]acket strings, tents or other camping goods, or gloves (classified according to their constituent material)." Heading 9503, HTSUS, applies to "other toys," i.e., all toys not specifically provided for in the other headings of chapter 95. Although the term "toy" is not specifically defined in the tariff, the EN to chapter 95, HTSUS, indicate that the chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults. It has been Customs position that toys should be designed and used principally for amusement.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 088644, issued June 11, 1991, this office classified a nylon textile fabric, dome-shaped enclosure that was erected with poles and identified as a "Playschool Adventure Tent" in heading 6306, HTSUS. In response to arguments that the item did not have stakes, ropes, a floor, or zipper closure, that it was not constructed to withstand wind, rain, hail, or snow, and that it was sold in toy stores, we noted that not all tents classified in heading 6306, would withstand hail, snow, etc., and that how and where an article is sold is an ancillary consideration for classification purposes.

In HQ 957639, issued May 31, 1995, we classified a cylindrically shaped, nylon textile fabric enclosure identified as a "Ball Barrel" in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUSA, as a toy. The article measured approximately 48 inches in length by 36 inches in diameter. Although the "ball barrel" formed a textile enclosure, it lacked the minimal stability expected of tents, which are usually designed to remain where they are placed. The "ball barrel's" mobility, however, enhanced its play value, and we found that the item was designed to be used principally for amusement.

Unlike the "Playschool Adventure Tent" and "Ball Barrel," the "Hide N Seek Playhouse" is designed specifically for indoor use. It does not form an enclosure and provides no protection whatsoever from the elements. Due to its shape, the "playhouse" is probably more stable than the textile barrel, but it may be picked up and moved easily from room to room. It also appears to be of a much smaller size than either of the other two described articles. In light of the foregoing, we find that the "playhouse" is designed and will be used principally for amusement. Since the article is not a tent, it is not excluded -4-
from coverage in chapter 95 by note 1(u) to the chapter. The "Hide N Seek Playhouse" is properly classified in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUSA.


The "Hide N Seek Playhouse" is 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 general column one duty rate is free.


John Durant, Director

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