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NY A88585

October 31, 1996

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 A88585


TARIFF NO.: 6211.43.0091; 9503.41.0010; 9503.90.0030

Bob Glover
Coppersmith Inc.
2501 Santa Fe Ave.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

RE: The tariff classification of a "Touch and Play Teacher Apron" from the Philippines.

Dear Mr. Glover:

In your letter dated October 10, 1996, you requested a tariff classification ruling, on behalf of Lakeshore Learning Materials.

You are requesting the tariff classification of an item which consists of a textile apron with pockets and velcro pieces, and little toy figures. The toy portion of the article consists of four stuffed animal toys, one puffed heart toy, one flower toy, and two animal finger puppets (all toys have sewn-on velcro on their backs, except for the finger puppets). The apron part of the article is a smock style apron with three large pockets running along the bottom front portion of the apron. In addition, there are four velcro pieces sewn onto the top and middle portions of the front of the apron. The smock has a drawstring which ties at the waist. Sample will be returned, as requested.

The item (as described in the previous paragraph) consists of two components: a textile apron and eight toy figures. No one subheading of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States fully describes this article. Therefore the article cannot be classified in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation 1. Since the article is made up of two components which if imported separately would be classified under different subheadings, we refer to GRI 3 to classify this composite good. In this regard we note that the individual components are classifiable as follows: the textile apron in subheading 6211.43, HTS and the toy figures in subheadings 9503.41, HTS (the stuffed animals), and 9503.90, HTS (the finger puppets, heart toy, and flower toy).

The Explanatory Notes to GRI 3(b) include as composite goods not only those in which the components are attached to one another, but also those with separable components which are adapted to each other and are "mutually complementary", insofar that together they "form a whole" which would "not normally be offered for sale in separate parts." The components of this product are normally sold independently of one another. Toys are not normally sold with functional smock aprons. And smock aprons are normally sold separately, without toys. It is reasonable to assume normal commercial usage can be derived from these components when separated from each other. We believe that there is a market for both the toys and the apron as separate articles of commerce. One may say that the toys and the apron are mutually complementary to each other based on the fact that they are intended to be used together as a whole. We disagree. In the instant case, the toys and the apron may be used together, but they also have independent functions and are normally offered to the consumer separately. Since the toys and the apron, together, do not form a practically inseparable whole and, although forming a whole, the toys and the apron would normally be sold separately, the product does not fit the description of a composite good and the components must be classified separately.

We have also considered classification of this item as a set, GRI 3(b), however neither the apron nor the toys are each mutually complementary in that neither completes or finishes the other. The apron and the toys together do not meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity. The toys provide amusement, while the apron provides protection for clothing during varied activities and storage for the toys and any other items that fit into the apron pockets (in addition to being used as a play apron when the toys are attached to the apron's surface). The apron is not of a kind normally sold at retail with toys; it is of a kind similar to a functional smock apron. Therefore, the two components are classified separately. The applicable subheading for the four stuffed animal toys (duck, fish, turtle, and bear) will be 9503.41.0010, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Toys representing animals or non-human creatures...and parts and accessories thereof: Stuffed toys and parts and accessories thereof...Stuffed toys". The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the two finger puppets, the puffed heart, and the flower toy will be 9503.90.0030, Harmonized Tariff Scedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Other toys;...and accessories thereof: Other...Other toys (except models), not having a spring mechanism". The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the smock apron will be 6211.43.0091, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for "Other garments, women's or girls' (con.): Of man-made fibers...Other". The rate of duty will be 16.8 percent ad valorem.

Items classified within tariff number 6211.43.0091 fall within textile category designation 659. As a product of the Philippines this merchandise is subject to visa requirements and/or quota restrictions based on international textile trade agreements.

Due to the changeable nature of these agreements you are advised to contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist Thomas A. McKenna at 212-466-5475.


Roger J. Silvestri

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