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NY B89014

September 9, 1997

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:225 B89014


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0045

Ms. Blythe Severson
Expeditors International
980 Lone Oak Road, Suite 128
Eagan, MN 55121

RE: The tariff classification of an electronic toy from China

Dear Ms. Severson:

In your letter dated August 18,1997 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client General Mills, Inc.

The product submitted is called "Giga Pets". The item is a bell shaped plastic unit that measures 2 by 1 3/4 inches. It features an LCD display screen with four buttons that activate a digital pet. Amusement is derived from pretending that your pet is "alive" and in order to maintain it's state of well being one must diligently administer life sustaining needs in the form of pressing a series of buttons. The buttons depressed represent activities such as feeding, playing, cleaning, health needs, etc. The user becomes a care giver to the computer pet which, if left unattended, will ultimately "die". In the event of the pet's demise, a reset button may be depressed to restart the "life" cycle.

A metallic chain (which you refer to as a keychain) is attached to the "Giga Pets" product which serves as a means to carry the product around. The item is battery operated and will be sold on a blister card with printed instructions.

Although you refer to the "Giga Pets" article as a "game", the product does not possess the competitive characteristics of a game as the term is applied in the tariff schedule under heading 9504, HTS. It is recognized that the product incorporates play activity, basic challenge skills, and simple scoring like a game, however, we have determined that the item's principal use is to provide frivolous amusement rather than to induce a sense of competition thereby generating a win/lose situation.

Furthermore, we view this toy pet feature as imparting the essential character to the article. By virtue of GRI 3(b), the "Giga Pets" article is classified as a toy in Heading 9503 of the HTS. Your sample is returned as requested.

The applicable subheading for the "Giga Pets" will be 9503.90.0045, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other toys: other: other toys and models. The rate of duty will be free.

Additionally, please note that importations of the "Giga Pets" may be subject to the provisions of Section 133 of the Customs Regulations if they copy or simulate a registered copyright work recorded with the Customs Service. For further information on this subject you may contact your local Customs office prior to importation.

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 Alice J. Wong at 212-466-5538.


Gwenn Klein Kirschner
Chief, Special Products Branch

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