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HQ 960098

November 3, 1997

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 960098 MMC


TARIFF NO.: 3924.90.5500

Ms. Pamela Dalton
Hasbro Inc.
1027 Newport Avenue
PO Box 1059
Pautucket, RI 02862

RE: Vinyl inflatable "play tent"; Note 1(u) to Chapter 95, Note 1 to Chapter 63 subchapter 1; EN 63.06, 95.03; The Lexicon Webster Dictionary; HRLs 088146, 089149, 950217, 087116, 088644, 086969, 086867, 085269, 084745, 084128 and 086548

Dear Ms. Dalton:

This is in response to your letter of October 18, 1996, to the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division in New York requesting the classification of a vinyl inflatable "playhouse" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Your letter, together with pictures, was forwarded to this office for a response. We regret the delay in responding.


The article, identified as # 10004, children's play tent, is a vinyl plastic singular structure that once inflated, becomes an inclosed play area. It is equipped with three air plugs used to inflate the three main support channels. These support channels give shape and support to the tent. It has no plastic floor area or anchors to secure it in place. Nor does it have a method of secure closure for the entrance.


Whether the vinyl inflatable "playhouse" is considered a tent, a toy or an other plastic article for tariff purposes.


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (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 headings under consideration are as follows:

3924 Tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics

3926 Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914

6306 Tarpaulins, awnings and sunblinds; tents; sails for boats, sailboards or landcraft; camping goods

9503 Other toys; reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; and accessories thereof

Note 1(u) to Chapter 95, HTSUS, states that the chapter does not include "Racket strings, tents or other camping goods, or gloves (classified according to their constituent material)."

In understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (ENs) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The ENs, although not dispositive, or legally binding, provide a commentary on the scope of each heading, and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the HTSUS. See, T.D. 89-90, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989). The general ENs for Chapter 95, HTSUS, state, in pertinent part, that, "Apart from the articles excluded in the following Explanatory Notes, this Chapter also excludes:...(c) Tents and camping goods (generally heading 63.06)...." Therefore, if the subject article meets the tariff definition of "tent" it is excluded from classification as a toy.

Heading 6306, HTSUS, provides for "Tarpaulins, Awnings and Sunblinds; Tents; Sails for Boats, Sailboards, or Landcraft; Camping Goods." EN 63.06 defines the term "tent" as:

(4) Tents are shelters made of lightweight to fairly heavy fabrics of man-made fibres, cotton or blended textile materials, whether or not coated, covered or laminated, or of canvas. They usually have a single or double roof and sides or walls (single or double), which permit the formation of an enclosure. The heading covers tents of various sizes and shapes, e.g., marquees and tents for military, camping (including backpack tents), circus, beach use. They are classified in this heading, whether or not they are presented complete with their tent poles, tent pegs, guy ropes or other accessories.

Caravan "awnings" (sometimes known as caravan annexes) which are tent-like structures are also regarded as tents. They are generally made of man-made fibre fabrics or of fairly thick canvas. They consist of three walls and a roof and are designed to augment the living space provided by a caravan.

The heading excludes umbrella tents of heading 66.01

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 089149 dated July 30, 1991, we held that a play tent was classifiable under subheading 6306.22.9030, HTSUS, as a tent because the definition of "tent" set forth in the ENs was broad enough to cover many types of tents, including play tents. See HRL 950217 dated December 19,1991, affirming HRL 089149. See also: HRLs 087116 dated July 17, 1990; 088644 dated June 13, 1991; 086969 dated April 27, 1990; 086867 dated April 26, 1990; 085269 dated April 13, 1990; and 084745 dated September 15, 1989, all indicating that play and slumber tents met the EN definition of "tents" and therefore were excluded from classification as toys.

The Lexicon Webster Dictionary, defines "tent" as "a portable shelter consisting of some flexible covering, such as skins, matting or canvas, stretched and sustained by poles." The EN 63.06 description of articles belonging to the class or kind, "tents" has a broad scope. Such a broad scope coupled with the dictionary definition's broad scope leads us to believe that for an article to be considered a "tent" it must, at a minimum, be sustained by a frame/skeleton, be covered by some flexible material, and provide a minimum amount of shelter.

The subject vinyl playhouse can provide a minimum amount of shelter from the elements and has a flexible plastic covering. While the playhouse does not have "poles" per se, the air used to fill the support channels provides a framework for the structure. The playhouse is made of a flexible material, is capable of providing a minimum amount of shelter and has a framework which is created when the support channels are filled with air. As the subject playhouse is a tent for tariff purposes, Note 1(u) to Chapter 95, HTSUS, excludes it from classification as a toy.

While heading 6306, HTSUS, specifically provides for tents, Note 1 to Chapter 63 subchapter 1, indicates it only provides for tents made of textile materials. This tent is made of plastic and is therefore not described by heading 6306, HTSUS.

Heading 3924, HTSUS, provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles, of plastics. Heading 3926 provides for other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914. Both headings describe the playhouse. GRI 3 states that when goods are, prima facie, described by two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description.

As the articles will be used in and around the home, we are of the opinion that the plastic playhouses are more specifically described by heading 3924, specifically, subheading 3924.90.5500, HTSUS, which provides for "Tableware, kitchenware, other household and toilet articles, of plastics: Other: Other."


The vinyl inflatable playhouse is classifiable under subheading 3924.90.5500, HTSUS, which provides for "Tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics: Other: Other" and has a column one duty rate of 3.4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Tariff Classification Division

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