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HQ 960275

March 16, 1998

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 960275 RC


TARIFF NO.: 9503.70.0030

Mr. Rick Horowitz
Horowitz & Marcus Associates
200 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10010

RE: "Princess Sweetheart Dress-Up Set"

Dear Mr. Horowitz:

This is in response to your letter of January 29, 1997, on behalf of your client Kawaguchi Co. Ltd., requesting a binding tariff classification ruling for a Princess Sweetheart Dress-Up Set under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The "Princess Sweetheart Dress-Up Set" (item # 9227786A) consists of a handbag, jeweled bracelet, necklace, ring, functioning watch, headband, set of earrings and lace gloves, a pretend lipstick, and invitation(s) to a "Princess Ball." The handbag, measuring approximately six by five by two inches, is made primarily of pink vinyl and features a plastic handle and trim. It also has a long metal chain-link shoulder strap attached to the plastic handle. The gloves are made of lace tulle. The remaining items are made primarily of plastic. Together, the items are intended for use by girls ages three to seven. The "Princess Sweetheart Dress-Up Set" is sold through a J.C. Penney Christmas Toy Catalog (only as a complete set, not individually). It is packed in a corrugated box imprinted with the J.C. Penney lot number. A sample was submitted for our review.


Whether the items comprising the "Princess Sweetheart Dress-Up Set" are classifiable as a set or separately.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the HTSUS is such that virtually all 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. 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's may then be applied.

The relevant headings are as follows:

4202 the provision for purses;

7117 the provision for imitation jewelry;

9102 the provision for wrist watches;

9615 the provision for hair-slides and the like;

9503 the provision for other toys;

6116 the provision for gloves;

4909 the provision for printed cards bearing personal greetings, messages or announcements.

Are the Articles At Issue Classifiable as Toys?

The term "toy" is not defined in the HTSUS. However, in understanding the language of the HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes (EN's) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System may be utilized. The EN's, 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. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127 (August 23, 1989).

EN's to Chapter 95 state, in pertinent part, that "[t]his Chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults." Although not set forth as a definition for "toys," we have interpreted the just-quoted passage from the EN's as equating "toys" with articles designed for the amusement of children or adults," although we believe such design must be corroborated by evidence of the articles' principal use. This view has been articulated by this Office in a number of prior rulings, including HQ 950700 of August 23, 1993.

The EN's for heading 95.03 provide, in pertinent part, that:

[c]ollections of articles, the individual items of which if presented separately would be classified in other headings in the Nomenclature, are classified in this Chapter when they are put up in a form clearly indicating their use as toys (e.g., instructional toys such as chemistry, sewing, etc., sets).

With respect to toy sets, the EN's for subheading 9503.70 provide, in pertinent part, that:

"[s]ets" are two or more different types of articles (principally for amusement), put up in the same packing for retail sale without repacking. Simple accessories or objects of minor importance intended to facilitate the use of the articles may also be included.

It is Customs position that "toys, put up in sets or outfits" (subheading 9503.70, HTSUS) is an eo nomine provision denoting a clearly identifiable class or kind of goods. Consequently, goods may be classified in subheading 9503.70 pursuant to GRI 1, and recourse to the other GRI's, particularly the provisions of GRI 3 relating to sets, is unnecessary. See, e.g., HQ 086407 of March 22, 1990; HQ 086330 of May 14, 1990; HQ 951333 of February 1, 1993; HQ 956705 of December 16, 1994; HQ 954690 of September 5, 1995; HQ 958344 of October 2, 1997; HQ 959858 of December 9, 1997; and HQ 950700.

Such sets typically contain complementary articles intended for use together, rather than individually, to provide amusement. However, there is no requirement that the component of the set only be capable of use together, and the ability of one or more of the components to be used individually does not disqualify classification as a toy set. It is sufficient that the components of the toy set possess a clear nexus which contemplates a use together to amuse.

Although we have previously noted in connection with our analysis of toy sets that no single component should predominate over the other set components (see, e.g., HQ 950700), further review of the HTS and the EN's disclose no basis for imposing such a rule. Inasmuch as any finding of a component's predominance would have no impact on a finding that the components together constitute a collection of articles designed and principally used for amusement, we have determined this rule to be inappropriate.

The "Princess Sweetheart Dress-Up Set" combines various articles that are retail-marketed as a toy set, through catalog sales. These articles are intended for use together to occupy the user in a pleasant or enjoyable (i.e., amusing) way, allowing the user to employ imagination and creativity in a dress-up activity. Accordingly, the articles meet the requirements for classification as toy sets.

It is our determination that the "Princess Sweetheart Dress-Up Set" is clearly designed principally for amusement. The pink vinyl purse, while itself relatively well made, is nevertheless, like the other articles, clearly designed to be used by a little girl in a dress-up activity. While the digital mechanism of the watch actually functions, the watchband, like the other plastic articles, is of flimsy construction. The ensemble of articles, appearing to match, are designed for little girls to role play, pretending they are princesses at a gala "princess ball."


The "Princess Sweetheart Dress-Up Set" is classified in subheading 9503.70.0030, HTSUS, the provision for "Other toys . . . and accessories thereof: Other toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof: Other: Other," with a general rate of free.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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