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NY C85953

April 8, 1998

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 C85953

TARIFF NO.: 9504.90.4000

Steven W. Baker
Steven W. Baker and Associates
One Sutter Street, suite 1004
San Francisco CA 94104-4919

RE: The tariff classification of Game Boy accessories from Japan.

Dear Mr. Baker:

In your letter dated March 27, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Nintendo of America, Inc.

The merchandise consists of printer paper and a Universal Game Link Cable which are used with the Nintendo Game Boy hand-held video game machine. The cable is said to be specially designed with unique end connectors allowing the Pocket Game Boy to be connected with a regular Game Boy for multi-player functions. Alternatively, the Game Link Cable can be used as a connection between a Game Boy and a Game Boy Printer accessory.

In NY C84586, issued to you on March 18, 1998, the Area Director, New York Seaport, held that an accessory Game Boy Printer along with a second Game Boy system accessory - a Game Boy camera cartridge - were classified in subheading 9504.90.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) which provides for game machines, other than coin- or token-operated; parts and accessories thereof. You assert that the subject Game Link Cable, because of its non-standard connectors, has no use other than as an accessory to a Game Boy video game.

The second device, Game Boy printer paper, is heat sensitive thermal paper with an adhesive backing that allows the pictures or designs printed from the Game Boy screen to be used as stickers. You state that the thermal printer operates from the interaction of chemicals within the paper and the temperature experienced at the printhead, producing the final image. The chemical content of the paper was specifically modified for Nintendo, and is, to the best of your knowledge, unique for this application because the product has been developed for and is used only by Nintendo. Thus, like the Universal Game Link Cable, the Game Boy printer paper is solely or primarily used with the Game Boy.

With regard to the classification of accessories, Note 3 to chapter 95, HTSUS, provides that "parts and accessories which are suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles." Thus, subject to note 1 to chapter 95, HTSUS (which is not at issue in this instance), if the articles in question are accessories that are solely or principally used with an article of chapter 95, they must be classified under that heading, regardless of whether they are covered by another provision elsewhere in the tariff schedule. See HQ 952716, dated March 3, 1993, (wherein swimming pool thermometers were classified as swimming pool accessories under heading 9506, HTSUS, rather than as thermometers under heading 9025, HTSUS)

Explanatory Note 95.04, pg. 1589, of the Harmonized System, states that heading 9504, HTSUS, includes "[v]ideo games (used with a television receiver or having a self-contained screen)." Thus, Game Boy video games are classifiable under heading 9504, HTSUS. The Universal Game Link Cable and the Game Boy printer paper, which you assert are solely or principally used with the Game Boy video game, contribute to the functional capacity of the game's features. Although not necessary to enable the Game Boy to fulfill its intended function, the devices expand its use and enhance the operational functions and entertainment range of the Game Boy.

Accordingly, the Universal Game Link Cable and the Game Boy printer paper are video game accessories, and they are classifiable in subheading 9504.90.4000, HTSUS, which provides for "Game machines...; parts and accessories thereof." The duty rate will be free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 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 Tom McKenna at 212-466-5475.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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