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NY D81703

September 28, 1998

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 D81703


TARIFF NO.: 9503.41.0010

Sandy Balling
PBB Global Logistics
434 Delaware Ave.
Buffalo NY 14202

RE: The tariff classification of an Interactive Talking Alarm Clock Set from China.

Dear Ms. Balling:

In your letter dated August 24, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Thinkway Toys.

The provided sample, identified as The Lion King - Simba's Pride, is a combination good consisting of two components. One element is a plush, stuffed toy animal figure depicting the Disney character Kiara constructed in a sitting position and measuring approximately 13 inches in length (excluding the tail) and 10 inches in height. The other component is a three inch high molded plastic toy figure representing the character Timon who is affixed to a pedestal containing a LCD digital time display screen. The sample will be returned at your request.

In normal operation, the consumer activates the battery-operated play switch and is instructed to synchronize the clock and alarm settings of both toy figures. The Kiara and Timon toy figures will then interact and chat with each other. Kiara will announce Timor's settings verbally and with a shaking motion. Both will interact with conversations prior to an alarm. Kiara is also designed to tell the time of day and say over 15 different phrases.

Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). The systematic detail of the harmonized system 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 other wise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

The instant articles, composite goods consisting of different components, cannot be classified by reference to GRI 1, HTSUS, because the components are prima facie classifiable in different headings. The smaller clock platform containing the Timon character is classifiable in Chapter 91, HTSUS. The stuffed toy animal Kiara is classifiable in heading 9503, HTSUS, as a toy.

In pertinent part, GRI 2(b) states that:

[t]he classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3(a) directs that the headings are regarded as equally specific when each of the separate headings refers to only part of the composite article. Therefore, to determine under which provision the article will be classified, we look to GRI 3(b), which states that: "[m]ixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable."

Explanatory Note VIII GRI 3(b) provides the following guidance concerning the essential character determination:

The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material or component in relation to the use of the goods.

Explanatory Note IX to GRI 3(b) states in pertinent part that:

For the purpose of this Rule, composite goods made up of different components shall be taken to mean not only those in which the components are attached to each other to form a practically inseparable whole but also those with separable components, provided these components are adapted one to the other and are mutually complementary and that together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

Here, the different interactive clock set components, adapted one to the other through concept and data transfer, are mutually complementary although they can be used independently of each other at times. Together they form a whole which would not normally be offered for sale in separate parts.

Next, to classify the interactive clock set, we must decide which component imparts the essential character. The plush toy Kiara figure contributes most to the finished product in terms of bulk, weight, value and in its number of features. The toy imparts the essential character to this item. Consequently the interactive clock set article is classified in heading 9503 of the HTSUS.

The applicable subheading for the The Lion King - Simba's Pride Interactive Talking Alarm Clock Set will be 9503.41.0010, HTSUS, which provides for "[t]oys representing animals or non-human creatures and parts and accessories thereof: [S]tuffed toys and parts and accessories thereof, [S]tuffed toys. 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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