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NY D83294

November 5, 1998

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:225 D83294


TARIFF NO.: 9503.50.0020

Mr. Herbert J. Lynch
Sullivan & Lynch, P.C.
156 State Street
Boston, MA 02109-2508

RE: The tariff classification of toy musical instruments from China

Dear Mr. Lynch:

In your letter dated October 6, 1998, received in this office on October 13, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Universal Music, Inc.

The items submitted include a toy version of bongos, a toy conga drum, a professional set of bongos (for comparison purposes) and marketing literature. The "Junior Bongos" consist of a set of two drums attached to each other by a narrow wooden piece. The drums are small in size, measuring 4.5 inches in height with diameters ranging from 5.5 to 4.25 inches. They have a hollow interior with an open bottom. Their shells are made of an inferior quality lacquered wood. The heads are composed of plastic or low-grade rawhide materials that are stapled to the top. An elastic fabric band is attached around the top and bottom of each drum. Sounds are produced by hitting the drums with one's hands. The item is available in two styles, model #MBJ-02 is for children under six and model #MBS-22 is designed for children six years of age and over.

The "Junior Conga" is a larger sized drum which has an adjustable nylon strap attached for carrying over the shoulder. The drum measures 10 inches in height and has a diameter of approximately 6.5 inches. The article is made out of an inferior quality lacquered wood and has a plastic or low-grade rawhide head that is stapled across the top. An elastic fabric band is tacked around the top and bottom of the drum. A wooden mallet accompanies the instrument for use in hitting the drum to produce sound. The product is available in two styles, model #MJC-21 is for children under six and model #MPC-21 is designed for children six years of age and over.

The "Junior Bongos and Junior Congas" are distinguishable from real bongos or congas by nature of their design, construc-tion, and intended use. The toy instruments are lacking metal rims, tuning lugs, and quality materials such as oak wood shells and natural rawhide heads which are found on more sophisticated models. The lack of such features, in conjunction with their size and overall construction, significantly reduces the quality of sound produced. One would not purchase such an instrument in the pursuit of learning to play in a serious fashion. It is clear from the samples provided that the articles fall within the category of toys for tariff classification purposes. Your samples are being returned as requested.

The applicable subheading for the described "Junior Bongos and Junior Conga" will be 9503.50.0020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for toy musical instruments and apparatus. The rate of duty will be free.

For your information, the marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the article. Please ensure that these requirements are satisfied.

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.


Robert B. Swierupski

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