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January 12, 1999

CLA-2-92:RR:NC:2:227 D86093


TARIFF NO.: 9206.00.8000

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

RE: The tariff classification of maracas from China.

Dear Mr. Lynch:

In your letter dated December 18, 1998, on behalf of Universal Music, Inc., you requested a tariff classification ruling. Samples are being returned as requested.

The samples submitted are several maracas, measuring approximately 11 1/2 to 12 inches long, which consist of a wooden handle and an oval-shaped wooden hollow body that contains ball-shaped metal beads. The body of these maracas will be depicted in the following motifs: dinosaur skin, lizard, balloons and confetti, and desert island.

You state that the subject merchandise should be properly classified under subheading 9503.50.0020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for toy musical instruments and apparatus. You substantiate this claim in stating that these maracas are primarily designed and marketed for use as toys. Moreover, you cite New York rulings C85456 dated April 13, 1998 and D81417 dated August 24, 1998, that have ruled certain maracas to be principally used as playthings rather than musical instruments.

In regard to your rationale supporting these maracas to be toys, this office has determined that the subject articles are genuine, full-sized, wooden maracas rather than inferior reproductions with limited usage (noting the plastic maracas in the above-cited rulings were clearly toys with restricted uses). Further, the instant items function no less than authentic maracas, with respect to their intended design and usage, when compared to the ones that were claimed to be originally produced for creating a specific musical sound effect. Therefore, on this basis, consideration of classification under subheading 9503.50.0020, Hts, is precluded.

The applicable subheading for the wooden maracas will be 9206.00.8000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other percussion musical instruments. The rate of duty will be 5.3 percent ad valorem.

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 George Kalkines at 212-466-5794.


Robert B. Swierupski

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