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February 25, 1999

CLA-2-73:RR:NC:115 D87117


TARIFF NO.: 7326.20.0050

Mr. Robert Glover
Coopersmith Inc.
2041 Rosecrans Avenue, Third Floor
EL Segundo, CA 90245

RE: The tariff classification of key chain with toys attached from China.

Dear Mr. Glover:

In your letter dated February 10, 1999 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client The Berton Company.

Three samples were submitted, the first Kellogg’s “Cereal Celebrities” has a toy figure wearing a red scarf that has the word Snap imprinted on it. Attached to the toy figure is a metal key chain that has both a metal ring and a metal snap. The second has a toy Tonka constuction steam shovel that has parts that move. Attached to the toy steam shovel is a metal key chain that has both a metal ring and a metal snap. The third is My Little Pony is a toy pony with a separate mini colored comb. Attached to the toy pony is a metal key chain that has both a metal ring and a metal snap. The three samples are packed in blister packs that lists the name of the toy along with the word keychain. The samples will be returned as per your request.

In your letter you believe that the toys provide the essential character and the would not be practical for an individual to purchase these key chains strictly for use as key chains. This office disagrees.

Under the General Rules of Interpretation 3(a) states that when, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods. As the key chain is a composite good, we must apply rule 3(b), which provides that composite goods are to be classified according to the component that gives the goods their essential character.

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 VIII to GRI 3(b) explains that “(t)he 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 the use of the goods.” We must determine whether the toy component or the metal key ring component imparts the essential character to this article. It is the role of the constituent materials in relation to the use of the goods that imparts the essential character.

Customs has consistently held that, when a key chain has both a functional and non-functional component it is the functional component which provides the article’s essential character. See Headquarters Rulings 950636, 960118, 959473 and 958452. This office is of the opinion that the keyring is the essential character.

The applicable subheading for the keychains w/toys attached will be 7326.20.0050, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for Articles of iron or steel wire...Other. The rate of duty will be 3.9% 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 Melvyn Birnbaum at 212-637-7017.


Robert B. Swierupski

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