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February 16, 1999

CLA-2-73:RR:NC:115 D87817


TARIFF NO.: 7326.20.0050

Mr. W.J.Gonzalez
Trans-Union Customs Service, Inc.
11941 So. Prairie Avenue
Hawthorne, Ca. 90250

RE: The tariff classification of plush toys attached to keyrings from China.

Dear Mr. Gonzalez:

In your letter dated February 4, 1999 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Metro World, Inc.

Two samples were submitted (items MT876 and MT8268). The first MT8268 is an approximate 5" plush toy in the shape of a Snail that when squeezed emits a sound. The Snail is attached to a metal key ring with chain. There is also attached to the plush toy a card that identifies the article as a “foofie babies”. The second MT876 is an approximate 3 1/2 “ plush toy in the shape of a Bug that when a pull string is pulled crawls. The Bug is attached to a metal keyring with chain. There is also attached to the plush toy that identifies the article as “Love Bugs”.

In your inquiry you feel that the essential character of both items are the toys and should be classified as such. 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 referred 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 value, or by the role of the constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.” We must determine whether the plush 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 plush toy keyrings 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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