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April 15, 1999

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:225 D89562


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0045

Mr. John A. Bessich and
Mr. Don M. Obert
Follick & Bessich
33 Walt Whitman Road, Suite 204
Huntington Station, N.Y. 11746

RE: The tariff classification of an educational toy from China

Dear Mr. Bessich and Mr. Obert:

In your letter dated March 17, 1999 you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client Hope Industries, Inc.

The “Barbie™ Time Teaching Set” consists of an imitation clock, a working quartz analog watch, an instruction manual and a certificate of completion. It is intended that all of the items will be used together to instruct a child on how to tell time. The book and manually operated “clock” work in combination with each other, identifying parts (i.e., hands, digital displays, etc.) and providing practical exercises for hands-on learning experience. The faces of the “clock” and watch are color coordinated and contain a special outer dial which translates the position of the minute hand into minute numbers. The child is taught through reading the book, practicing on the imitation “clock” and then advancing to comprehension of the time displayed on a watch. The components are imported packaged together in a blister pack for retail sale. A sample was submitted and is returned herewith.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) set forth the legal framework in which merchandise is to be classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Goods that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's taken in order.

The Explanatory Notes, which represent the official interpretation of the HTS at the international level, for GRI 3(b) define "goods put up in sets for retail sale." Such goods: (a) consist of at least two different articles that are classifiable in different headings, (b) consist of products put up together to meet a particular need or carry out a specific activity, and (c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

It has been established that the different components of the “Barbie™ Time Teaching Set” work together to obtain the desired result of teaching a child how to tell time. Further, the item is imported retail packed. Therefore, the product is considered a set for classification purposes.

In accordance with GRI 3(b) "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." Since the imitation clock, watch, and instruction manual, each play an equally significant role in educating the child on how to tell time, an essential character determination cannot be made. Therefore, the article is not classifiable by reference to GRI 3(b).

GRI 3(c) states that "when goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration". The three competing headings in this instance are: 9503.90.0045 which provides for the toy clock in “other toys,” 9102.11.45 which provides for battery powered wrist watches, and 4901.99.0092 which provides for the instruction manual in “other (than certain enumerated) printed books, containing 5 or more pages each, but not more than 48 pages each (excluding covers).” By application of GRI 3(c) the heading which occurs last is the provision for other toys.

The applicable subheading for the “Barbie™ Time Teaching Set” will be 9503.90.0045, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other toys: other: other toys and models. The rate of duty will be free.

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 212-637-7028.


Robert B. Swierupski

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