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NY E82818

June 18, 1999

CLA-2-85:RR:NC:2:227 E82818


TARIFF NO.: 8513.10.4000

Ms. Lauren E. Hong
The Disney Store, Inc.
101 North Brand Blvd., Ste. 1000
Glendale, CA 91203-2671

RE: The tariff classification of a novelty lamp from China.

Dear Ms. Hong:

In your letter dated May 28, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling. Sample is being returned as requested.

The sample submitted is a plastic battery-operated novelty lamp, referred to as the ATigger Halloween Light,@ which measures approximately 6 1/2 inches in height. It features a tiger-shaped housing which contains a small lamp that is situated in the animal's mouth-like setting and a securely affixed nylon cape located at the posterior of the tiger=s head. Further, the housing is affixed atop of a handle with a trigger-like mechanism which, when pulled, raises the tiger=s mouth and activates the interior lamp in projecting a beam of light.

It is your contention that the ATigger Halloween Light@ is either a toy under 9503.90.0045 or a festive article under 9505.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS). You have based this assumption on rulings which you consider to be of comparable nature, i.e., NY 875247, NY 873311, and NY 862653. In NY 875247, the article was a penlight whose light illuminated a pumpkin head that projected a jack?o?lantern image when lit, but it did not project an ordinary beam of light. The product was deemed a festive article apparently because it merely Ailluminated@ the head of the unit, served no utilitarian function, and possessed the symbol of a jack?o?lantern which is closely associated with Halloween, a recognized holiday.

The head of a popular cartoon character, as portrayed in your product, is not associated with any particular holiday. There are no inherent characteristics which necessarily limit its use to Halloween. Although marketing is a factor considered in evaluating a product=s connection with a recognized holiday, merchandising alone is inadequate in assessing the overall use of an item. In the decision of Midwest of Cannon Falls, Inc. vs. U.S. 96?1271, ?1279, a range of factors were considered in making the determination of when a functional article would qualify as festive. Among the elements considered were the following: the intended use of the product, relationship to a recognized holiday, basic physical characteristics and marketing of the merchandise. As previously stated the ATigger Halloween Light@ depicts a character which bears no relationship to any particular occasion and will likely be held and used by the child throughout the year. The item does not qualify as a festive article of Chapter 95, HTS.

In NY 862653, a mini flashlight was classified as a toy because the light emitted was negligible and only served to Ailluminate@ the plastic character faces over the bulb portion. As these items were not related to any particular holiday and served no practical use, they were considered toys designed for amusement purposes. Classification of the mini flashlight of NY 873311 was similarly determined. This flashlight was permanently altered with a character head over the bulb portion which diminished its usefulness as a form of providing light. In all of these situations a minimal amount of light was emitted by the product which merely served to illuminate a fancy character head cover.

In contrast, we find the “Tigger Halloween Light” emits a significant beam of light similar to an ordinary lamp. When the unit is turned on, by pulling the trigger, the character’s mouth opens and a bright light shines through. The stream of light emitted is completely unobstructed by any covering (as in the above mentioned rulings). The fact that the lamp is housed within a plastic character head is appealing to young children but does not alter its functional use in lighting up a room or hallway, thereby enabling one to maneuver about safely in the dark. Based upon these findings, it has been determined that the product is not limited in its functions and, therefore, does not qualify as a toy.

The applicable subheading for the novelty light, “Tigger Halloween Lamp,” will be 8513.10.4000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other portable electric lamps designed to function by their own source of energy. The rate of duty will be 3.5 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 212-637-7073.


Robert B. Swierupski
National Commodity

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