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June 30, 1999

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 E83954


TARIFF NO.: 9508.00.0000

Werner Kreissl
Ernst & Young
1, Place Ville Marie
Bureau 2400
Montreal, Canada H3B 3M9

RE: The tariff classification of a theatrical circus entity from Canada.

Dear Mr. Kreissl:

In your letters of March 3 and June 14, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

The Cirque du Soleil is a theatrical circus composed of acrobats, gymnasts, trapeze artists and clowns in a theatrical setting complete with sets, lighting and sound equipment, costumes, rigging equipment, and other support equipment, props and accessories necessary to operate and maintain circus tours and circus theater shows.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized Tariff Classification System. While not legally binding, and therefore not dispositive, the Explanatory Notes provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the Harmonized System and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).

Explanatory Note 95.08, pg. 1594, states that traveling circuses, traveling menageries and traveling theaters fall in this heading provided they comprise all the essential units required for their normal operation. The heading also includes items of auxiliary equipment provided they are presented with, and as components of, these various amusements, notwithstanding that when presented separably such items (e.g., tents, animals, musical instruments, power plants, motors, lighting fittings, seats, and arms and ammunition) would fall in other headings of the Nomenclature. We see no reason why a tariff provision that provides for traveling circuses and traveling theaters cannot also include within its scope a circus show described as a “live theatrical circus” or “a new type of theater circus.”

Consequently, the applicable subheading for a Cirque du Soleil show will be 9508.00.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for AMerry-go-rounds, boat-swings, shooting galleries and other fairground amusements; traveling circuses, traveling menageries and traveling theaters; parts and accessories thereof.@ The duty rate will be 0.7 percent ad valorem.

You also requested information relating to the scope and applicability of subheading 9817.00.98, HTSUS, especially regarding the temporary import nature of the provision to the import activities of your client, Cirque du Soleil Inc. This subheading provides for theatrical scenery, properties and apparel brought into the United States by proprietors or managers of theatrical, ballet, opera or similar productions arriving from abroad for temporary use by them in such productions.

Inquiries of this nature should be addressed to the U.S. Customs Service, Office of Regulations and Rulings, Commercial Rulings Division, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20229.

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 Tom McKenna at (212) 637-7015.


Robert B. Swierupski Director, National Commodity Specialist Division

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