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NY E86380

September 20, 1999

CLA-2-95:L:OFO:D22 E86380


TARIFF NO.: 9502.10.0060, 9503.90.0045

Mr. Michael K. Tomenga
Neville, Peterson & Williams
1233 20th Street, N.W. Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20036

RE: The tariff classification of plastic toy figures from China

Dear Mr. Tomenga:

In your letter dated August 19, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of your client, Simon Marketing, Inc.

Five plastic toy figures were submitted with your inquiry. The figures are constructed of molded plastic and are brightly colored. All of the toys depict standing human figures representative of characters from a children’s animated film.

“Quick-Draw Action Cowboy” (Wrin No. 01964-000) figure depicts a brown-haired, slim and tall cowboy sheriff. The 5½ inch molded plastic figure is wearing a yellow shirt, white vest with cowhide designs, and a yellow star pin. The sheriff figure is also wearing a red bandana, a brown hat, blue pants, brown cowboy boots with spurs and a dark brown empty holster. The cowboy’s head and torso rotates 360 degrees and left arm moves forward and back. The figure stands upright with legs and feet fixed in place. The right arm has a quick-draw mechanism that is triggered by a small switch protruding from the back of the figure. When the switch is pulled down, the cowboy’s right arm moves up to 90 degrees. The figure’s index finger points forward simulating a pistol.

“Cowboy Marionette” (Wrin No. 01964-036) is 5 inches tall colored in white and different shades of gray. The marionette is suspended by five nylon strings attached to a 2½-inch diameter wagon wheel. The wagon wheel is made of colored gray plastic. The figure is wearing a light gray cowboy hat and vest with cowboy designs and a sheriff star pin. The cowboy’s legs can move forward and backwards. The arms, which are curved and pointed downwards, can be moved upwards. The cowboy’s head can swivel left and right. The nylon strings are attached to the cowboy’s hat, hands and boots. The figure acts as a marionette that can be manipulated while suspended in air and caused to move by pulling on the different strings attached to its body.

“Spaceman with Two Facial Expressions” (Wrin No. 01964-042) depicts a man figure standing 4½ inches tall and dressed in a large space suit. Painted on the space suit are green, purple and black highlights, and red and blue buttons. A blue and white decal with “space” symbol is affixed on the front upper section of the space suit. The figure is wearing a “jetpack” on the back. Attached to the jetpack are two translucent purple plastic wings, which can move from a horizontal to a near vertical position. The spaceman’s arms articulate and can rotate 360 degrees at the shoulder. The spaceman is wearing a purple “body suit” that covers the head and upper torso. The head is visible through the clear plastic face-plate of the space helmet. Above the face-plate, the helmet also has a light blue cover. The helmet cover is hinged and can be raised or lowered to reveal or cover the spaceman’s face. The spaceman’s head has two faces on opposite sides of each other. One face has a broad smile and the other has a frowning expression. When the helmet cover is closed, the head rotates 180 degrees and changes the face displayed.

“Female Shepherd and Lost Sheep” (Wrin No. 01964-024) depicts a 3¾ inch high blond-haired female shepherd in a floor-length hoop-skirt type dress. The figure is molded of blue, pink and white plastic. The shepherd is wearing a pink bonnet that matches the upper portion of the dress. The lower portion of the dress is predominantly white with bright pink spot designs. The female shepherd is depicted holding a blue staff with the right hand and placing the left arm up over her eyes, as if searching for her lost sheep. Two beige sheep are attached to the figure. The sheep are mounted on a circular white plastic piece very close to the bottom of the toy. This circular piece rotates around the bottom of the dress. Beneath the flat base of the figure is a small black plastic wheel that allows the article to glide across on a flat surface. This wheel also powers a mechanism causing the two sheep to circle around the shepherd’s dress.

“Soldier with Parachute” (Wrin No. 01964-054) depicts a soldier colored completely in green and wearing a camouflage fabric parachute that is deployed. The 3¼-inch figure has no moving parts apart from the parachute. The soldier is standing on a small green plastic base. The toy figure is wearing a square backpack, binoculars and with arms upraised as if holding onto the ropes of the parachute. The parachute is attached to the figure by two nylon straps approximately ½ inch wide and 1 ¾ inch long which are inserted into the backpack and secured
with a small screw. The nylon straps connect to a black nylon mesh, which in turn is attached to the camouflage parachute. The article can be thrown into the air and when it descends to the ground, the parachute spreads out simulating a paratrooper in action having jumped from an airplane.

The classification of merchandise under the HTS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s). GRI 1 of the HTS, states in part that “for legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes”.

The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTS at the international level, although not legally binding, provide some guidance on interpreting provisions under the HTS. Dolls representing human beings are clearly provided for under heading 9502. However, toy soldiers are specifically excluded from this provision by Explanatory Note (EN) 95.02(b) which directs us to heading 9503. In EN 95.03(A)(7) it states that heading 9503 covers “tin soldiers and the like, and toy armaments.” Accordingly, the subject toy soldier is more appropriately classified within heading 9503.

The applicable subheading for the “Quick-Draw Action Cowboy”, “Cowboy Marionette”, “Spaceman with Two Facial Expressions” and “Female Shepherd and Lost Sheep” will be 9502.10.0060, Harmonized Tariff of the United States (HTS) which provides for dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: dolls, whether or not dressed, other. The rate of duty will be free.

The applicable subheading for the “Soldier with Parachute” will be 9503.90.0045, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for 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.


Eugenio Garza Jr.
Port Director

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