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NY F80778

January 11, 2000

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:225 F80778


TARIFF NO.: 9503.70.0000

Mr. Joseph R. Hoffacker
Barthco Trade Consultants, Inc.
7575 Holstein Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

RE: The tariff classification of a nature expedition kit from China

Dear Mr. Hoffacker:

In your letter dated December 10, 1999, received in this office on December 15, 1999, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of K.B. Toys.

A sample of the “Nature Backpack,” item #CE318, was submitted for our review and is being returned at your request. The article consists of three clear plastic containers with ventilated covers, two handheld butterfly nets, an imitation pocketknife, tweezers, magnifier, shovel and compass combination, and a clear plastic backpack. The items are packaged inside the backpack on a flimsy plastic packing tray. The backpack measures 13” high by 10 ½” wide by 2 ½” deep. Affixed to the handle of the backpack is a hanger display card which reads “Kids Play Set” and indicates “For ages 4 and up.” The product is designed to encourage children to explore nature.

The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) 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.

Although the term “toy,” in general, is not specifically defined in the tariff, the EN's to Chapter 95, HTSUSA, indicate that, “this Chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults.” It has been Customs position that the amusement requirement means that toys should be designed and used principally for amusement. See, Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), HTSUSA.

When contemplating toy sets, the EN's to 9503 provide that, “collections of articles, the individual items of which if presented separately would be classified in other headings in the Nomenclature, are classified in this Chapter when they are put up in a form clearly indicating their use as toys (e.g., instructional toys such as chemistry, sewing, etc., sets).” Customs, in general, classifies merchandise fitting this description in 9503.70, as toys put up in sets or outfits.

Although backpacks, ordinarily, are separately classifiable from their contents, the components of this set are converted into toys by the manner in which they are put up, marketed and sold. The retail set is intended for use by a child in pretending to be a nature explorer. The components work in combination to this end with bug jars, play tweezers, nets to capture insects and the backpack, which serves as a means of carrying the implements through the woods as a grown up explorer would. In looking at the product as a whole, we find the item is primarily designed for the amusement of children and, therefore, is classifiable in Chapter 95.

The applicable subheading for the “Nature Backpack,” item #CE318, will be 9503.70.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other toys, put up in sets or outfits, and parts and accessories thereof. 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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