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HQ 961449

July 6, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 961449 JGB


TARIFF NO.: 3926.90.9880

Port Director
Los Angeles-Long Beach Seaport
U.S. Customs Service, Attn.: Team 712
300 South Ferry Street
Terminal Island, CA 90731

Port Director, LAX
U.S. Customs Service, Attn.: Team 753
11099 So. LaCienga Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

RE: Protests 2720-97-100989 and 2720-97-100990; Applause "Treasure Keepers" Coin Purse

Dear Directors:

This is a decision on Protest 2720-97-100989 and 2720-97-100990, against your decision in the classification of the "Treasure Keepers" Coin Purse under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The entries, made in 1997 , were liquidated during July 1997, and the protest timely filed on September 17, 1997. This decision controls protests 2720-98-150012, 2720-98-150013 and 2720-98-150015, which are from the same protestant on the same styles or series of merchandise that were suspended during the pendency of the Application for Further Review. We further note that at least one entry, 2704-231-5155939-2 was filed at the seaport, while the remaining entries were made at the airport. These "mixed" entries were apparently consolidated under protest 2720-97-100989.


The merchandise consists of a small hollow plastic article measuring about 5¼ inches by about 3 inches. The sample provided is licensed by Applause and represents a three-dimensional head of the Rugrat cartoon character "Angelica." The face is brightly painted and the pigtails jutting out on either side of the face account for several inches of the width of the whole article. The back is flat and there is a slit, horizontally, in the middle of the back. When the sides of the face are squeezed together, the slit expands as wide as 1½ inches, permitting insertion of coins, keys, paper money or other "treasures" at the option of the user. On the top of the head is a tab of the same material as the head with a hole through which is attached a split metal ring. Attached to the ring is a plastic hook with safety clasp, all of which is about 2¼ inches at its highest point. The item is sold as a collection of twenty-seven styles, of which "Angelica" is but an example Each is manufactured wholly of molded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) .

You classified the "Treasure Keepers" Coin Purse in subheading 4202.32.2000, HTSUS, in the provision which in part includes, "Articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag: With outer surface of sheeting of plastic or of textile materials: With outer surface sheeting of plastic: Other."

The protestant claims that the merchandise is classified in heading 9503, specifically in subheading 9503.90.00, HTSUS, the provision for “Other toys;. . .parts and accessories thereof: Other.”


Whether the "Treasure Keepers" Coin Purse is classified in heading 9503, HTSUS, as other toys, as an article of heading 4202, HTSUS, or elsewhere.


Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which represent the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI.

Also under consideration is subheading 3926.90.9880, HTSUS, the provision for “Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of heading 3901 to 3914: Other: Other: Other.” This is a residual or "basket" provision for certain articles of plastics that are not classified elsewhere.

In considering the claim of classification of "toy", the term is not specifically defined in the tariff. The EN's to Chapter 95, HTSUS, 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), HTSUS. The articles under consideration here appear to be designed for purposes other than amusement. The "Treasure Keepers" are designed to keep the "treasures" of the person who uses the article. The "Angelica" face appeals to young girls who would like to attach the article to their belt or backpack. The article is designed to hold small objects in the same manner as a novelty coin purse. Information taken from the importer's website covering these articles and in literature provided by the protestant indicates that the "Back compartment holds coins, notes and other goodies." Additionally, the public presentations of the articles, such as the website, demonstrate that coins are intended to be kept inside the hollow head of the figure. Such presentation is inconsistent with classification as a toy of heading 9503, HTSUS.

Classification in heading 4202, HTSUS, as articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, cannot be sustained, because the provision does not describe the goods. The provision in the heading from which the classification is derived, namely, "similar containers" comes from the heading text following the semicolon. According to the EN's to heading 4202, the "articles covered by the second part of the heading [following the semicolon] must, however, be only of the materials specified therein or must be wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper (the foundation may be of wood, metal, etc.). " The solid molded plastic which constitutes the body of the "Treasure Keepers" is not an "outer surface" of sheeting of plastics, as the whole surface, inside and out, is plastics. This disqualification from the provisions of heading 4202, does not in any way alter the use to which the article is put, namely, to carry coins and other treasured objects. It is this use in a manner other than principally for amusement that does disqualify it from classification in heading 9503.

Classification in heading 3926, HTSUS, is appropriate, in that the article is not specifically provided for elsewhere and is composed of PVC plastics. Consequently the classification is in subheading 3926.90.9880, HTSUS, the provision for "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of heading 3901 to 3914: Other: Other, Other."


"Treasure Keepers" Coin Purse is classified in subheading 3926.90.9880, HTSUS, the provision for "Other articles of plastics and articles of other materials of heading 3901 to 3914: Other: Other, Other."

The protest should be denied except to the extent that liquidation as indicated above results in a partial refund.

In accordance with Section 3A(11)(b) of Customs Directive 099 3550065, dated August 4, 1993, Subject: Revised Protest Directive, you are to mail this decision, together with the Customs Form 19, to the protestant no later than 60 days from the date of this letter. Any reliquidation of the entry or entries in accordance with the decision must be accomplished prior to mailing the decision. Sixty days from the date of the decision, the Office of Regulations and Rulings will make the decision available to Customs personnel, and to the public on the Customs Home Page on the World Wide Web at www.customs.gov, by means of the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of public distribution.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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