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HQ 963004

December 28, 2000

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963004 JGB


TARIFF NO.: 6213.90.1000, 5808.10.3010, 5806.31.0000, 6307.90.9986, 5806.32.1090, 9403.60.8080, 4202.92.3030, 4602.10.1300, 9502.91.0000

Mr. Robert L. Eisen
Coudert Brothers
1114 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-7703

RE: Reconsideration of NY C82989, 889234, 889235, 889233, 889574, B81305, 807029, 831954 and 830345

Dear Mr. Eisen:

This is in response to your letter of May 24, 1999, on behalf of Pleasant Company, in which you request reconsideration of New York Ruling Letters (NY) C82989, 889234, 889235, 889233, 889574, B81305, 807029, 831954 and 830345, issued January 12, 1998, August 20, 1993, September 1, 1993, September 1, 1993, September 2, 1993, January 28, 1997, March 6, 1995, September 23, 1988, and August 15, 1988, respectively, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), on handkerchiefs, ribbons, a doll trunk, a doll clothes press, a doll carrying case, a rattan basket and doll garments and accessories.

Your letter stated that our decision in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 960194, issued July 14, 1998, warranted reconsideration and modification of the rulings identified supra. You contend that the articles which are the subject of these rulings are classifiable as accessories to dolls in subheading 9502.99.00, HTSUS. We regret the delay in responding to your letter..


NY C82989 classified a 9½ inch hemmed textile square, style GHOF-04, as a handkerchief in heading 6213, HTSUS.

NY 889234 classified five samples of all cotton fabric ribbons in 15 inch lengths. Styles 02-178, 02-162, 02-161, and 02-160 are of flat braided construction with 5 yarns braided together as one yarn. Style 02-140 is of jacquard weave with a decorative floral pattern and scalloped edges. The first four measure 5/16 inches in width and the woven ribbon measures 7/16 inch in length. The braided ribbons were classified in subheading 5808.10.3010, HTSUS, as braids in the piece, while the woven ribbon was classified in subheading 5806.31.0000, HTSUS, as other narrow woven fabrics of cotton.

NY 889235 classified three samples of 100% polyester satin woven fabric, 14 inches in length and ½ inch in width. SKU # 02-176, 02-1167, 02-168 and were classified in subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUS, as other made up textile articles.

NY 889233 classified four samples of 100% polyester fabric with SKU # EMO-05, 02-222, 02-221, and 02-220. The ribbons were precut to 20 inch lengths and are 5/8 inch wide. The first three styles listed are of satin weave, while the last listed is of grosgrain fabric. All are selvedged with heat-sealed ends and enclosed in a polybag. They were classified in subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUS, as other made up textile articles.

NY 889574 classified four samples of ribbons precut in 24 inch lengths. SKU # 02-166, 02-165, and 02-164 are of 100% polyester satin weave fabric, in 1-9/16 inch widths. SKU # 02-177 is of 90% polyester, 5% cotton and 5% other fibers, and is 1-5/8 inches wide. The first three styles listed were classified in subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUS, as other made up textile articles, while SKU number 02-177 was classified in subheading 5806.32.1090, HTSUS, the provision for other woven narrow fabrics of cotton.

NY B81305 classified a doll trunk of wood measuring approximately 12¼ inches high by 23½ inches wide by 11¼ inches deep, used for the storage of dolls and doll accessories, in subheading 9403.60.8080, HTSUS, the provision for other wooden furniture.

NY 807029 classified a doll trunk of wood measuring approximately 11½ inches high by 11 inches wide by 30 inches long, designed to stand of the floor and store dolls and their accessories, in subheading 9403.60.8080, HTSUS, the provision for other wooden furniture.

NY 831954 classified a doll carrying case called "Samantha's Trunk" in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUS . The trunk, covered with man-made textile fabric, was classified in the provision for travel, sports and similar bags.

NY 830345 classified a rattan basket measuring approximately 13 inches by 11 inches by 7 inches, "having a removable elasticized textile cover around the sides of the basket with an attached ribbon bearing the logo 'The American Girls Collection' and a taffeta bow tied on the handle." Also classified was a doll's 13 inch garment bag of the same material as the basket cover and including a doll-sized rattan hanger, accompanied by a ditty bag of the same material as the other samples, measuring 6½ inches high formed around a 4½ inch circle of plastic fitted to the bottom.


Whether the articles are identified and classified as accessories to dolls in subheading 9502.99.00, HTSUS, or elsewhere. .

Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). 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 (ENs) 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 GRIs.

You argue that HQ 960194 provides the basis for changing the classification of all the merchandise covered by the cited Customs rulings to subheading 9502.99.0000, HTSUS, the provision for "Dolls representing only human beings and parts and accessories thereof: Parts and Accessories: Other." It is argued that because the articles in HQ 960194 were designed, produced, advertised and sold as accessories to Pleasant's American Girls collection of dolls; because each item is an imitation of an actual article from a specific time period which corresponds to the doll that represents that time period, and because each item is specifically proportioned to doll size, the accessory classification applies. We disagree both as to whether the instant merchandise corresponds to the merchandise in HQ 960194, and as to whether the merchandise rises to the level of accessory to doll in the tariff context.

With respect to NY C82989, the product at issue is a 10 inch by 10 inch piece of nylon fabric which we understand is imported in bulk, not accompanying any particular doll. The importer claims that this article is used an accessory to a doll of Heading 9502. Because the accessory issue is governed by use, we look to Rule 1 (a), Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation, which states:
a tariff classification controlled by use (other then actual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation, of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong, and the controlling use is the principal use". Emphasis supplied.

The article at issue is identified in the ruling as having the primary character of a handkerchief with multiple uses such as, a scarf, head covering or pocket square. While we do not dispute that this particular importer is in the business of importing goods for use as dolls and doll accessories, the character of the imported goods and the class to which they belong is not as a doll accessory. In applying Rule 1(a), supra, it is not relevant that a tiny percentage of the square pieces of fabric may be used as hair accessories for dolls. The principal use is clearly otherwise.

With respect to NY 889234, 889235, 889233, and 889574, all pertain to hair ribbons of varying length (15 to 24 inches), width, fiber and construction. Ribbons have a variety of uses, including hair ribbons for dolls. In this instance, we recognize that some may in fact be used as hair ribbons for dolls. However, the very catalog supplied by the importer shows (page 48), similar ribbons advertised for other applications, such as the "Tropical Party for 8" in which ribbons are tied in a bow around the plastic spoons and forks for party use. Likewise, we know at least anecdotally that the ribbons used for these dolls' hair are of sufficient length to be commonly used in the same way by little girls and on occasion their mothers. In short, as imported these ribbons lack the identity as accessories to dolls in that they have a variety of uses. Unless these ribbons are packaged with dolls and can be shown to be used solely or principally with the dolls of heading 9502, they cannot be classified in that heading.

With respect to NY B81305, a doll trunk, Item JT-99, was classified as furniture, based on its size and apparent uses. According to the submitted catalog (page 18), the trunk measures 12½ inches high by 23½ inches wide by 11 inches deep. This is of sufficient size to use as a storage case for the doll, Josefina, when she is not being used for play. The catalogue narrative reinforces this use by stating "[t]here's plenty of storage space inside, and a removable wooden tray on top that's just Josefina's size." The Josephina doll is elsewhere indicated to be 18 inches in length. This trunk would not be considered an accessory to the doll, because it is out of scale with the other furniture and appears to be designed to store and safeguard the doll and some of the tiny, easily misplaced pieces of miniature doll equipment when they are not being used. An example of a miniature toy for use with playing with the doll would be the doll's bed and table, also shown on page 18 of the submitted catalog. Chapter 94, legal note 1(l), excludes "[t]oy furniture." Inasmuch as this article has a use other than toy, it is not excluded from Chapter 94, and is classified in subheading 9403.60.8080, HTSUS. The classification of the trunk as a moveable article of utility designed for placing on the floor or the ground is consistent with its size, nearly a foot tall and two feet wide. Chapter 94, Note 2. The chest appears to be akin to a toy chest used for storing and organizing toys and which is not considered an accessory to toys, for tariff purposes.

With respect to NY 807029, a wooden doll trunk, the same principles apply. This trunk, Item AT, pictured on pages 38-39 of the submitted catalog, is of similar dimensions to Item JT-99. The catalog description makes it clear that the trunk is used for storing the doll, Addy. It states, "Keep Addy along with all her clothes and accessories in this beautiful wooden trunk trimmed with sturdy black hobnails and finished with bentwood handles." "Addy fits in the removable tray on top. There's lots of storage space in the bottom--even a secret compartment where you can hide Addy's most special treasures!" This article, likewise, is not excluded from Chapter 94 as a toy, but is rather classified in the furniture provision as a moveable article of utility designed for placing on the floor or ground. Chapter 94, Note 2. It remains classified in subheading 9403.60.8080, HTSUS.

With respect to NY 831954, the ruling classifies item ST, Samantha's Trunk, in the provision for travel, sports, and similar bags, with outer surface of textile material. This case differs from the ones classified in NY B81305 and NY 807029 in that it is clearly designed to move personal goods from place to place. The catalog description distinguishes this article from the others in that it is a "steamer trunk" that is "big enough for you to keep Samantha in it, too." It is not of a size designed to simulate the sort of steamer trunk that would have been used by a doll of that historical period, for such trunks would have been approximately shoulder high to the doll. This article permits storage and organization of the doll's effects, as well as the transport of them along with the doll to a new play venue. It is, therefore, not an accessory to the doll or something that is designed for the doll to use in a play activity, but, rather, something for the child to use to transport her doll. The dimensions, height 21 inches, width 11 inches, and depth of 10 inches, demonstrate the volume of carrying room available for the doll and her various articles of clothing.

On behalf of the importer, you request classification in heading 9502. Chapter note 1(d) to Chapter 95, which includes heading 9502, excludes "Sports bags or other containers of heading 4202 . . . ." Inasmuch as this article would qualify as a container of heading 4202, all competing claims for classification in Chapter 95 are irrelevant and classification in Chapter 42 is sustained. See Headquarters Ruling Letter (HQ) 956172, dated September 7, 1994, which classified a "Sac Du Voyage" small "replica of a full-sized article of luggage used by French women in the 19th Century" in heading 4202. In that ruling it was also noted that the article would fail as a toy of heading 9503 because it is not an article of limited use. The ruling noted that the ENs to heading 9503 indicate that certain toys (e.g., electric irons, sewing machines, musical instrument, etc) may be capable of a limited "use," but they are generally distinguishable by their size and limited capacity from real sewing machines, etc. The Samantha steamer trunk fails as a toy, as an accessory to a doll, and as an article of Chapter 95. We also note that this case is distinguishable from HQ 958180, dated January 18,1996. In that decision, the cases were doll-sized reproductions of historically correct luggage for the dolls in question. Those cases were classified in subheading 9503.90.0030, HTSUS, as other toys, because the design was dedicated for use by particular dolls and it restricted any practical use as a carrying case.

With respect to NY 830345, we address only the large rattan basket which was classified in subheading 4602.10.1300, HTSUS. The basket measures 13 by 11 by 7 inches and has a removable elasticized textile cover around the sides of the basket with an attached ribbon bearing the logo "the American Girls Collection" and a taffeta bow tied on the handle. This basket has generic characteristics associating it with all rattan baskets used to carry dolls or flowers or food, or whatever else. Attaching the name "American Girls Collection" is not sufficient to dedicate the basket to a particular doll or a particular use and the basket is not so small as to be of limited use as a basket for use by a doll. It is certainly possible that some baskets could be so designed and sized to be clearly used by a particular doll, qualifying them for classification in heading 9502. This basket is not of that type. It belongs to the class or kind of basket which is principally used as other than accessories to dolls. It is classified as "Basketwork, wickerwork and other articles made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of heading 4601; articles of loofah: Of vegetable materials: Other baskets and bags, whether or not lined: Of rattan or of palm leaf: Other." We disagree with your claim that the carrying case serves no function other than as a carrying case for Pleasant's dolls and related accessories. Customs regards the basket in its condition as imported (in bulk) as a rattan basket. Although this particular basket may be pictured in the catalog to be used in a certain way, the principle use of the class had not been established as an accessory to a doll. We do not address the doll's 13 inch garment bag of the same material as the basket cover and including a doll-sized rattan hanger, accompanied by a ditty bag of the same material as the other samples, measuring 6½ inches high formed around a 4½ inch circle of plastic fitted to the bottom. NY 830345 found this article to be described as garments and accessories to dolls in subheading 9502.91.0000


NY C82989, 889234, 889235, 889233, 889574, B81305, 807029, 831954 and 830345 are AFFIRMED. Sincerely,

John Durant, Director

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