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HQ 963019

August 29, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:GC 963019 JGB


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0080

Ms. Barbara Y. Wierbicki
Tompkins & Davidson, LLP
One Astor Plaza
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-8901

RE: Yomego Yo-Yo Keychain, item # PP192444

Dear Ms. Wierbicki:

This is in reference to your letter of July 20, 1999, to the Customs National Commodity Specialist Division, New York, on behalf of Avon Products, Inc., in which you request a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) of Yomega Mini-Yo-Yo Keychains. This matter was discussed at a meeting at Customs Headquarters on April 6, 2001. You provided additional written information on April 30, 2001. We regret the delay in responding.


The yo-yo keychain is a combination article containing a fully functioning yo-yo measuring approximately 1½ inch in diameter and 1 inch thick. The yo-yo is secured in the article by a plastic c-shaped ring that has a tab and eye affixed to the external portion of the "c" to permit attachment of a 4 link metal chain. The plastic c-ring is approximately 5/16 inch wide and inch thick with an inner diameter of 1- inches. The c-ring covers most of the groove of the yo-yo where the string is wound. The whole yo-yo can be removed from the grasp of the c-ring for play. When the user is ready to store or carry the yo-yo, the string would be rewound and the c-ring snapped over the exposed string. At both ends of the 4 link metal chain are round links about ¼ inch in diameter. One link is attached to the c-ring and the other is attached to a split metal ring about th inch in diameter. Also attached to the split metal ring is a lobster claw clasp or swivel hook. This clasp has a spring-operated safety closure. The entire article from the lobster claw metal clasp to the outer extent of the yo-yo is about 5¼ inches. The clasp permits the article to be attached to a backpack, belt loop or zipper pull.

The article comes in three models, Saber Brain™, Saber Fireball™, and Saber Raider™, the main differences among the models being the colors of the yo-yo disks.


Whether the article is classifiable as a toy in heading 9503, HTSUS, or as a keychain within the provision for other articles of iron or steel in heading 7326, HTSUS?


Merchandise imported into the U.S. is classified under the HTSUS. Tariff classification is governed by the principles set forth in the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) and, in the absence of special language or context which otherwise requires, by the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation. The GRIs and the Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation are part of the HTSUS and are to be considered statutory provisions of law for all purposes. The majority of imported goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter notes.

The Explanatory Notes (EN's) 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's.

This article is a composite good and, as such, cannot be classified by GRI 1, in that no single heading describes the article. The yo-yo portion alone would be classified under heading 9503, HTSUS, the provision for "Other toys, reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; parts and accessories thereof." The "keychain" component alone would be classified under heading 7326, HTSUS, the provision for other articles of iron or steel. Under the provisions of GRI 2, “the classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.” GRI 3 provides, in pertinent part, “When, by application of rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:...when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods ... those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.” GRI 3(b) provides that “... composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.”

The ENs to GRI 3(b) at paragraph (VIII) lists, as factors to help determine the essential character of such goods, the nature of the materials or components, their bulk, quantity, weight or value, and the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

The yo-yo component of the article is the most prominently featured aspect in the marketing and packaging. It is referred to as a "pocket yo-yo" and most of the wording on the package pertains to the use qualities of the yo-yo. For example, the potential buyer is told that it is "Easy to learn and play", that it has "High Performance!", that in one model there is a "Roller Bearing" and in another model, the yo-yo "spins THREE TIMES LONGER than ordinary yo-yos." Another model announces a "Transaxle System" that "makes mastering new tricks EASIER THAN EVER." Although the words "Key Chain" are prominently featured on the front of the blister pack, the keychain is small and a minor part of the entire article. The yo-yo component is the predominant feature of the article. It constitutes the largest and most visible portion of the article. The buyer would perceive the article to be a yo-yo that had an added feature of being easily carried on a backpack or on one's clothing, ready for school companions to notice it and ask for a trick demonstration. Therefore, in considering the relationship or role of the yo-yo component to the use of the entire article, we conclude that the yo-yo component represents the essential character.

In reaching this conclusion, this office is cognizant of various New York Ruling Letters (NY) that find keychains or keyrings to be classified in heading 7326, HTSUS, as other articles of iron or steel, where, unlike the present case, the keyring is useful and intended to organize, carry and store keys. For example, NY D87117, dated February 25, 1999, and NY F84003, dated March 31, 2000, have toy-like articles as keychain fobs. The keyring actually functions as a keyring, while the toylike aspects of the fob are minimal and do not provide the principal activity related to the article. By contrast, NY E89196, dated November 17, 1999, and NY F80918, dated January 7, 2000, classified a toy assortment with key chains and a hand puzzle, respectively in heading 9503, because playing with the toys appears to be the principal function of the articles. Where the functionality of the keychain is minimal or diminished by the role of the toys, the standard rules for finding essential character lead to a classification as toy in heading 9503. That rule applied in this case accordingly leads to classification in heading 9503.

Within heading 9503, HTSUS, the specific subheading is 9503.90.0080, the provision for "Other toys, reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; parts and accessories thereof: Other, Other."


The Yomego Yo-Yo Keychain, item # PP192444 is classifiable in subheading 9503.90.0080, HTSUS, the provision for "Other toys, reduced-size ("scale") models and similar recreational models, working or not; puzzles of all kinds; parts and accessories thereof: Other, Other."


John A. Durant, Director Commercial Rulings Division

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