United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2001 HQ Rulings > HQ 964723 - HQ 964837 > HQ 964737

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 964737

January 4, 2001

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 964737 ss


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989; 9503.90.0000

Mr. Michael Roll, Esquire
Katten Muchin Zavis
525 West Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60661-3693

RE: Tariff Classification of “Hello Kitty” and “Pochacco” Plush Animal Heads With a Small Rear Pocket and Plastic Clip; Other Made Up Textile Articles; Heading 6307, HTSUSA; Not a Coin Purse; Not Heading 4202, HTSUSA; Tariff Classification of Similar Items Which Lack a Pocket; Other Toys; Heading 9503, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Roll:

This letter is in response to your letter dated December 8, 2000, on behalf of your client, The Marketing Store Worldwide LP, regarding the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (“HTSUSA”) of two plush animal heads with a pocket and plastic clip imported from China. Samples were provided with the request. A copy of the polybag that will be used with the items was submitted on December 15, 2000. A meeting was held with counsel at Customs headquarters on December 28, 2000, in which additional samples were submitted. A supplemental submission dated December 29, 2000, was also received.


The two submitted samples are stuffed plush animal heads which dangle from a plastic clip. One represents “Hello Kitty” and the other represents “Pochacco,” another Hello Kitty character. Each animal head is composed of brushed tricot fabric and is stuffed with polyester fibers to distinction. The “Hello Kitty” item measures approximately 2.5 inches in width by 2.5 inches in length and almost 1.5 inches in thickness. The “Pochacco” item measures approximately 2.5 inches in width by 2.75 inches in length and almost 1.8 inches in thickness. Each character head is designed so that the back of the head forms a small flat pocket with a hook and loop type closure. The rear pocket on each item measures approximately 2.25 inches in width by 1.5 inches in length. The pocket is so small that it could not hold more than a couple coins or perhaps a single key. The simple loop-shaped plastic clip measures approximately 2 inches in length. Due to the shape and thickness of the plastic clip, keys cannot be attached directly to the clip. The clip merely allows the stuffed character head to be attached to items such as a backpack, carry bag or pant belt loop. The merchandise is imported for sale to a restaurant chain which will use the items as part of a promotion.


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise?


Classification under the HTSUSA 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 GRIs 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 HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRIs.

Chapter 95, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, toys. Although the term “toy” is not defined in the tariff, the EN to chapter 95, HTSUSA, state, in pertinent part, that “[t]his Chapter covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults.” Although not set forth as a definition of “toys”, this term has been interpreted by Customs as equating “toys” with articles “designed for the amusement of children and adults.”

You claim the subject merchandise is similar to other articles which have been classified as stuffed toys under heading 9503, HTSUSA. In New York Ruling Letter (“NY”) D82823, dated October 20, 1998, Customs classified “Winnie the Pooh Pals” under heading 9503, HTSUSA. The “Winnie the Pooh Pals” were also comprised of stuffed heads of well known children’s characters with a plastic loop clip-on attachment. However, the “Winnie the Pooh Pals” did not feature a pocket on the back of the articles. Customs finds that the pocket on the back of the instant articles make them distinguishable from the clip-on type articles previously classified in heading 9503, HTSUSA.

It is Customs’ belief that the instant articles are not toys because they are not primarily designed for the amusement of children or adults. The manufacturer has expended additional cost and effort to create the instant articles with the pocket. The articles were designed to provide a space for a child to keep small objects. We note that the polybag used with the items refers to the articles as “treasure keepers.” This term implies the use of the items as a type of container. Although by supplemental submission dated December 29, 2000, the attorney for the importer advises that the articles will no longer be identified as “treasure keepers,” it does not change the character of the items. Accordingly, it is Customs’ belief that the instant articles are not classifiable under chapter 95, HTSUSA.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for:

Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; traveling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks, handbags, shopping bags, wallets, purses, map cases, cigarette cases, tobacco pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle cases, jewelry boxes, powder cases, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper.

The EN to heading 4202, HTSUSA, state that the heading covers the specifically named containers and similar containers. The EN to subheadings 4202.31, 4202.32 and 4202.39, HTSUSA, which provide for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag, specifically state that the subheading covers purses and key-cases. Accordingly, heading 4202, HTSUSA, covers a wide range of containers including coin purses.

In Headquarters Ruling Letter (“HQ”) 088665, dated June 14, 1991, Customs found that a “Wrist Rascal” was a novelty coin purse classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUSA. The “Wrist Rascal” was a full-figured representation of a baby chick worn on the wrist which primarily functioned as a key-case or coin purse. Customs stated that articles with toy-like features such as animal shapes are not classified as toys but in provisions that recognize their use as functional items despite a novelty appearance. Customs found that the “Wrist Rascal” was not a toy since it was not used for the amusement of adults or children but rather was a container for personal items with ornamental features.

However, in HQ 962670, dated April 20, 1999, Customs found that “Rugrats” stuffed dolls with features similar to a backpack were not described by heading 4202, HTSUSA. The stuffed dolls had a small zippered compartment and straps which allowed the doll to be carried like a backpack. Customs stated:

While the dolls do have straps for carrying, its zippered inside portion of the torso is very small, due to the large quantity of stuffing, that it may not practically serve as a pack for the child who carries the doll. The practical use of the zippered pocket appears to be to store or carry very small objects or accessories. For instance, there was barely enough room in the zippered opening of the “Anjelica” doll’s torso to accommodate one snack size candy bar (2” x 1½” with net wt. 0.6 oz.). The zippered opening in the doll is similar to having a secret pocket in one’s doll rather than having a functional backpack with a toy-like motif. As such, this design does not provide sufficient space for us to find that the article’s primary use is that of a “novelty backpack.”

It is Customs’ belief that the small flat pocket on the instant articles is not sufficient to find that the articles’ primary use is that of a novelty coin purse or similar container of heading 4202, HTSUSA. The articles will primarily be used as decorative or ornamental articles. Although the instant articles resemble coin purses, they are incapable of functioning as coin purses. The articles are stuffed so full that the pockets are rendered useless except for the possibility of inserting very small, flat articles. In the supplemental submission dated December 29, 2000, counsel for the importer affirmatively represented that the imported articles will be stuffed to the same extent as the samples submitted. Assuming that the imported articles are identical to the instant articles, the articles will be precluded from classification under heading 4202, HTSUSA.

Heading 6307, HTSUSA, provides for other made up articles of textile materials. This heading is a “basket provision” for goods which cannot be classified more specifically in the nomenclature. As no other provision more specifically describes the submitted merchandise, the “Hello Kitty” and “Pochacco” plush heads with rear pocket and plastic clip are properly classified as other made up articles in subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA. This is consistent with HQ 964324, dated July 12, 2000, in which a “Hello Kitty” wrist wrap was classified under heading 6307, HTSUSA. The “Hello Kitty” wrist wrap was similar to the instant articles in that it consisted of a stuffed “Hello Kitty” head on a textile wrist strap with a hook and loop closure. Customs found that the wrist wrap was designed to be a decorative item worn on the wrist of a child similar to a bracelet and was precluded from classification under heading 9503, HTSUSA, since the wrist wrap was not intended to provide for amusement.

Based on discussions at the meeting with counsel on December 29, 2000, it is our understanding that the product may be redesigned and manufactured without the pocket. If the imported articles are identical to the samples submitted (e.g., the amount of stuffing) except that the articles do not have a pocket, the imported articles will be classified under heading 9503, HTSUSA, as other toys.


If the imported articles are identical to the submitted samples, the “Hello Kitty” and “Pochacco” plush animal heads with a rear pocket and plastic clip are properly classified under subheading 6307.90.9989, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other made up clothing articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Other: Other.” The general column one rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem and there is no designated textile restraint category.

If the imported articles are identical to the submitted samples except for the fact that the merchandise does NOT have a pocket, the articles will be classifiable under subheading 9503.90.0000, HTSUSA. The general column one rate of duty is “Free.”

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification), you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: