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NY H86819

January 14, 2002

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 H86819


TARIFF NO.: 9504.90.6000

Lorianne Aldinger
Rite Aid Corp.
P.O. Box 3165
Harrisburg, PA 17105

RE: The tariff classification of a “Beach Towel Game Set” from China.

Dear Ms. Aldinger:

In your letter dated December 20, 2001, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You are requesting the tariff classification on an item that is described as a “Beach Towel Game Set”. The product is a beach towel constructed of cotton terry cloth. A checkerboard playing area is printed in the center with palm trees, the word “Checkers” and flotation rings are printed on each end of the towel. Also included in the set are twenty-four plastic red and black checkers. The intended use of this item is as both a beach towel and a game mat/board that will be marketed in Rite Aid’s Spring/Summer sales campaign. You have not requested that the sample be returned, at this time.

Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI’s), taken in order. There can be no tariff classification of the two sample “game towel” products by reference to GRI 1 because the game parts and the towel are classifiable in different headings of the tariff. The towel is provided for in heading 6302, HTSUSA. Heading 9504, HTSUSA provides for articles for arcade, table or parlor gamesparts and accessories thereof. No single heading describes the products at issue. We must now determine if the “game towel” articles are classified as a set or a composite good of GRI 3, the next applicable GRI.

GRI 3 provides for goods that are prima facie classifiable under two or more headings. Since the “game towel” is classifiable under one heading and the game pieces under another, GRI 3 is pertinent to our analysis.

GRI 3 (b) provides that sets put up for retail sale that are made up of different components shall be classified as if they consisted of the component that gives them their essential character. In general, “essential character” has been construed to mean the attribute that strongly marks or serves to distinguish the article.

In this case, the essential character of the two novelty “game towel” sample products is not readily apparent. It is our belief that the essential character of the product is not distinguished by either the game play activity or by the towel function; the two are mutually complementary. Neither the “game towel” nor the game pieces (checkers) impart the essential character of the products at issue.

When the component that gives the product its essential character cannot be determined, classification is ascertained by way of GRI 3 (c). If classified separately, the game pieces would fall under the provision for other games played on boards of special design and parts thereofpoker chips and dice, in subheading 9504.90.60000, HTSUSA. The cotton towel would be classified in subheading 6302.60.0020, HTSUSA. Applying GRI 3 (c), the merchandise is classifiable under subheading 9504.90.6000 since it occurs last in numerical order of the two competing subheadings.

Accordingly, the applicable subheading for the “Beach Towel Game Set” will be 9504.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for “Other: Chess, checkers, parchisi, backgammon, darts and other games played on boards of a special design, all the foregoing games and parts thereof (including their boards); mah-jong and dominoes; any of the foregoing games in combination with each other, or with other games, packaged together as a unit in immediate containers...poker chips and dice.” 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 Tom McKenna at 646-733-3025.


Robert B. Swierupski

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