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NY J83540

April 23, 2003

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:SP:225 J83540


TARIFF NO.: 9503.90.0080

Mr. Anthony Fondacaro
T.H. Weiss, Inc.
2 Johnson Road
Lawrence, NY 11559

RE: The tariff classification of model ships from England.

Dear Mr. Fondacaro:

In your letter dated April 9, 2003, on behalf of American Marine Model Gallery, you requested a tariff classification ruling.

You have submitted a brochure containing photographs of a variety of model ships handmade to exacting specifications. Some of the model ships have been reproduced from specific scenes or maritime events using actual ship plans or copied from a painting, photograph, or other data. The model ships depicted in the brochure range from contemporary and classic naval ships, as well as yachts and commercial liners, such as an American Clipper circa 1851, a Pacific Coast Steamer circa 1900, the Royal Viking Star, a Sandbagger, and a 1-1/2” Cutty Sark. The models are primarily constructed of wood with detailing that can include display furniture and lighting, and are designed to “compliment the interior of the most important rooms in one’s home or office.”

Although you suggest classification under 9705.00.0090, Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), heading 9705 is not applicable, as these models are not historical. They themselves did not have an effect on history. Instead, heading 9503, HTS, provides in pertinent part, for “reduced-size (“scale”) models and similar recreational models, working or not” 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 HTS by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings. The ENs to heading 9503, HTS, also indicate that the heading includes “models of a kind mainly used for recreational purposes, for example, working or scale models of boats, aircraft, trains, vehicles, etc., and kits of materials and parts for making such models” The model ships in question here would be “recreational” in the sense that they provide a recreational, pleasant diversion and a source of enjoyment for adults seeing what a famous ship actually looked like. Therefore, in the opinion of this office, these model ships are classifiable in heading 9503.

The applicable subheading for the model ships depicted in the brochure will be 9503.90.0080, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides 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 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 Alice Wong at 646-733-3026.


Robert B. Swierupski

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