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NY M86455

September 28, 2006

CLA-2-95:RR:NC:2:224 M86455


TARIFF NO.: 9508.10.0000

Luis A. Abad
300 Madison Avenue, 14th Floor
New York, NY 10017

RE: The tariff classification of circus equipment from Canada.

Dear Mr. Abad:

In a letter dated September 6, 2006, a representative of Cirque du Soleil Inc. requested a tariff classification ruling on auxiliary equipment used in the operation of their theatrical circus.

The Cirque du Soleil (“Cirque”) is an international live theatrical circus emphasizing the use of humans as performers, rather than animals. Its performances combine elements of street performances and circus, with opera, ballet, and rock music. Acts include contortionists, jugglers, feats of strength, clowning, and trapeze artists in a theatrical setting. A number of elements are used to create these settings, referred to as the Cirque atmosphere or experience. These elements include sets, props and specialty furniture, live original music and sound effects, dramatic visual lighting effects, particular smells and aromas and lavish costumes.

Cirque requests that we rule on the tariff classification of five items that Cirque asserts are essential to the normal operation of “creating the Cirque atmosphere.” The items and their provided descriptions include:

Red spot lights: generally fixed to the Cirque infrastructure and used to create a dramatic atmosphere throughout the Cirque grounds; Sound speakers: used to set the atmosphere backdrop throughout the Cirque grounds by playing Cirque music and provide public announcements; DVD players: Are represented as a vital part of the house audio and video system and are used to play various Cirque performances to assist in the creation of the Cirque atmosphere throughout the Cirque grounds; Inflatable chairs and furniture: Displayed throughout the Cirque grounds for guests’ comfort and to add another component of the amusement and surrealistic Cirque atmosphere; and Popcorn machines: Used for the preparation and distribution of popcorn to Cirque visitors.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes for heading 95.08 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) state that fairground amusements, traveling circuses, traveling menageries and traveling theaters fall in this heading provided they comprise all the essential units required for their normal operation. The heading also includes items of auxiliary equipment provided they are presented with, and as components of, these various amusements, notwithstanding that when presented separately such items (e.g., tents, animals, musical instruments, power plants, motors, lighting fittings, seats, and arms and ammunition) would fall in other headings of the Nomenclature.

We find that the subject items (with the exception of the popcorn machines used in concession sales) constitute components that, although not considered essential to the circus operation, contribute sufficiently to the atmosphere and amusement attraction of the Cirque experience. Provided they are presented with, and as components of, the Cirque du Soleil circus, these items of auxiliary equipment are classifiable in subheading 9508.10.0000, HTSUS, which provides for “Merry-go-rounds, boat-swings, shooting galleries and other fairground amusements; traveling circuses and traveling menageries; traveling theaters; parts and accessories thereof: Traveling circuses and traveling menageries; parts and accessories.” The general rate of duty is free. This conclusion should not be extended to apply to auxiliary equipment such as the subject merchandise when imported separate and apart from the Cirque du Soleil circus.

Finally, whether the above described red spot lights, DVD players, speakers, inflatable chairs and similar auxiliary items are used in proximity to where concessions or merchandise may be sold has no effect on the tariff classification of the goods as long as their sole function is to contribute to the performance of the theatrical production or its enhancement thereof.

Duty rates are provided for your convenience and are subject to change. The text of the most recent HTSUS and the accompanying duty rates are provided on World Wide Web at http://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/.

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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