CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 081201 SM

Ms. Eva Stark
EFS Marketing Associates
164 Central Avenue
Farmingdale, NY 11735

RE: Tariff classification of certain troll figures

Dear Ms. Stark:

Your letter of October 10, 1987, requests a tariff clas- sification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for certain troll figures. The country of origin is not stated.


Two samples were submitted. One is a pot-bellied flesh- colored plastic figure standing erect on two legs, about nine inches tall, with positionable arms and head. Each foot has four toes, and the hand appendages have four fingers. The head has straight white textile hair, large pointed ears, pointed "eyebrows," virtually no forehead, and an upturned snout. The figure is dressed in a removable textile jacket and pants.

The second figure is referred to as a "pen troll." It is similar to the first, but only about two inches tall, and has no clothing. A hole inside the torso of the figure allows it to be placed on the end of a pencil or pen.

You believe that the trolls should be classified as toys representing animals or non-human creatures under heading 9503, HTSUSA, rather than as dolls. You state that they are based on non-human creatures and are not sold or perceived as dolls.


Are the troll figures classified as dolls, as toys representing non-human beings, or as something else?



The HTSUSA is a new statute with new rules for the classification of imported merchandise. Merchandise may not classified under parallel or similar provisions in the TSUSA and HTSUSA because the rules under which the classification is reached are different.

The term doll is not defined in the HTSUSA. Heading 9502, HTSUSA, provides for "dolls representing only human beings." Thus, while there is no requirement that a "doll" be anatomically correct, it must, at a minimum, represent a human being. The Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, state, with regard to heading 9502, HTSUSA, that it includes "not only dolls de- signed for the amusement of children, but also dolls intended for decorative purposes (e.g., boudoir dolls, mascot dolls), or for use in Punch and Judy or marionette shows, or those of a caricature type."

Inspection of the troll figures reveals that, while they may somewhat resemble humans to the extent that they are erect bipeds with facial features located on the head, they do not represent human beings. Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961) gives the following pertinent definitions of represent:

3. to portray by pictorial, plastic, or musical art: delineate, depict.

6. . . . to serve as the counterpart or image of: typify.

syn represent, depict, portray, delineate, pic- ture and limn can mean to present an image or life- lifelike imitation of, as in art. Represent im- plies a placing before the mind as if real or as if living, as by a picture, description, or piece of sculpture.

You discuss at length the origin of "trolls" in Scandinavian folklore. Be that as it may, Customs does not classify the concept or mythology of "trolls"; we must classify the im- ported article. Examination of the figure reveals that it cannot be said to portray, serve as an image of, or present a lifelike imitation of, a human being. Therefore, we agree that it cannot be classified as a doll under the HTSUSA.


Heading 9503, HTSUSA, provides for "other toys," includ- ing scale models and puzzles. The Explanatory Notes for this heading state that it covers all toys not included in headings 9501 or 9502. As indicated above, the troll figures are not covered by heading 9502, HTSUSA. Heading 9501, HTSUSA, pro- vides for wheeled toys, and is therefore also inapplicable. Thus, if the troll figures are toys, it appears that they would fall under heading 9503, HTSUSA.

The term toy is not defined in the HTSUSA. The Explana- tory Notes for Chapter 95 state that it covers "toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of children or adults." Thus, a toy must at least be something designed for amusement.

You state that the trolls are marketed and perceived as toys. The newspaper articles and other materials you have submitted indicate that when purchased or used by children, they serve as a source of amusement. Sometimes they are pro- moted as good luck charms, but it appears that adults, too, regard them as cute, charming, and amusing. We conclude that they are classifiable as "other toys."

The superior heading for subheadings 9503.41-9503.49, HTSUSA, provides for "[t]oys representing animals or non-human creatures (for example, robots and monsters)." The Explana- tory Notes for heading 9503 give angels and devils as addi- tional examples and add that "toys representing animals or non-human creatures" are included here "even if possessing predominantly human physical characteristics." As non-human figures, the trolls are covered by this provision.


The troll figures are classified under subheading 9503.49.0020, HTSUSA, as toys representing animals or non- human creatures, other than stuffed, not having a spring mechanism, other than of metal. This classification repre- sents the present position of the Customs Service under the HTSUSA. If there are changes before the effective date of January 1, 1989, this advice may not continue to be applic- able.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

6cc: Area Director, NY Seaport
cc: NIS Tom McKenna
cc: D. Cahill