CLA-2 CO:R:C:M 952154 AJS
Mr. Peter Jay Baskin
Sharretts, Paley, Carter & Blauvelt, P.C.
Sixty seven Broad Street
New York, N.Y. 10004
RE: Talk N Play; HQ 088044; GRI 3; GRI 3(b); GRI 3(c); set put up
for retail sale; GRI 3(b), EN (VIII); Heading 4901; Heading 8542;
Heading 4903; Chapter 85, note 6; HQ 950925.
Dear Mr. Baskin:
Your letter of May 26, 1992, on behalf of Kiddesigns, Inc.,
requesting the tariff classification of the "Talk N Play Inter-
active Entertainment System" (System) under the Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), has been referred to this
office for reply.
The subject System consists of a children's picture book,
cassette tape, and tape player which are packaged together and
sold as a set. The tape player, which is also capable of playing
other standard cassette tapes, features a flip-up stand on which
to place the book when the article is in use. The System is
intended for a child to use by following a story in the book and
answering questions or partaking in other activities incidental
to the story through the prompting of the accompanying tape.
Aside from the usual kinds of controls commonly found on cassette
players (i.e, volume, play, stop, fast forward, and rewind), the
player also contains four switches that the child may use to
answer questions or otherwise participate in the story. In
addition, the cassette player contains storage space for
additional Talk N Play books and tapes which may be purchased
separately and also used with the System.
The cassette player is made in China, the cassette tape is
produced in Singapore, and the book will be made in Hong Kong
Whether the subject System is properly classifiable within
heading 4903, HTSUS, which provides for children's picture books;
or within heading 8524, HTSUS, which provides for records, tapes
and other recorded media for sound or other similarly recorded
phenomena; or within heading 8519, HTSUS, which provides for
cassette players and other sound reproducing apparatus, not
incorporating a sound recording device.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 1 states that
classification shall be determined according to the terms of the
headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided
such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the
In HQ 088044 (April 4, 1991), Customs addressed the
classification of the "Storytime", which consisted of a
children's book (provided for within heading 4901), an electronic
reading tray (provided for within heading 8519), and a read only
memory (ROM) cartridge (provided for within heading 8542) packed
together and sold as a set. We determined that the Storytime was
a GRI 3 set put up for retail sale, and that GRI 3(c) governed
the classification of the set. GRI 3(c) requires that
classification be based on the heading which occurs last in
numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.
In HQ 088044, headings 4901 and 8519, HTSUS, were considered to
merit consideration. Based on GRI 3(c), the Storytime was
classifiable within heading 8519, HTSUS. Heading 8542, HTSUS,
was not determined to equally merit consideration, otherwise it
would have governed classification.
The subject System is similar to the Storytime. It
consists of a children's picture book (provided for within
heading 4903), a cassette player (provided for within heading
8519), and a cassette tape (provided for within 8524). Based on
HQ 088044, we find that the System is also put up in a set for
retail sale. However, we find that the cassette player
determines the essential character of the set, and that
classification is governed by the application of GRI 3(b) (i.e.,
essential character) rather than GRI 3(c). Essential character
may be determined by the nature of the component parts of the set
or their value. GRI 3(b), Harmonized Commodity Description and
Coding System Explanatory Note (VIII). The cassette player
imparts the essential character to the System because additional
books and cassettes may be substituted for the original ones
purchased with the System. In addition, both the book and tape
are dependent on the cassette player in order to function as
intended, while the cassette player may be used to play other
standard cassette tapes. Furthermore, the cassette player
possesses the greatest value among the components of the System.
Accordingly, the System is properly classifiable within heading
8519, HTSUS. More specifically, it is described within
subheading 8519.91.00, HTSUS, which provides for cassette type
sound reproducing apparatus.
Records, tapes and other media of heading 8524 remain
classified in this heading, whether or not they are entered with
the apparatus for which they are intended. Chapter 85, note 6.
In HQ 950925 (May 12, 1992), we ruled that a component cassette
included in a GRI 3 set must be broken out of the set and
classified separately within heading 8524, HTSUS. The subject
System consists of a cassette tape, which is provided for within
subheading 8524.21.30, HTSUS. Therefore, the cassette tape must
be classified separately within this subheading pursuant to the
above chapter note.
The Talk N Play System is properly classifiable within
subheading 8519.91.00, HTSUS, which provides for cassette
type sound reproducing apparatus not incorporating a sound
recording device. The cassette tape must be broken out and
classified separately within subheading 8524.21.30, HTSUS, which
provides for other magnetic tape recordings of a width not
exceeding 4 mm.
John Durant, Director