CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 956160 LPF
Mr. Robert P. Rait
12 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018
RE: Classification of bear bubble bottles suspended on textile
cords; Revocation of HRL 950941; Heading 9503, HTSUSA, other
toy; Not 7117, imitation jewelry; HRL 953102
Dear Mr. Rait:
In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950941, issued July 22,
1992, a bear bubble bottle, imported from Taiwan, was classified
in subheading 7117.90.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the
United States Annotated (HTSUSA), as imitation jewelry, other,
other, valued over 20 cents per dozen pieces or parts. We have
reviewed that ruling and have found it to be in error. The correct
classification is as follows.
The article at issue is a bubble bottle, resembling a bear,
made of translucent, pink colored plastic, attached to an orange
textile cord allowing the article to be worn around the neck. The
bottle is approximately 2-3/4 inches in height, from the top of the
pink cap to the bottom paws, and is filled with bubble solution.
A plastic wand for blowing bubbles is attached to the inside of the
bottle's cap. The bottle is attached to the cord by a removable
plastic "C" clasp around the neck of the bottle. It is our
understanding that the bottles are available in shapes other than
bears, such as hearts or seashells. Pursuant to section 625,
Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625), as amended by section 623 of
Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade
Agreement Implementation Act, Pub. L. 103-182, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186
(1993) (hereinafter section 625), notice of the proposed revocation
of HRL 950941 was published on July 27, 1994, in the Customs
Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 30.
Whether the bear bubble bottle with bubble solution and a wand
is classifiable in heading 9503 as other toys or in heading 7117
as imitation jewelry.
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
The General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs) taken in their
appropriate order provide a framework for classification of
merchandise under the HTSUS. Most imported goods are classified
by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the
headings of the tariff schedule and any relative section or chapter
notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on
the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not
otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may then be applied. 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 HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the
headings and GRIs.
The subject article potentially is classifiable within heading
9503 as other toys or within 7117 as imitation jewelry. In regard
to heading 9503, the ENs to Chapter 95 indicate that "this chapter
covers toys of all kinds whether designed for the amusement of
children or adults." It is Customs position that the amusement
requirement means that toys should be designed and used principally
for amusement. See Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a),
HTSUSA. Customs defines principal use as that use which exceeds
each other single use of the article.
It is our position that the article, consisting of a bottle
with bubble solution, is a toy. The bubble solution is a plaything
which a child repeatedly will take off their neck for the purpose
of blowing bubbles. Even if worn around the neck, it is apparent
the child principally will use the article to blow bubbles. It is
likely that once the supply of bubble solution has been depleted,
the novelty and purpose of this article will cease to exist and,
as a result, the child will discard the empty plastic bottle and
textile cord. Accordingly, the article is designed and used
principally for amusement.
In regard to heading 7117, Legal Notes 8 and 10 to Chapter 71
indicate that the expression "imitation jewelry" includes any small
objects of personal adornment, gem-set or not, such as rings,
bracelets, necklaces, brooches, earrings, watch chains, fobs,
pendants, etc. The subject article does not fit the description
of imitation jewelry provided in the Legal Notes. Webster's Third
New International Dictionary (1968), defines a necklace as "1(a)
(1): a string of beads or other small objects (as precious stones)
that is worn about the neck as an ornament (2): a chain or band
usu. of metal often specially decorated... and worn about the neck
as an ornament." This article, in its entirety, is not a necklace
because it is not worn around the neck as an ornament. The
American Heritage Dictionary Second College Edition (1985), defines
a pendant as "something suspended from something else, esp. an
ornament or piece of jewelry
attached to a necklace or bracelet." The bottle and bubble
solution is not a pendant because it is not an ornamental article
or piece of jewelry attached to a necklace. The subject article,
simply, is not worn for adornment.
This decision is in accord with HRL 953102, issued April 26,
1993, where plastic bottles designed as penguins, hearts, and bear
cubs containing bubble solution and a wand for blowing bubbles,
suspended on textile cords, were classified as toys. Similarly,
in the instant case, the child-consumer would not intend to wear
the plastic bottle and bubble solution as an article of
ornamentation, but rather intend to play with the merchandise for
the purpose of amusement. The textile cord is not principally
designed to enable one to wear the bottle and bubble solution, but
primarily allows one to handle and carry the bottle and bubble
solution in order to repeatedly blow bubbles. The textile cord is
similar to the carrying or wearing straps of a camera or pair of
binoculars which do not affect the function of the merchandise.
Accordingly, the subject article principally is used for amusement
and is classified, pursuant to GRI 1, within heading 9503 as other
toys. Although the article is designed in an animal motif, in its
entirety, it is not accurately described as a "toy representing an
animal," because of the inclusion of the bubble solution and wand.
Instead, it is classifiable, pursuant to GRI 1 in accordance with
GRI 6, as an "other" toy in subheading 9503.90.60, the appropriate
provision for bubble solution and its accoutrements.
The bear bubble bottle suspended on a textile cord is
classifiable in subheading 9503.90.6000, HTSUSA, as "Other toys...:
Other: Other: Other toys (except models), not having a spring
mechanism." The applicable rate of duty is 6.8 percent ad valorem.
HRL 950941 hereby is revoked.
In accordance with section 625, this ruling will become
effective 60 days from its publication in the Customs Bulletin.
Publication of rulings or decisions pursuant to section 625 does
not constitute a change of practice or position in accordance with
section 177.10(c)(1), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 177.10(c)(1)).
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division