CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 950354
District Director of Customs
O'Neil Federal Building
10 Causeway Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02222-1052
RE: Internal Advice Request 49/91 Regarding the Classification of
a Broom Made of Broom Corn With a Handle
Dear Mr. Linde:
This request for internal advice was initiated by the law firm
of Sullivan and Lynch, P.C., on behalf of Come Play Products Co.,
concerns the classification of a corn broom with a handle. The
request was forwarded to our office for final determination.
The article under consideration consists of broom corn bound
together and attached to a handle approximately 18 1/2 inches in
length. The article, which has an overall length of approximately
27 inches has the appearance of a small broom. Your office has
classified the article as a broom under subheading 9603.10.40,
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).
Counsel states that the article is imported by a toy company and
is intended to be used as a toy and is classifiable under
subheading 9503.90.60, HTSUSA. The entry covering this merchandise
was liquidated, at the request of the Customs broker, on October
18, 1991, under subheading 9603.10.40, HTSUSA. That liquidation
has been protested under protest number 0401-91-100700, which was
filed on October 24, 1991, is presently pending in your district.
A sample of the article was submitted with the internal advice
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Is the article under consideration a broom or a toy?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff
Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by
the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order.
GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in
accordance with the terms of the headings and any relative section
and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the
heading and legal notes do not otherwise require the remaining
GRI's are applied taken in order.
The merchandise under consideration was initially entered
under subheading 9603.10.50, HTSUSA, under the provision for "other
brooms, wholly or in part of broom corn, other". The entry was
accepted as entered because it was initially felt that the
quantitative limitations of subheading 9603.10.40, HTSUSA, were
filled. Subsequent thereto it was determined that there was
sufficient quota available to classify the merchandise under the
last noted subheading. In order to take advantage of such fact
and to receive a partial refund of duties paid, the broker
requested that the entry covering the merchandise be liquidated.
The entry was liquidated and most of the duties paid were refunded.
The importer protested such liquidation claiming that the brooms
were classifiable under subheading 9503.90.6000, HTSUSA, as "other
toys". The importer noted that the brooms were imported by a toy
company and were being sold to the toy departments of variety
stores for resale purposes. The protest reiterated claims and
arguments previously put forth in Internal Advice Request 49/91
which is the subject of this ruling.
We have considered the arguments put forth by counsel and the
broker in support of classification of the merchandise under
subheading 9503.90.6000, HTSUSA. Since Heading 9503 is generally
regarded as a use provision, we referred to provision 1(a) of the
Additional U.S. Rules of Interpretation which states:
In the absence of special language or content which otherwise
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(a) A tariff classification controlled by use (other thanactual use) is to be determined in accordance with the use in the
United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation,
of goods of that class or kind to which the imported goods belong,
and the controlling use is the
While counsel claims that the instant article is a toy we note
that the article has no intrinsic amusing value which is the normal
purpose of toys.
The instant article is clearly a functional well made broom.
The fact that it has a short handle does not alter this fact and
the fact that it can be used as a broom. We note, in fact, that
subheading 9603.10, HTSUSA, specifically provides that brooms of
vegetable matter are classifiable thereunder regardless of whether
or not they have handles. We have observed brooms of this nature
being used on a daily basis in conjunction with a dustpan to keep
areas clean of small trash items such a cigarette butts and chewing
gum wrappers. We have ascertained that brooms with short handles
are regular stock items of janitorial supply companies.
The imported article is clearly used as as a broom. This use
is not altered by the nature of the importer. If we were to follow
counsel's suggestion, the article, if imported by his client, would
be a toy, but the same article, if imported by a janitorial supply
company, would be a broom. This incongruity would not be proper.
We do not believe that Headquarters Rulings Letters 082974 and
083279, referenced by counsel, which deal with certain toy sets
where one or more the components thereof have some functional
capacity is pertinent to the issue. This article is not part of
a set and it is clearly a functional item as used commercially.
Based on the foregoing analysis, we conclude that the imported
article is a broom is properly classifiable under subheading
9603.10.40, HTSUSA, and subject to a general rate of duty of 8 per
cent ad valorem, if the entered quantity is within the quantitative
limitations thereof. If the imported quantity is not within the
quantitative limitations of the aforementioned subheading, the
imported article is properly classifiable under - 4 -
subheading 9603.10.50, HTSUSA, and subject to a general rate of
duty of 32 each.
Protest 0401-91-100700 should be processed in accordance with
the above finding.
John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division