OT:RR:CTF:TCM W968412 HvB
Edward N. Jordan
Expeditors International of WA., Inc.
601 North Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245
RE: Modification of New York Ruling Letter C89928, dated July 30, 1998; Classification of Toy Money
Dear Mr. Jordan:
This letter is to inform you that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reconsidered New York Ruling Letter (“NY”) C89928, dated July 30, 1998, issued to you on behalf of your client, Playworks, LLC. In that ruling, CBP classified toy money, featuring a redeemable coupon on the reverse side, under subheading 4907.00.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTSUS”), which provides for, in part: “stock, share or bond certificates and similar documents of title.” We have reviewed the ruling and found this classification to be incorrect. This ruling does not alter the classification of the toy money clip in NY C89928.
Pursuant to section 625(c)(1), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1625(c)(1)), as amended by section 623 of Title VI, CBP published notice proposing to modify one ruling letter pertaining to the tariff classification of toy money in the November 30, 2011 Customs Bulletin, Volume 45, Number 49. No comments were received.
In NY C89928 we described the merchandise as follows:
The play paper money measures 5 3/4" by 2 3/4". On one side a picture of the "Richie Rich" cartoon character is printed along with value denominations to resemble real money. The reverse side features a valuable coupon which may be redeemed at a popular children's activity center.
Is the toy money classifiable under heading 4907, HTSUS, as “Unused postage, revenue or similar stamps of current or new issue in the country in which they have, or will have, a recognized face value; stamp-impressed paper; banknotes; check forms; stock, share or bond certificates and similar documents of title” or under heading 4911, HTSUS, as “Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs”?
LAW AND ANALYSIS:
Classification under the HTSUS is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (“GRIs”). GRI 1 provides that the classification of goods shall be determined 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 2 through 6 may then be applied in order.
The 2012 HTSUS provisions under consideration are as follows:
4907 Unused postage, revenue or similar stamps of current or new issue in the country in which they have, or will have, a recognized face value; stamp-impressed paper; banknotes; check forms; stock, share or bond certificates and similar documents of title
4911 Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs:
The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (“ENs”) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding nor dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127, 35128 (August 23, 1989).
The ENs to heading 4907, HTSUS, provide, in part:
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The characteristic of the products of this heading is that on being issued (if necessary, after completion and validation) by the appropriate authority, they have a fiduciary value in excess of the intrinsic value.
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(F) Stock, share, or bond certificate and similar documents of title. These are formal documents issued, or for issue, by public or private bodies conferring ownership of, or entitlement to, certain financial interests, goods or benefits named therein. Apart from the certificates mentioned, these documents include letters of credit, bills of lading, title deeds and dividend coupons. They usually require completion and validation.
* * *
Heading 4907, HTSUS, provides in part for “stock, share or bond certificates and similar documents of title.” In other words, heading 4907, HTSUS is intended for items that are describable as negotiable instruments, and as stated in EN 49.07, have a fiduciary value in excess of its intrinsic value.
Similarly, CBP has held, and as the EN for 49.07 provides, this heading contemplates printed products that act as formal documents which confer ownership or title. See NY I84754, dated August 5, 2002, and Headquarters Ruling Letter (“HQ”) 962499, dated February 16, 2000. Unlike items in this heading, the toy money is marketed to a certain age group and is not intended to have the value or transferability of stocks, bonds, or other commercial certificates. As such, we conclude that the toy money is not classifiable as a “stock, share or bond certificate and similar documents of title” of heading 4907, HTSUS.
CBP has consistently held that printed coupons are classifiable under subheading 4911.99, HTSUS. In rulings NY 869412, dated December 31, 1991, NY 870276, dated January 30, 1992, and NY 881459, dated December 30, 1992, CBP classified similar merchandise under subheading 4911.99, HTSUS. In HQ W968266, dated September 19, 2006, CBP held that a plastic gift card was classifiable under subheading 4911.99, and lacked any real value before it was activated at a cash register. Similarly, the toy money does not hold value until it is redeemed at the cash register. As such, we find that the play money at issue is classified under heading 4911, in subheading 4911.99.80, HTSUS, as other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs, other: other.
By application of GRI 1, the subject toy money is classified in heading 4911, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 4911.99.80, which provides for: “Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs, other: other.”
EFFECT ON OTHER RULINGS:
NY C89928, dated April January 20, 1998, is hereby modified with regards only to the play paper money.
Myles B. Harmon, Director
Commercial and Trade Facilitation Division