Mr. Edward N. Jordan
Expeditors International of WA., Inc.
601 North Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245
RE: The tariff classification of a toy and printed coupons from China
Dear Mr. Jordan:
In your letter dated July 7, 1998, you requested a tariff classification
ruling on behalf of your client Playworks, LLC.
A sample of the "Richie Rich Toy Money Clip With Play Money" was submitted
to this office for our review. The item consists of a plastic imitation money
clip and pretend paper money. The money clip measures 2" in length by 2" in
width and 1/4" in depth. It is painted in gold on the front side and black on
the back. Molded onto the front of the clip is the likeness of a cartoon
character known as "Richie Rich." The back side will contain the molded
impression of the country of origin.
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.
You have stated in your letter that the money clip and paper money will be
imported in polybags only to be repackaged here, upon importation, with a motion
picture video. According to your letter, the items will be taken out of the
polybags, the money will be inserted into the clip and shrink-wrapped onto the
front of the video for sale to the ultimate purchaser.
You have suggested that the product is classifiable as a toy set under
heading 9503.70.0000 and cite several rulings in support of your position.
A "set" classifiable in heading 9503 is defined as "two or more different
types of articles (principally for amusement), put up in the same packing for
retail sale without repacking. Simple accessories or objects of minor
importance intended to facilitate the use of the articles may also be included."
Customs classifies merchandise in the condition in which it is imported.
The described goods do not constitute a set for classification purposes as they
are not imported packaged for retail sale. You have stated that the imitation
money clip and paper goods will be repackaged in the U.S. Therefore, the
articles are considered to be imported in bulk and are separately classifiable.
We note that related merchandise covered by rulings NY 818610 and HQ 950700, to
which you refer, consisted of components imported packaged together for retail
The classification of merchandise under the HTS is governed by the General
Rules of Interpretation (GRI'S). GRI 1 of the HTS, states in part that "for
legal purposes, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the
headings and any relative section or chapter notes...".
The imitation money clip, by nature of its material construction, is
designed purely for the amusement of children. It has little to no functional
use and will be marketed and used as a toy in pretending to simulate a grown-up.
The item is classifiable according to GRI 1.
The paper money's use in pretend play is merely temporary at best.
Admittedly, the play money is irrevocably lost upon redemption of the coupon on
the reverse side of the paper. Therefore, we find the essential character of
the paper money to be imparted by the coupon portion based on its ultimate
The applicable subheading for the toy money clip will be 9503.90.0045,
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other
toys: other: other toys and models. The rate of duty will be free.
The applicable subheading for the paper goods will be 4907.00.0000,
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for:
stock, share or bond certificates and similar documents of title. The rate of
duty will be free.
Although both products will be marked with the country of origin at the
time of importation, you have stated that they will be removed from their
original polybags and combined with a video which will subsequently be
shrink-wrapped for retail sale. Our concern arises in that your product may be
repackaged in a manner which might conceal the original country of origin
Please note that the marking statute, section 304, Tariff Act of 1930, as
amended (19 U.S.C. §1304), provides that, unless excepted, every article of
foreign origin (or its container) imported into the U.S. shall be marked in a
conspicuous place as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the
article (or its container) will permit, in such a manner as to indicate to the
ultimate purchaser in the U.S. the English name of the country of origin of the
As provided in section 134.41(b), Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R.
§134.41(b)), the country of origin marking is considered conspicuous if the
ultimate purchaser in the U.S. is able to find the marking easily and read it
without strain. The retail product must be marked in a manner which does not
conceal the country of origin of the imitation money clip or the paper goods.
For further guidance on acceptable labelling of the retail package, you may
consult with the local Import Specialist at the port of entry for the goods.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs
Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be
provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is
imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National
Alice J. Wong at 212-466-5538.
Robert B. Swierupski