Ms. Machelle Blair
Wal Mart Stores, Inc.
702 SW 8th St.
Bentonville, AR 72716-8023
RE: The tariff classification of a toy book from China
Dear Ms. Blair:
In your letter dated February 24, 1999, received in this office on February 28, 1999, you requested a tariff classifi-cation ruling.
The submitted sample of “Story Time Rhymes,” style #80-20200, is a child’s toy book. The book is made essentially of plastic and incorporates a sound mechanism with speaker and automatic shut off. It is retail packed in a “Try Me” style box with two “AAA” batteries installed. The “book” contains four rigid plastic pages connected to a cylinder on the left side which lends the appearance of being bound. Nursery rhymes and colorful pictures are printed on each page. Two arrow buttons may be pressed which trigger a voice and action sounds. By turning the pages a musical tune is played which corresponds to the rhyme on the page. The item is designed for children 6 months of age and up. Your sample is being returned as requested.
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...".
Consideration must be given to HTS 4903.00.0000, which provides for “children’s picture, drawing or coloring books.” Chapter 49 Note 1(c) states that this chapter does not cover: (c) Playing cards or other goods of chapter 95 (emphasis added), and Note 6. states “for the purposes of heading 4903, the expression “children’s picture books” means books for children in which the pictures form the principal interest and the text is subsidiary.”
Chapter 95 provides for toys of all kinds designed for the amusement of children. Here, we refer to the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (EN), which, although not legally binding, are the official interpre-tation of the tariff at the international level. They state, in pertinent part for 95.03:
"This heading covers:
(A)(19) Books or sheets consisting essentially of pictures, toys or models, for cutting out and assembly; also books containing “stand-up” or movable figures provided they have the essential character of toys (see the Explanatory Note to heading 49.03).
Although the instant article contains text (in the form of nursery rhymes) it also features colorful pictures, voice activated sounds and musical tunes. We recognize that the book is configured in a manner which emphasizes manipulative play in the form of turning the rigid “pages” to activate melodies and pressing buttons which trigger articulation of animal sounds. It is the opinion of this office that, based on Chapter 49 Note 1(c) and that the book is designed primarily for amusement purposes, the item is classifiable as a toy in accordance with GRI 1 of the HTS.
The applicable subheading for the “Story Time Rhymes,” style #80-20200, 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.
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 Import Specialist
Alice J. Wong at 212-637-7028.
Robert B. Swierupski