Sobel Shipping Co., Inc.
170 Broadway, Suite 1501
New York, NY 10038
RE: The tariff classification of a simulated fossil and a book from Taiwan.
Dear Mr. Zekser:
In your letter dated February 12, 1998, you requested a tariff classification ruling on behalf of Hall Associates, Inc.
The article is a children's novelty item consisting of a 5" x 8", 16 page paperback book along with a reproduction of a scorpion encapsulated in a block of transparent hardened gel referred to as an "insect in amber putty" item. The product is said to be imported in either the so-called Trade Edition, which has a retail display package with acetate windows through which the insect and the book can be viewed, or the Club Edition in which the insect and the book are imported in a heat sealed poly bag for distribution to schools. The sample gel- or putty-encased arachnid, a scorpion in this example, is supposed to simulate an amber-trapped fossil. The text of the sample book describes the amber-like gel and its properties, and describes the historical development of amber and its interaction with ancient bugs and insects. The sample will be returned at your request.
Since the "insect in putty" can be played with independent of the accompanying book, we must classify the two components separately.
The applicable subheading for the book will be 4901.99.0092, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for other (than certain enumerated) printed books: containing 5 or more pages each but not more than 48 pages each (excluding covers). The duty rate will be free.
The Explanatory Notes (EN) of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System at EN 95.03 state that heading 9503 covers:
(A)(17) Educational Toys (e.g., toy chemistry, printing sewing and knitting sets).
We see the simulated insect in amber putty article as a plaything used as an educational or learning aid. The subheading for the item will be 9503.49.0025, HTS, which provides for toys representing animals or non-human creatures (for example, robots and monsters) and parts and accessories thereof: other toys. The rate of duty is free.
This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).
A copy of this ruling letter 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 Tom McKenna at (212)466-5475