In ruling NY N320422 (July 21, 2021), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) discussed the tariff classification and country of origin for marking purposes of the “Yahtzee Frenzee” game. The game consists of 20 dice, 80 playing cards, 1 round tracker card, 1 token, and game instructions. In the six-round game, each player has a set of five dice. Three cards are laid out in each round and the players must roll their dice to match the dice to the values depicted on the cards until all the cards for that round are claimed. The first player to match their dice with a card must call it out and collect their designated card. Different cards can have different values and multipliers, and in rounds 4 and 6 players have the opportunity to roll for another player’s cards. The winner of the game is the player who has the most points by the end of the 6 rounds.
CBP considered the game to be a set for tariff classification purposes and referred to General Rule of Interpretation (GRI) 3(b) to determine the essential character of the good. GRI 3(b) states that goods “shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.” In this case, CBP found the dice to be the component which imparts the essential character of the set. Thus, CBP determined that the applicable subheading for the “Yahtzee Frenzee” game is 9504.90.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), which provides for “Articles for arcade, table or parlor games, including pinball machines, bagatelle, billiards and special tables for casino games…parts and accessories thereof: other: chess, checkers, parchisi, backgammon, darts and other games played on boards of a special design, all the foregoing games and parts thereof (including their boards); mahjong and dominoes; any of the foregoing games in combination with each other, or with other games, packaged together as a unit in immediate containers of a type used in retail sales; poker chips and dice.” The rate of duty is free.
Additionally, CBP also determined the game’s country of origin for marking purposes. Except for the 20 dice, the game is manufactured and packaged for retail sale in Vietnam. The dice are manufactured in China and shipped to Vietnam to be packaged with the other 82 Vietnamese components, instructions, and games rule into a completed game box. Referring to 19 CFR § 134.1(b) – which states that “further work or material added to an article in another country must effect a substantial transformation in order to render such other country the ‘country of origin’ within the meaning of this part” – CBP found that the packaging of the Chinese dice with Vietnamese components in Vietnam was not sufficient to substantially transform the Chinese origin game components. As such, CBP determined that the external packaging of the game should be marked to indicate that the game contains components made in both China and Vietnam.