Classifying toys, games and festive articles for import and export – GOV.UK


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This guidance refers to chapters and headings in the UK Global Online Tariff. If you’re importing goods into Northern Ireland, or if this guidance does not include your item, read more information.

Bicycles and Tricycles

All bicycles (including those for children) are classified in heading 8712.

Children’s tricycles are classified in heading 9503.

Toys put up in sets for retail sale (9503 00 70)

Toys put up in sets for retail sale must:

be in the same packaging ready for retail sale, for example, a carrying case, a plastic bag or box
consist of 2 or more different types of articles

Two or more toys classified in the same subheading are not considered different types of articles. This does not apply to subheadings 9503 00 95 or 9503 00 90, which can include a range of different articles.

To be classed as a set, the item must include at least one article under heading 9503. If one or more articles are classified under a different heading, the item can still be classified as a set if it has the essential character of a toy.

An object of minor importance or an accessory to a toy within the set may exceptionally be included, as long as it has no impact on the classification. An example could be a plastic carrot or plastic brush, for use with a toy animal.

A single article (such as a doll) that comes with an accessory or minor object (such as sweets) will be classified as a doll, under subheading 9503 00 21.

The individual articles of the set need to be carefully considered to determine if each article is a toy in its own right.

Toy weapon, targets and darts

Sets that have a target board with a number of targets, a rifle and darts (made mainly of plastic), designed for the amusement of children, are not classified as toy weapons in subheading 9503 00 81. Each item is a toy in its own right.

The rifle is complete and works without the target or the darts, even though you would generally intend to use these together. The target has no impact on the function of the toy rifle and provides no enhancement or improvement to the rifle’s function. Therefore, it’s not an accessory.

This means other items such as a toy weapon with a shield, or another element for targeting, would similarly be classified as a set.

Toy battery-powered locomotive, carriage and other articles

These are designed for amusement and are made up of different types of articles, such as:

a battery-powered locomotive
a carriage
traffic signs
human figures
animal figures

These goods are not classified under subheading 9503 00 30, which includes electric trains, including tracks, signals and other accessories.

The packing includes other toys such as traffic signs, cars and human figures, which are toys in their own right. They do not have a particular link to the train or the tracks, as a train station, a bridge or a level crossing would. Therefore, they’re not accessories.

Small plastic figures

These are made up into sets of objects such as vegetables, fruit, cakes and brushes. They all have eyes and different facial expressions and are packed together in a box with imitations of shopping bags and trolleys.

Each article is considered to be a toy in its own right, and the set as a whole is principally for amusement. If imported individually, each one would be classified in subheading 9503 00 95.

Toys representing human beings, animals or non-human creatures

When deciding if a toy represents a human being or an animal or non-human creature, do not consider:

its colour, for example, the purple or green colour of the skin of a comic book character
its background, for example, the place of birth of a comic book character which may be on earth or on another planet or world
its abilities and skills, for example, the ability to fly

Toys representing human beings

These include toys which are wearing a mask, leaving large or recognisable parts of the human face visible or identifiable.

Toys wearing a mask which can be removed to reveal human features are also included.

Dolls representing human beings

These are classified in subheading 9503 00 21 and include dolls designed:

for the amusement of children
for decorative purposes
for use in puppet shows
as caricatures

They are usually made of:

textile materials
papier mache
a combination of the above materials

They may be jointed, dressed and contain mechanisms which permit limb, head or eye movements, as well as reproductions of the human voice.

Other human figurines

These are classified, generally, in subheadings 9503 00 95 or 9503 00 99.

They include human figurines, for example, in the form of film, fairy-tale or comic-book characters, Indians, astronauts or soldiers. They have no movable parts and no detachable clothing. They’re fixed on a base-plate, pedestal or a similar base, which allows the figurine to maintain its pose unsupported. They often form part of a collection series.

As they’re small, light and robustly made, they’re often used as toys by children, and so their recreational or amusement function outweighs their ornamental value.

Heading 9503 does not cover figurines that, by their design, size and nature, are predominantly decorative or ornamental – meaning their ornamental value outweighs their recreational or amusement function. Such products will generally be placed in a display cabinet or on a mantelpiece. They’re classified according to their constituent material.

Toys representing animals or non-human creatures

These are classified in subheading 9503 00 95 or 9503 00 99. These are toys which have mainly human physical characteristics such as:

robots and robot-like characters
those used in puppet shows
comic book characters
animal-like characters
tree-like characters

The toys may have movable parts.

Non-human creatures such as comic book characters may have close-fitting costumes completely covering the body. The face must be completely covered by a non-removable mask or a removable mask that does not reveal human features.

Spinning tops with a launcher and a ripcord

The toy is activated by the launcher and the ripcord and can be used independently by one person. Alternatively, two or more of the articles can be used as a competitive game, with the tops being used in a dedicated bowl-shaped arena, with the aim of knocking out the opponents’ spinning top.

If the arena is present, the product is classified as an article for parlour games in heading 9504.

If the arena is not present, the spinning top can be used independently and is classified as a toy for amusement in heading 9503.


These are classified as toys within heading 9503 as long as they are remotely controlled in an easy way and are not equipped with sophisticated electronic equipment (such as GPS, night flight requirements or nocturnal visibility).

They will only be capable of:

reaching a relatively low height
short distance
limited flying time
low maximum speed

They must be fully controlled by the user and are not able to carry a cargo.

More sophisticated types will be classified as helicopters (aircraft) in heading 8802.

Remote controlled apparatus (designed to be used with drones) for capturing and recording video, taking still-images and allowing the user to visually control the flight of the drone, are classified in subheading 8525 80 91.

Books combined with a puzzle or with an item for play

Printed books, brochures and leaflets are classified in heading 4901. Children’s picture books, drawing books and colouring books are classified in heading 4903.

The headings do not cover goods of chapter 95 and so a book that is, for example, in the form of a puzzle or comprises activities (for the amusement of children or adults) will be classified in heading 9503. So, a pop-up book which opens to reveal a space station, where there are 2 pages of text about activities that can be performed with the space station, will be classified as a toy in heading 9503.

When an item is classified as a reading material (in heading 4901 or 4903) and, for example, a children’s puzzle (in heading 9503), it’s necessary to decide whether it’s the book or the puzzle that gives the item its essential character. If this is not possible, then the item must be classified under the last heading according to its numerical order, in this instance, 9503.

Portable interactive electronic education devices

These are classified in subheading 9503 00 87.

These are devices weighing no more than 10kg, designed usually with the appearance of laptops, tablets, smartphones and similar articles.

They’re intended to be used mainly by children for performing learning activities by play, due to their design and simple operation.

The products support learning by means of interaction. The child makes a choice between various input options, based on one or more subjects or themes. The devices can respond and provide feedback to the child based on pre-programmed information. The child can assess the level of its success and learn.

Playing cards and parlour games

Subheading 9504 40 00 covers:

typical playing cards
memory cards
products which have a number of components used together to play a card game, if they have the essential character of a card game

Typical playing cards

These require an interaction between the cards such as pairing, exchanging or combining to form words or gather symbols or numbers. For example, these cards could be used in:

tarot readings
role-playing games
lexicon games

Memory playing cards

These are usually played so the same colours, values, symbols or images have to be paired.

Products which have a number of components used together to play a card game

An example of this would be having 2 packs of playing cards, poker chips and a dealer chip to make up a Poker set – the playing cards give the essential character.

Other games using cards can be classified as parlour games, under subheading 9504 90 80. These games include those that use cards with knowledge-based questions, tasks, quizzes, pictures or answers to the questions on them ( the game may include other items, such as a dice or an hourglass). The players only have to complete activities such as replying to a question, fulfilling a task or guessing who is shown in a picture. Interaction between the cards themselves is not required.

Festive articles

These are classified in heading 9505 which covers festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including conjuring tricks and novelty jokes. They’re generally made of non-durable material.

Festivities are a day or a period during the year, with characteristic features and designs associated with the festivity, for example:

Valentine’s day

Articles for Christmas festivities

These are classified in subheading 9505 10. They must be of a decorative value and exclusively designed, manufactured and recognised as articles for Christmas festivities.

The products are intended to be used at Christmas, according to their design, such as, imprints, ornaments, symbols or inscriptions. They include:

decorations such as garlands and lanterns
animals and other figures
other lightweight generally non-durable decorative articles for Christmas trees

Articles traditionally used at Christmas can be:

artificial Christmas trees
nativity scenes, with figures such as the 3 nativity kings, and animals
Christmas angels
Christmas crackers
Christmas stockings
imitation yule logs
father Christmases
figurines decorated with festive outfits, representing seasonal themes or engaged in seasonal activities
printed paper decorations associated with Christmas to put around cakes
ceramic articles having festive designs and a decorative function

Articles for other festivities

These are classified in subheading 9505 90. These articles must be of a decorative value and exclusively designed, manufactured and recognised as festive articles.

The products are intended to be used for a specific festivity, according to their design, such as, imprints, ornaments, symbols or inscriptions. They include:

articles traditionally used at Easter, for example, Easter chicks and bunnies, artificial Easter eggs not used for packing purposes
artificial Halloween pumpkins
figurines decorated with festive outfits, representing seasonal themes or engaged in seasonal activities
printed paper decorations associated with a particular festivity to put around cakes
ceramic articles having festive designs and a decorative function.

Products not considered to be festive articles

Heading 9505 does not cover:

articles suitable for use as decorations during the winter season rather than specifically for Christmas festivities, such as:

icicles and snow crystals

articles with a utilitarian function even if they have a design, decoration or ornamentation appropriate to a specific festivity, for example:

ceramic articles (classified in heading 6913)
natural Christmas trees (covered in chapter 6) and Christmas tree stands
candles (classified in heading 3406), candle light holders with festive decoration
textile flags or bunting (classified in heading 6307)
electric garlands (classified in heading 9405)
toys and games including stuffed animals (classified in heading 9503)
photo frames
tablecloths, table covers and serviettes with festive decorations (classified in, for example, headings 4818 and 6302)
clothes and costumes (such as articles of apparel covered in chapters 61 and 62)
kitchenware, carpets and other textile floor coverings (covered in chapter 57), bed linen (classified in, for example, headings 6301 and 6302)

Classification will be according to the article’s constituent material, unless a heading or chapter is specified.


Traditional balloons made of a material that’s not very durable which:

are plain and do not include any message (classified as toys in heading 9503)
include a message to mark an occasion (classified as festive or other entertainment articles in heading 9505) – messages may include:

happy birthday
merry Christmas
happy anniversary

Other traditional balloons are classified in heading 9505, as festive or other entertainment articles. They may be:

include a message or images
made of a more durable material, for example, foil or latex
suitable for repetitive use

The classification of balloons is not affected if they include decorative items such as:

battery operated LED lights, feathers, confetti inside the balloon
ribbons outside the balloon

The balloons may be held in the hand or include a weight or a handle so they can be used as a room decoration.

Parts and accessories

Parts are items that are essential to the operation of a complete article.

Accessories are items that are not essential. They’re interchangeable parts or devices designed to either:

adapt an article for a particular operation
perform a particular service relative to the main function of the article
increase its range of functions

Legal Note 3 to chapter 95 – ‘3. Subject to Note 1 above, parts and accessories which are suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this chapter are to be classified with those articles.’ Note 1 lists goods not covered by chapter 95.

Subheading 9503 00 29 covers ‘Parts and accessories’ of dolls representing only human beings. There are no other subheadings within chapter 95 that specifically cover parts and accessories, but such products are classified in the subheading covering the complete product, for example, a part or an accessory of a tricycle will be classified in subheading 9503 00 10.

More information

If this guidance does not cover your specific item in detail and you’re importing goods into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), you can search for it in the Online Trade Tariff.

If you’re importing goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK, and the EU and the goods are not ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU, you should also use the Online Trade Tariff.

If you’re importing goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK and the EU, and the goods are at risk of onward movement to the EU, you should use the Northern Ireland (EU) Tariff.

If this guidance does cover your item, you’ll still need to look up the full commodity code to use in your declaration on the appropriate tariff.

You can find more ways to help you find a commodity code by referring to the links given in this section.

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