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HQ 083069

August 14, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 083069 SR


TARIFF NO.: 3923.21.0000

Mr. Joseph L. Amoriello
John A. Steer Co.
28 South Second Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

RE: Classification of polyethylene shopping bags

Dear Mr. Amoriello:

This is in reference to your letter dated October 18, 1988, requesting the classification of plastic shopping bags under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples produced in Hong Kong were submitted.


The merchandise at issue is polyethylene bags. The bags are of various sizes but they are all made of polyethylene and have double plastic handles. These shopping bags are of the type used in retail stores to allow the consumer to transport purchases home.


Whether polyethylene shopping bags are classifiable under subheading 3923.21.0000, HTSUSA, or subheading 3926.90.9050, HTSUSA.


Subheading 3923.21.0000, HTSUSA, provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics. Subheading 3926.90.9050, HTSUSA, provides for other articles of plastics, and articles of other materials of headings 3901 to 3914, HTSUSA. Since plastic bags are specifically provided for in subheading 3923.21.0000, HTSUSA, this is the provision applicable to the merchandise at issue.

Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 081876, dated November 22, 1988, also dealt with polyethylene plastic shopping bags. This ruling held that the polyethylene bags were classifiable under subheading 3923.21.00, HTSUSA, as articles for the conveyance or packing of goods of polymer or ethylene.

The classification of these plastic bags under heading 3923, HTSUSA, is further supported by heading 4202, HTSUSA. Heading 4202, HTSUSA, covers among other items, shopping bags. Note 2(a) to chapter 42 states that heading 4202 does not cover bags made of plastic sheeting, whether or not printed, with handles, not designed for prolonged use. It specifies that these plastic shopping bags are to be classified under heading 3923, HTSUSA.


The merchandise is classifiable under subheading 3923.21.0000, HTSUSA, as articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics, sacks and bags, of polymers of ethylene. The rate of duty is 3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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