United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1990 HQ Rulings > HQ 0083171 - HQ 0083264 > HQ 0083204

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 083204

February 14, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 083204 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 4202.91.0090 and 4205.00.8000

Mr. Randy Brodsho
Americana Brokers
U.S. Customs Brokers
Sweetgrass, Montana 59484

RE: Leather tool containers from Canada

Dear Mr. Brodsho:

This is in response to your inquiry of May 25, 1988, requesting a tariff classification for leather tool containers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Samples were submitted for examination.


The leather tool containers at issue are models DW-1015, EL- 802, HM-213 and AP-610. Items DW 1015 and EL-802 serve as containers for workmen's tools and equipment. They are made of leather and have built in accommodations for belts. Item HM-213 is a leather unit which has affixed to it a metal piece that accommodates workmen's tools. A belt may be inserted through the slots of this item. Item AP-610 serves as a container for workmen's tools and equipment. It differs from the other three items in that it already has affixed to it a woven textile belt. It is made primarily of leather.


What are the tariff classifications of the leather tool containers under the HTSUS?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings and relevant section or chapter notes.

Heading 4202 provides for, inter alia, trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases...holsters and similar containers. The Explanatory Notes are the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level.

Explanatory Note 42.02 defines "similar containers" for the first part of Heading 4202 as ".... includ[ing] hat boxes, camera accessory cases, cartridge pouches, sheaths for hunting or camping knives, etc." It is our opinion that models EL-802, DW- 1015 and HM-213 are similar to those containers previously mentioned; specifically, cartridge pouches used to house cartridges to afford the user easy access. Therefore, these three items are classifiable in Heading 4202.

The next issue to be decided is the subheading within which these three articles are to be classified. The competing provisions in Heading 4202 are subheading 4202.11, HTSUS, which provides for trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels and similiar containers of leather, or subheading 4202.91.0090, which provides for other: with outer surface of leather, other.

When goods are classifiable in two or more headings, GRI 3 provides a guide to the correct classification:

When by application of Rule 2(b) ]goods of more than one material or substance[ or for any other reason, goods are prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description.

Explanatory Note 42.02 states that "]heading 4202[ covers only the articles specifically named therein and similar containers." It is our opinion that the instant merchandise is not a similar container to those enumerated in subheading 4202.11. The latter are designed primarily for the transport of personal items during travel; the instant samples are used to afford the wearer easy access to his/her tools, thereby increasing productivity. Furthermore, containers that are designed to contain the items from which they get their names, i.e., leather tool containers, are not similar to the enumerated items in this subheading. As a result, the instant samples are not classifiable under subheading 4202.11.

Subheading 4202.91 provides for other similar containers of leather. Explanatory Note 42.02, as discussed above, defined "similar containers" for the first part of Heading 4202. The instant articles are similar to those exemplars. Therefore, 4202.91 is a more specific provision for the classification of DW-1015, EL-802 and HM-213.

AP-610 differs from the other three items in that it already has a belt attached to it. As a result, it is not classifiable in Heading 4202. Heading 4203 provides for articles of apparel and clothing accessories, of leather or of composition leather: belts and bandoliers with or without buckles. Subheading 4205.00.40 covers straps for general use. The instant item is not an apparel belt nor is it a strap. Accordingly, it is our opinion that the tool belt would be classified as other articles of leather, other in subheading 4205.00.8000.


EL-802, DW-1015 and HM-213 are classifiable under subheading 4202.91.0090, which provides for trunks, suitcases...other: with outer surface of leather, other. The applicable rate of duty is 6.8 percent ad valorem. Articles originating in Canada and classified in this subheading are eligible for a duty rate of 4% ad valorem under the United States-Canada Free Trade Act, if all applicable regulations are met.

AP-610 is classifiable under subheading 4205.00.8000, which provides for other articles of leather: other: other. It is free of duty.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: