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 0084044 - HQ 0084125 > HQ 0084047

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 084047

June 13, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084047 DFC


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9020

Mr. Michael Gilligan
International Customs Manager
Fingerhut Corporation
4400 Baker Road
Minnatonka Mn. 55343

RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 837200 TC dated March 1, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of a jewelry box and pouch of man-made materials.

Dear Mr. Gilligan:

Our New York office has asked us to reconsider the result reached in NYRL 837200 TC, dated March 1, 1989, which was issued in response to your inquiry of January 18, 1989.


A sample was not submitted along with your original request. However, a photocopy accompanied the request and identified the merchandise as style T3433. You described the merchandise as a "jewelry case with velvet pouch." The case was said to have an outer surface of man-made textile materials. Item T3433 is in fact a travel jewelry case containing a removable drawstring pouch. The pouch is designed so that a person may place an article of jewelry in a pocketbook or pocket.

Due to an inadvertance, the two components were taken to be two separate articles and each was separately classified. It is the view of our New York office that the merchandise constitutes a set for tariff purposes and should be classified accordingly.


Should the jewelry case with the removable drawstring pouch be considered a set for tariff purposes?


In applying the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA), the Customs Service must follow the terms of the statute. Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that "classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, and, provided such headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's taken in order]." In other words classification is governed first by the terms of the headings of the tariff and relative section or chapter notes.

General Rule of Interpretation GRI 2(b), HTSUSA, provides in part that "[t]he classifcation of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of Rule 3."

We note that the jewelry box is classifiable under subheading 4202.92.90, HTSUSA, while the removeable drawstring pouch is classifiable under subheading 4202.32.95, HTSUSA. When goods are prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings or subheadings in the HTSUSA, classification must be determined based on the sequential application of the principles set out in GRI 3, HTSUSA, which reads as follows:

3. When, by application of Rule 2(b) 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 the headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only of the materials or substances contained in mixed or composite goods or to part only of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

GRI 3(b), HTSUSA, is relevant here inasmuch as GRI 3(a), HTSUSA, cannot be used in this instance in determining classification. The Explanatory Note for GRI 3, HTSUSA, states that the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" means goods that:

(a) consist of at least two different articles prima facie classifiable in different headings (or, by GRI 6, subheadings);

(b) consist of products or articles put together to meet as particular need or carry out a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking (e.g., in boxes or cases or on boards).

It is our position that the jewelry case and the pouch satisfy the criteria listed above and should be considered a set for tariff purposes.

Since we have concluded that the case and pouch constitute a set, it is necessary to determine which component of the set imparts the essential character thereto. In this instance the jewelry case imparts the essential character to the set inasmuch as the pouch appears to play a subordinate role in the use of the set.


The jewelry case and pouch have an outer surface of man-made textile materials and are classifiable under subheading 4202.92.9020, HTSUSA, as Jewelry boxes of textile materials, other, other, with outer surface of textile materials, of man- made fibers. The textile category number is 670.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categoriesw, you should contact your local

Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

NYRL 837200 TC is revoked.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: