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HQ 084075

July 14, 1989

CLA-2:CO:R:C:G 084075 SR


TARIFF NO.: 4202.22.8050

Ms. Debbie DeEsposito
American Shipping Company
600 Sylvan Avenue
P.O. Box 1486
Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 07632

RE: Classification of evening bags

Dear Ms. DeEsposito:

This is in reference to your letter dated March 16, 1989, requesting the tariff classification of evening bags under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples produced in Hong Kong were submitted.


The merchandise at issue consists of five evening bags. The bags are made of a rayon satin that has been partially covered with glass beads. They all have a braided shoulder strap. The outer surface is considered to be essentially of textile materials.


Whether the evening bags at issue are considered to be in part of braid.


Subheading 4202.22.40, HTSUSA, provides for handbags of textile materials, wholly or in part of braid. General Note 7(e)(ii), HTSUSA, defines "in part of" as goods that contain a significant quantity of the named material. This note also states that with regard to the application of the quantitative concepts specified, it is intended that the de minimis rule apply. The de minimis rule as applied under the Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS), emphasizes the necessity of
determining whether the amount of braid used has really changed or affected the nature of the article. HRL 073592 dated June 12, 1984. If an article contains a significant quantity of braid, and if that portion or quantity of braid served a useful purpose or affected the nature of the article or increased the salability of the item, it would be considered in part of braid. HRL 085617 dated March 4, 1988.

HRL 083632 dated April 27, 1989, dealt with evening bags that have a braided shoulder strap as well as braided overlay trim. This ruling found that there is not a significant quantity of braided material on the evening bags to change or affect the nature of the article. It was determined that the braid did not increase the utility or the potential salability of the handbags.

The braid on the handbags at issue does not increase the utility or the potential salability of the handbags. The shoulder strap would serve the same function whether or not it is braided. One of the styles of the handbags at issue can also be used as a clutch and the strap would not be necessary at all.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for handbags of leather or of composition leather, of plastic sheeting, of textile materials, of vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials. The appropriate subheading for goods under this heading is determined by the material of the outer surface. The bags are classifiable under subheading 4202.22.8050, HTSUSA, which provides for handbags of textile material. Although the bags have glass beads on the exterior surface the beads do not provide the essential character of the bag so as to cause the handbag to be classified as having an outer surface of glass under the appropriate subheading in Chapter 70, HTSUSA. This is in accordance with General Rules of Interpretation 2(b) and 3(b), which provide that when goods are classifiable under two or more headings they shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character. Moreover, the Explanatory Notes to heading 7018, HTSUSA, exclude from that heading handbags and similar articles of leather or fabric decorated with glass beads.

The essential character of the bags is imparted by the textile. The textile material provides more of the external surface area, even on bags that have bead designs scattered throughout the bag. The textile provides the shape of the bag and provides more bulk.


The merchandise at issue is classifiable under subheading 4202.22.8050, HTSUSA, which provides for handbags, of textile material, whether or not with shoulder strap, with outer surface of textile material, other, other, other, of man-made fiber. The
textile category number is 670, the rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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