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 0084616 - HQ 0084685 > HQ 0084626

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 084626

August 25, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084626 c


TARIFF NO.: 7018.90.5000

Mr. Joseph A. Rafferty
Import Manager
Mersco Wholesale Co., Inc.
127 West 30th Street
New York, New York 10001

RE: Tariff Classification of beaded glass handbags

Dear Mr. Rafferty:

Your letter dated May 11, 1989, addressed to our New York office concerning the tariff classification of fully beaded glass handbags made in Hong Kong, has been referred to this office for a direct reply to you. Samples were submitted for examination.


The samples designated as styles 20405 and 20523 are evening bags that are fully covered with glass beads.


Are the evening bags considered articles of glass beads or are they handbags for tariff purposes?


Classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. 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 heading or notes do not otherwise require, according to [the remaining GRI's taken in order]."

Handbags are generally classified under heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, 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 handbags before us, however, are made of textile material and glass beads.

At first glance, it appears the bags may be classifiable in heading 4202, HTSUSA, or heading 7018, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, glass beads and articles thereof other than imitation jewelry. In order to determine which heading is applicable, we must look to the Explanatory Notes which are the official interpretation of the HTSUS at the international level.

The Explanatory Notes for heading 4202, HTSUSA, state that "[t]his heading covers only the articles specifically named therein and similar containers." The notes go on to say,"[t]he articles of the second part of the heading [the part in which handbags are named] must, . . ., be only of the materials specified therein or must be wholly or mainly covered with such materials (the foundation may be of wood, metal, etc.) (underline added).

It appears clear from the Explanatory Notes that in order to be classified within the provisions of heading 4202, HTSUSA, the handbags at issue must be only of textile materials, not textile materials and glass beads, or must have outer surfaces which are wholly or mainly covered with textile materials. Since the handbags are completely covered with glass beads, they cannot be classified under heading 4202, HTSUSA, because they do not fall within the terms of the heading.

The Explanatory Notes for heading 7018, HTSUSA, contain an exclusion for "[h]andbags and similar articles of leather or fabric, decorated with glass beads, imitation pearls or imitation precious or semi-precious stones (heading 42.02)." We do not believe this exclusion precludes classification of the subject handbags. The glass beads covering the outer surfaces of these handbags are more than decoration because they cover the entire outer surfaces. Because of this, as previously discussed, the handbags cannot be classified in heading 4202..


The sample evening bags are classifiable as articles of glass beads in subheading 7018.90.5000, HTSUSA, and dutiable at the rate of 6.6 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: