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HQ 084847

October 6, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084847 DRR


TARIFF NO.: 4823.90.6500

Mr. Eric Jones
Eric Jones Customs Brokerage
5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 380
Los Angeles, California 90045

RE: Reconsideration of NYRL 840992

Dear Mr. Jones:

This is in reference to your letter dated June 7, 1989, requesting that New York ruling number 840992, issued May 17, 1989, be reviewed.


The merchandise at issue is a 9 x 15 x 20 cm flat-bottomed paper bag made of PVC-coated paper. Two sides of the bag are printed with a multicolored cartoon drawing of Batman. Two textile cords are attached to the upper portion of the bag as handles. The bag is available in two sizes and with various Batman motifs. The bag is not intended for use as commercial packaging, but will be sold empty for consumers to use as decorative bags, probably to hold gifts. The bag was classified under subheading 4823.90.6500, HTSUSA, in New York Ruling 840992, dated May 17, 1989.


Whether the bag at issue was properly classified under subheading 4823.90.6500, HTSUSA, or should have been classified under subheading 4819.40.0040, HTSUSA.


Subheading 4823.90.6500, HTSUSA, provides for other articles of coated paper. Heading 4819 provides for "cartons, boxes, cases, bags and other packing containers, of paper." Under GRI 1, classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings. Although heading 4819 may appear to be the more specific of the two headings, it must first be determined whether the article is classifiable under both headings.

The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA, although not legally binding, constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Notes, to heading 4819, HTSUSA, states that it applies to "containers of various kinds and sizes generally used for the packing, transport or sale of merchandise, whether or not also having a decorative value." The Batman bag at issue here is itself sold as merchandise, not for the incidental storage or transportation of merchandise. Therefore, it is not properly classifiable under heading 4819 and the question of the relative specificity of the two headings need not be addressed.


The paper bag at issue was properly classified under subheading 4823.90.6500, HTSUSA, as other articles of coated paper, with a duty rate of 5.6 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 840992 is affirmed.


John Durant, Director

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