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HQ 084868

September 13, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084868 HP


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.4500

Ms. Justine Makarevich
Import Administration Manager
Airway Industries
Airway Park
Ellwood City, PA 16117

RE: Classification of a children's pencil case carried on the body

Dear Ms. Makarevich:

This is in reply to your letter of May 30, 1989, to our Baltimore office, concerning the tariff classification of children's pencil pouches, produced in Mexico, under the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA ). Other articles referenced in your letter have been covered in NYRL 841844. Reference exporter
Productos Para Viaje, S.A.


The merchandise at issue consists of a children's pencil pouch case of nylon, designed to be worn around the waist. The item will be constructed of an outer surface of plastic sheeting of reinforced, laminated plastic. It has a zipper across the front, and an elastic band sewn to a tab on each side. The pouch is slipped over the head of the child and pulled down to the waist area.


Whether the pencil pouch is an article normally carried in the pocket or handbag?


Subheadings 4202.31 through 4202.39, HTSUSA, provide for articles of a kind normally carried in the pocket or in the handbag. These subheadings are a carryover from the
Tariff Schedules of the United States (TSUS) provision for flat goods, Schedule 7, Part
1, Subpart D, TSUS. Flat goods were defined as "small flatwares designed to be carried on a person." Id. We subsequently interpreted this provision as goods "designed to be carried on a person, either in the pocket or in a handbag," HRL 072002 of February
15, 1983, attached (emphasis added), thus further conforming the earlier definition with the present HTSUSA subheading. Indeed, we have previously classified soft zippered pencil pouches under the provision for flat goods. HRL 066390 of October 20, 1980.
Were the instant merchandise constructed without the elastic band designed to fit around the waist, it is our opinion that the pencil pouch would be classifiable as an article normally carried in the pocket or handbag. With the strap, however, we feel that such classification would be inappropriate. The instant article is obviously not intended to be carried as such, but to be worn on the body while the child is in school.
Therefore, the pencil pouches are not classifiable as articles normally carried in the pocket or handbag. See HRL 072002, supra, stating that belt-type cassette carriers, constructed to attach to the belt of the user, are "precluded from being classified under the provision for flat goods because they are not designed to be carried on a person, either in the pocket or in a handbag."

Subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, provides for travel, sports and similar bags, with an outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials. The General Rules of Inter pretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ....

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Additional U.S. Note 1 to Chapter 42, HTSUSA, states:

For the purposes of heading 4202, the expression " travel, sports and similar bags" means goods, other than those falling in subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.39, of a kind designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel, including backpacks and shopping bags of this heading, but does not include binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases , bottle cases and similar containers.

We note that the exemplars above include backpacks. Backpacks are worn on the body through the use of attaching straps. It is a well accepted function of backpacks to transport, while on college campuses, books and other educational essentials. The instant pencil pouches perform a similar function; i.e., the transportation of school supplies and other personal effects in a device worn on the body. Therefore, the pouches are a similar container to travel and sports bags, as defined in Additional U.S.
Note 1, supra.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading
4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, as articles similar to those enumerated in heading 4202 and not covered by any other heading of Chapter 42, with outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials, travel, sports and similar bags, other. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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