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 0085912 - HQ 0086008 > HQ 0085989

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

HQ 085989

March 8, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 085989 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9050; 4202.21.9000

Steven S. Weiser, Esq.
Paul A. Horowitz, Esq.
Siegel, Mandell & Davidson
One Whitehall Street
New York, N.Y. 10004

RE: Handbags with Protective Covers

Dear Sirs:

This ruling is in response to your letter of October 31, 1989, requesting the classification of a woman's handbag with a protective cover under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). A sample was provided for our examination.


The submitted sample consists of a ladies' leather handbag, valued over $20.00, and a protective cover. The handbag measures approximately 12 inches by 8 inches by 5-1/2 inches. It will be imported and sold with an open protective cover composed of strips of polypropylene. The cover, which bears Liz Claiborne's triangle logo and the words "Liz Claiborne Accessories", measures approximately 18 inches by 16 inches. It is designed to store and protect the handbag when it is not being used.


What is the proper classification of the protective handbag pouch under the HTSUS?


Classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined in accordance with the terms of the headings and relevant section or chapter notes.

Heading 4202 provides for, inter alia, trunks, suitcases...traveling bags, toiletry bags, knapsacks and backpacks, handbags, etc... Subheading 4202.21.9000, HTSUS, provides for handbags, with outer surface of leather, other, valued over $20.00 each. The leather handbag at issue would be classifiable within this subheading.

With respect to classification of the handbag pouch, GRI 5(a) is not applicable. GRI 5(a) states the following:

Camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, drawing instrument cases, necklace cases and similar containers, specially shaped or fitted to contain a specific article or set of articles, suitable for long-term use and entered with the articles for which they are intended, shall be classified with such articles when of a kind normally sold therewith. This rule does not, however, apply to containers which give the whole its essential character.

The subject merchandise does not meet the above mentioned criteria. Specifically, the protective pouch is not specially shaped or fitted to contain any particular article. The pouch is simply a generic rectangular holder capable of carrying various items.

The pouch may be classifiable within Heading 4202, HTSUS, which provides for, inter alia, trunks, suitcases...musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers. The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, state with regard to Heading 4202, HTSUS, that:

This heading does not cover:

(c) Articles which, although they may have the character of containers, are not similar to those enumerated in the heading,...etc. Such articles fall in heading 42.05 if made of (or covered with) leather or composition leather, and in other Chapters if made of (or covered with) other materials.

The instant handbag pouch, though it will be used to contain the handbag for storage and protection purposes, is not of the kind or class of the containers in Heading 4202, HTSUS. Therefore, it is not classifiable in Heading 4202, HTSUS.

Heading 6307, HTSUS, provides for other made up articles of textile fabrics, not otherwise provided for in the tariff. Under the HTSUS, strips of polypropylene fibers of an apparent width not exceeding 5 millimeters, are classifiable as synthetic textile materials in Heading 5404, HTSUS.

The protective handbag pouch is constructed of synthetic material in accordance with the requirements of Heading 5404, HTSUS, and, therefore, is considered a textile for purposes of Section XI.

The next issue to be addressed is whether the pouch is a "made up" article. The expression "made up" as used in Section XI is explained in Section note 7, which provides in pertinent part:

"For the purposes of this Section, the expression 'made up' means:

(a) Cut otherwise than into squares or rectangles;

(b) Produced in the finished state, ready for use * * * without sewing or other working * * *;

(c) Hemmed or with rolled edges, or with a knotted fringe at any of the edges, but excluding fabrics, the cut of edges of which have been prevented from unravelling by whipping or by other simple means;

(e) Assembled by sewing, gumming or otherwise (other than piece goods consisting of two or more lengths of identical material joined end to end * * *)

Pursuant to the Section Note the instant pouch is a "made up" article of textile and therefore, it is classifiable in Heading 6307, HTSUS.


The leather handbag is classifiable under subheading 4202.21.9000, which provides for handbags, with outer surface of leather, other, valued over $20.00. The rate of duty is 9 percent ad valorem.

The handbag pouch is classifiable under subheading 6307.90.9050, HTSUS, which provides for other made up articles of textile: Other: Other, Other. The rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem.

Pursuant to your request, the submitted sample will be returned to your office.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: