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HQ 086900

August 9, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086900 WAW


TARIFF NO.: 4602.10.11, 4602.10.12, 4602.10,13, or 4602.10.19

Mr. Steven Sauer
Grand Basket Co., Inc.
53-06 Grand Avenue
Maspeth, N.Y. 11378

RE: Modification of Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 085176; Wicker Hampers

Dear Mr. Sauer:

Since the issuance of HRL 085176, dated November 8, 1989, we have had an opportunity to reconsider our position in this matter. Based on our review of the above-referenced case, we have determined that the sample wicker hampers were improperly classified.

In your letter, dated July 5, 1989, you requested a ruling to determine the tariff classification of two wicker hampers under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The two hampers that were the subject of that ruling are constructed of wicker or a similar material, woven to form. The smaller hamper measures approximately 16" long by 10" wide by 21" high, while the larger hamper measures approximately 20" long by 14" wide by 25" high. The body of the hampers appears to be of one-piece construction, with circular handles attached to the sides. Lids or covers of similar wicker material are attached to the top of the hampers. Both hampers are described as being lined with an undetermined material.

In HRL 085176, Customs classified the sample merchandise under subheading 4602.10.4000, HTSUSA, which provides for basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials: Of vegetable materials: Other: Of one or more of the materials, bamboo, rattan, willow or wood. Articles classified under this provision are subject to a rate of duty of 6.6 percent ad valorem. In a previous ruling, HRL 083283, dated January 6, 1990, this office classified the identical wicker hampers under the provision for basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting articles of Heading 4601: of vegetable materials: Other bakets and bags, whether or not lined: Other, in subheading 4602.10.1900, HTSUSA, dutiable at a rate of 4.5 percent ad valorem. Both letters were issued to you regarding the same merchandise. We have decided that the sample wicker hampers in HRL 085176 are more properly classified under the provision for other baskets in either subheading 4602.10.11, 4602.10.12, 4602.10.13, 4602.10.19, HTSUSA, depending upon the constituent material based on the analysis set forth below.

The Explanatory Notes, which constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, to Heading 4602, HTSUSA, state in pertinent part:

Subject to the exclusions specified in the General Explanatory Note to the Chapter, the heading covers:

(i) articles made directly to shape from plaiting materials;

Such articles include:

(1) Baskets, panniers, hampers, and basketware containers of all kinds, whether or not fitted with rollers or castors, including fish baskets, creels and fruit baskets. . . .

A basket is defined as:
basket, 1. a container made of interwoven twigs, rushes, thin strips of wood, or other flexible material. The forms and sizes of baskets are various, as well as the uses to which they are applied; as, corn baskets, clothes baskets. Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary 155 (2d ed. 1985).

A hamper is defined as:
hamper, a large basket, usually with a cover. Id. at 821.

Based on the above Explanatory Note, it is clear that the sample "hampers" are specifically referred to within Heading 4602, HTSUSA. The dictionary defines the term "basket" to include containers of all sizes which are designed to hold clothes, among other things. Since a hamper is a container or large basket with a cover, it fits the definition of a basket. Thus, the sample hampers are included in the provision which covers baskets under subheading 4602.10.11, 4602.10.12, 4601.10.13, or 4602.10.19, HTSUSA, depending on the constituent material of the hamper. Since you have not provided us with information regarding the material make up of the sample hampers, we cannot give you a more specific classification determination at this time.

In accordance with the above determination, HRL 085176 is hereby modified pursuant to 19 CFR 177.9(d). If pending transactions are adversely affected by this revocation, you may, at your discretion, notify this office and apply for temporary relief from the binding effects of this new modification as may be dictated by the circumstances.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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