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HQ 086938

August 20, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 086938 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 4202.22.4500

Kevin J. Downey, Esq.
Sullivan & Lynch
156 State Street
Boston, MA 02109

RE: Tote Bags

Dear Mr. Downey:

This ruling is in response to your letter of April 10, 1990, on behalf of your client, The Gem Group, Inc., requesting the classification of cotton tote bags under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA).


The four sample tote bags are described as follows:

(2) Style 102-- 15 1/2" x 14" (no gusset)

The tote bags are made of a natural cotton canvas textile material and are imported from China. None of the bags has inside or outside pockets or snap closures. In addition, the bags are not lined or reinforced.

In your letter, you maintain that the subject tote bags are classifiable as handbags under the HTSUSA. You ask that Customs reaffirm HRL 086094, as amended by HRL 086676, which classified tote bags, imported by your client, as handbags in subheading 4202.22.4500, HTSUSA.


Whether the subject tote bags are classifiable as handbags or luggage under the HTSUSA?


Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for:

Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels...and similar containers; traveling bags...handbags...sports bags...and similar containers of textile material....

It is our position that the instant tote bags, by reason of their design and construction, are similar to handbags. They are not designed to contain personal effects during travel or for use as shopping bags. The tote bag is not an article that is restricted in its intended use to being primarily utilized for carrying purchased articles from place of purchase to place of use. The instant tote bags are used as secondary handbags to carry various personal effects that do not ordinarily fit into a woman's handbag.


The instant tote bags are classifiable in subheading 4202.22.4500, HTSUSA, which provides for handbags, whether or not fitted with shoulder strap, including those with handles, with outer surface of textile materials, other, of vegetable fibers and not of pile or tufted construction, of cotton, textile category 369. The rate of duty is 7.2 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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