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HQ 087795

August 30, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087795 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 4202.20.9020

John M. Peterson
Neville, Peterson & Williams
39 Broadway
New York, New York 10006

RE: Reconsideration of New York Ruling letter 850544; Trunk Organizer; HQ 086884 revised

Dear Mr. Peterson:

This is in response to your letter of April 4, 1990, on behalf of your client, Totes, Incorporated, in which you requested Headquarter's reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 850544 of March 26, 1990, regarding the tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of Tote's "Trunk Organizer." A sample was submitted for our examination.


The Trunk Organizer, style number 3230, measures approximately 19 1/2 inches by 11 1/2 inches by 7 1/2 inches. It is a compartmentalized zippered case which is designed to store automotive needs. The Trunk Organizer is composed of a nylon fabric. Its interior is coated with a special oil-resistant protective nylon layer. Two three-fold plastic insets can be affixed to the interior of the Trunk Organizer. These dividers compartmentalize the Trunk Organizer and provide stiffening which causes the bag to maintain its fully opened shape. In addition, two handles are stitched to the front and rear sides of the Trunk Organizer.

It is Tote's position that the Trunk Organizer is properly classifiable as an accessory of the motor vehicles of Heading 8703, HTSUSA. Consistent with this position, the importer asserts that the Trunk Organizer is classifiable in subheading 8708.99.50, HTSUSA, which provides for other parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705. In support of this position, the importer argues that the Trunk Organizer meets the definition of an accessory in Section XVII and that the subject merchandise is not more specifically included elsewhere in the Schedule.

NYRL 850544 classified the Trunk Organizer in subheading 4202.92.90.20, HTSUSA, which provides for other travel, sports and similar bags with outer surface of textile materials.


What is the tariff classification of the "Trunk Organizer"?


Heading 8708, HTSUSA, provides for parts and accessories of the motor vehicles of headings 8701 to 8705. To qualify for classification within this heading, an article must meet three criteria described in the Explanatory Notes to Section XVII and Heading 8708, HTSUSA. These provide that parts or accessories must:

(a) ...not be excluded by the terms of Note 2 to this Section...; and,

(b) They must be suitable for use solely or principally with the articles of Chapters 86 to 88...; and,

(c) They must not be more specifically included elsewhere in the Nomenclature....

Counsel makes the following arguments:

1. By virtue of size, shape, design and packaging the Trunk Organizer is clearly identifiable as being suitable for use solely or principally with motor vehicles.

2. The Trunk Organizer is designed to be low-slung so that it will easily fit into the thinnest automobile trunk compartment.

3. The Trunk Organizer is designed to be placed in a motor vehicle, and to store items which will ordinarily remain in the vehicle.

4. The Trunk Organizer could not readily be used as a trunk, suitcase, vanity case, traveling bag, etc. because the lifting straps are relatively short and the user must use two hands to lift it.

5. The Trunk Organizer's design is inconsistent or incompatible with use for the carriage of articles with the person.

6. It could not withstand the shocks and stresses of baggage handling. It is too large to be stowed as "carry on" luggage such as in an airplane passenger cabin.

7. It is designed for use with a single vehicle, rather than multiple vehicles.

We have examined the sample and must disagree with counsel's arguments. Even if we agreed with any or all of counsel's contentions, we still would not be required to make a finding that the sample is anything other than an article ejusdem generis with those enumerated in Heading 4202, HTSUSA, and thus we must find that the Trunk Organizer is " more specifically included elsewhere in the nomenclature."

Counsel cites three New York Ruling Letters that classified various items as motor vehicle accessories in Heading 8708, HTSUSA. These rulings are distinguishable from the instant case. Unlike the articles in NYRL 830760, NYRL 830175 and NYRL 847585, the instant article does not have slots, straps or bands that would facilitate attachment to a part of the motor vehicle. For example, in NYRL 830760, a pouch-like litter bag had a slot for hanging in the interior of motor vehicles. In NYRL 847585, the Saddle Bag was designed to be strapped over the back of an automobile passenger seat. The instant merchandise is simply placed in the trunk of an automobile, like any other bag.


The Trunk Organizer is classifiable in subheading 4202.92.9020, which provides for other, with outer surface of textile materials, other, of man-made fibers, textile category 670. The rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.

HQ 086884, dated August 13, 1990 is revised accordingly.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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