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HQ 084426

September 21, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084426 STB


TARIFF No.: 4202.22.8050

Mr. David A. Riggle
Riggle, Keating and Craven
Attorneys at Law
205 West Wacker Drive
Suite 2022
Chicago, Illinois 60606-1215

RE: Reconsideration and modification of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 839161 concerning the classification of merchandise marketed as "Li'l Dooffle" and "Dooffus Dooffle."

Dear Mr. Riggle:

This letter is in response to your request for a reconsideration of NYRL 839161, dated April 10, 1989, concerning the classification of children's novelty bag-type items, marketed as "Li'l Dooffle" and "Dooffus Dooffle" under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Since the date of your original Request for Reconsideration, May 3, 1989, a meeting has been held and additional materials have been submitted. Samples were also submitted for our review.


In NYRL 839161, dated April 10, 1989, that office classified the subject merchandise under subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA, the provision for travel, sports and similar bags, with outer surface of textile materials, other, other, of man-made fibers. Counsel for the importer maintains that the merchandise is properly classifiable under either subheading 9503.41.10, HTSUSA, as a stuffed toy, subheading 9503.49.00, HTSUSA, the provision for other toys or subheading 4202.99.00, HTSUSA, the provision for other bags.

The Dooffus Dooffle is a small bag type item that has characteristics reminiscent of a comical dog-like creature. It is constructed of polyester cloth and filled with polyester batting. The body is of rectangular construction, open at one end and closed at the other. On the front of the body of the bag section, there is a silk screen of eyes and a muzzle resembling the face of a dog. The silk screen for one of the eyes is
printed over a larger printed circle, to give the appearance of a "spotted" dog. Triangular pieces of stuffed material representing ears are sewn to the sides of the item. Also on the sides are sewn arms which end in fuzzy hands, each of which has velcro fastenings on the index finger so that the hands can be kept together in the front. Both arms have fabric sleeves, one of which is mostly brown and the other is blue and brown striped.

At the bottom of the item are sewn two feet-like appendages with striped socks. These are enclosed in plastic shoes which are similar in design to baby shoes but exaggerated by foreshortening the length and expanding the width. The rear of the item has a small pocket to which a piece of stuffed material representing a tail has been attached at the bottom stitching. The pocket has a printed design on it that resembles a brown paw print. The top of the Dooffus Dooffle is open but can be closed by means of a velcro fastener. Two carrying handles are sewn on to the top of the bag.

Two measurements need to be provided for this item: the measurement of the section that functions as a bag and measurements that include the appendages. The bag itself measures approximately 9 inches in height (not including the handles) and approximately 7 inches from side to side. Although it is approximately 3 inches deep, the bag may easily be pulled open to 5-1/2 inches for the purpose of stuffing larger items in the bag. The entire item measures approximately 13-1/2 inches in height (from the bottom of the shoes to the tops of the handles). It measures approximately 17 inches from the tip of one hand to the other when the arms are outstretched.

The other sample, "Lil Dooffle" is extremely similar to the item described above. The primary difference is that "Lil Dooffle" does not necessarily represent a dog-like creature. There is a comical face silk screened on the front and the bag itself is bright yellow. The sleeves and feet are striped in a variety of bright colors. The size of this sample is slightly smaller; every measurement, except the depth, is approximately one inch less than the measurements of the sample describe above. The depth is approximately 2-1/2 inches and the mouth of the bag can easily be pulled open to 5-1/4 inches wide.


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise?


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) set forth the legal framework in which merchandise is to be classified under the HTSUSA. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's taken in order.

In the instant matter, classification can be effected by reference to GRI 1. It is our determination that the subject merchandise is properly classifiable as handbags, under subheading 4202.22 8050, HTSUSA.

The definition of "handbag" as stated in Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, 1988, is as follows:

1 a bag, usually of leather or cloth, held in the hand or hung by a strap from the arm or shoulder and used, esp. by women, to carry money, keys, and personal effects.
2 a small suitcase or valise

Thus, the only absolute requirement of a handbag is that it be held in the hand or hung by an arm/shoulder strap. This is true of the merchandise at issue. The size and sturdiness of these bags is more than sufficient for the daily transport of personal effects. Additionally, the size of these bags comports with the typical size that Customs has identified with handbags. As noted in Headquarters Ruling Letter #085327, dated September 22, 1989, handbags are normally smaller than tote bags and other types of bags. It is true that the novel design will attract the consumer's attention to the article; it is our determination, however, that the utilitarian function of these items will provide the primary sales appeal and use of the product.

Having determined that this merchandise is properly classifiable in subheading 4202.22.8050, HTSUSA, it is not necessary to discuss the possibility of classification in the basket provision of subheading 4202.99.00, HTSUSA.


The products marketed as "Li'l Dooffle" and "Dooffus Dooffle" are properly classifiable under subheading 4202.22.8050, HTSUSA, which provides for handbags, whether or not with shoulder strap, including those without handle, with outer surface of textile materials, of man-made fibers. The textile category is 670 and the applicable duty rate is 20 percent ad valorem.

NYRL 839161, dated April 10, 1989, is hereby modified accordingly. It should be noted, however, that the rate of duty and textile category applied in that letter are not changed by the modification of the classification.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the visa and quota category requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is updated weekly and is available at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to the importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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