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HQ 084764

September 14, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084764 HP


TARIFF NO.: 3924.90.5000

Mr. Richard M. Wortman
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49TH Street
New York, NY 10017

RE: Classification of garment bags

Dear Mr. Wortman:

This is in reply to your letter of May 25, 1989, requesting recon- sideration of HRL 083612 SR of May 15, 1989. Your reference 89-2002- 5(3)I, Econoco Corporation. You request that we clarify the ruling to include a limited exception to heading 4202, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), for bridal bags.


The merchandise at issue under reconsideration consists of a vinyl bridal gown bag, style BB72, constructed of four gauge clear vinyl. It measures 24 inches by 72 inches. It has a 62 inch front zipper, and a reinforced top opening to allow for the protrusion of a clothes hanger. It also has a gusset due to the fullness of the type of garment. The entered value is approximately US$1.23 per piece.


Whether the bridal gown bag is used solely for storage?


Heading 3923, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level. The Explanatory Note to this heading states that "all articles of plastics commonly used for the packing and conveyance of all kinds of products [are covered herein]."


We have previously held that plastic containers used solely for storage would not be within the purview of heading 3923, HTSUSA. HRL 083797c of May 1, 1989, at 2. It is our opinion that the bridal gown at issue falls within the exclusion to heading 3923, even if used once to protect the garment during its journey from the retailer to the home of the end user. Accord HRL 078780 of March 5, 1987, at 3 (TSUS clas- sification) (finding bridal gown covers, even though constructed of four gauge vinyl, household articles under item 772.15, "inasmuch as they are designed and used for home storage").

It has been brought to our attention that all garment bags failing to meet the requisite 4 mil standard for heading 4202 should be classified under heading 3924, as "other household articles," of plastics. Supporting this contention is the belief that if an article is of too flimsy a construction to make it unsuitable for travel or repeated conveyance, it seems contradictory to then classify that article as one used for packing or conveyance.

We disagree. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. GRI 1 states, in pertinent part:

... classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes ....

Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

Heading 3923, HTSUSA, is a use provision. Consequently, the heading under which the subject merchandise will be classified will be controlled by the use in the United States at, or immediately prior to, the date of importation of goods of the class or kind to which the subject merchandise belongs. The controlling use is the principal use -- the use which exceeds any other single use. Additional U.S. Rule of Interpretation 1(a), HTSUSA. The actual use of certain ship- ments of merchandise will not dictate a classification controlled by principal use.

Although too lightweight to be considered luggage under heading 4202, garment bags under 4 mil, unless solely used for storage pur- poses, are still used to convey or pack goods. They would not be household articles similar to table covers and dust-covers. Therefore, they would be classified under heading 3923, HTSUSA. We hereby affirm HRL 083612 of May 15, 1989, in this respect.


As a result of the foregoing, the bridal gown bags are classified under subheading 3924.90.5000, HTSUSA, as tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 3.4 percent ad valorem.


Pursuant to section 177.9, Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177.9), the ruling letter of May 15, 1989 is modified in conformity with the foregoing.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings

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