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HQ 087464

October 26, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087464 KWM


TARIFF: 4202.92.9020

Ms. Lorraine M. Dugan
Associated Merchandising Corporation
1330 Broadway
New York, New York 10018

RE: Jewelry boxes; Articles of wood; Wholly or mainly covered with textile materials.

Dear Ms. Dugan:

This will acknowledge receipt of your correspondence dated June 27, 1990, requesting reconsideration of a district ruling letter, DD 852819, issued by the Miami District of the Customs Service. Specifically, your letter questions the tariff classification given to the subject merchandise. For the reasons below, we affirm DD 852819.


Two styles of jewelry box are involved in your request for reconsideration. As described in DD 852819, they are:

Style F1001 ia a rectangular jewelry box totally covered with fabric (65% polyester/35% cotton). It also has an inside mirror in the lid and two divider trays. Approximate dimensions for the box are 8x6x2 and 3/4 inches. Style F1002 is a chest-shaped jewelry box totally covered with fabric (65% polyester/35% cotton). It also has an inside mirror and assorted divider trays. Approximate dimensions are 12x8x8 inches.

In addition, you have provided the following breakdown of component materials used to construct the box:

Style F1001
Cost Weight
Plywood 48% 42%
Fabric 20% 10%
Cardboard 10% 18%
Mirror 20% 20%
Other (glue) 2% 10%

Style F1002
Cost Weight
Plywood 40% 40%
Fabric 37% 12%
Cardboard 15% 26%

Mirror 6% 12%
Other (glue) 2% 10%

In DD 852819, the Miami District office classified the jewelry boxes at issue as jewelry boxes wholly covered with textile material, as provide for in subheading 4202.92.9020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).
You believe that the jewelry boxes should be classified under the provision for cases for jewelry of wood, subheading 4420.90.6000, HTSUSA. The basis for your request is that the article is "in chief cost and chief weight wooden boxes. The wood gives them their quality and character. The textile lends its distinctiveness."


Are the boxes at issue properly classified as textile covered jewelry boxes of heading 4202, HTSUSA, or are they classified as cases for jewelry of wood, heading 4420, HTSUSA?


Classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). The systematic detail of the harmonized system is such that virtually all goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is, according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relevant Section or Chapter Notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRIs may be applied, taken in order.

We do not agree with your assertion that the jewelry boxes here belong in subheading 4420.90.6000, HTSUSA. Although both headings could include the boxes at issue, the GRI's and notes exclude your proposed heading from consideration. First, the Legal Notes to chapter 44 include the following:

1. This chapter does not cover:

(e) Articles of heading 4202;

Therefore, if we determine that the instant boxes are articles of heading 4202, HTSUSA, they will be excluded from heading 4420, HTSUSA. The terms of heading 4202, HTSUSA, include, in pertinent part:

4202 . . . jewelry boxes . . . of textile materials. . . or wholly or mainly covered with such materials

From the terms of the heading, it would appear that the instant items are articles of heading 4202, HTSUSA. It is our opinion that such is the case and that the terms of heading 4420 do not include these goods.

The terms of a tariff heading must be read together, and all items classified under a heading must be of a kind, be in pari materia, particularly in cases such as this where the heading terms refer to a class of goods such as "cases of wood." From the descriptions provided by the headings, subheadings and notes, it is clear that textile covered boxes such as those at issue are not so substantially similar to other goods of heading 4420, HTSUSA to warrant classification there by application of GRI 1. Most of the articles of wood in heading 4420, HTSUSA, are made primarily or exclusively of wood, and the wood component is generally a prominent visual feature of the goods. Such treatment is not a requirement for inclusion in heading 4420, HTSUSA, but is a common feature among the named items of that heading. Here, wood is not the primary component but one of several materials that contribute to the whole.

Second, even assuming arguendo that both headings merit equal consideration, GRI 3(a) prescribes that the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred. We believe that the specific terms ("jewelry boxes") of heading 4202, HTSUSA, more specifically describe the goods than class of kind description ("cases for jewelry . . . of wood") of heading 4420, HTSUSA.

Finally, there is no essential character determination (GRI 3(b)) to be made in this case. The goods may be classified at the four-digit heading level by applying either GRI 1 or GRI 3(a). Within heading 4202, HTSUSA, GRI 1 applied mutatis mutandis serves to classify the goods under the provision for other goods with outer surface of textile materials, of man-made fibers.


DD 852819 is hereby affirmed. The merchandise at issue, jewelry box styles F1001 and F1002, having an inner structure of wood and completely covered with textile material are classified in subheading 4202.92.9020, HTSUSA, as jewelry boxes, with outer surface of textile materials, of man-made fibers. The goods are dutiable at the rate of 20 percent ad valorem. The applicable textile quota category is 670.

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 A. Durant
Commercial Rulings Division

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