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HQ 087537

October 2, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087537 JS


TARIFF NO.: 4202.22.4500

Louis Shoichet
Tompkins and Davidson
One Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004

RE: Tote Bags

Dear Mr. Shoichet:

This is in reference to your letter of July 9, 1990, on behalf of Toppers, Inc., requesting classification of a tote bag under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated ("HTSUSA").


The merchandise at issue is a 100 percent cotton woven bag measuring approximately 14 x 10 x 5 inches. It has a reinforced open top with double carrying straps. The article has no lining and no interior or exterior pockets or compartments.

In your letter, you ask that the subject tote bags be classified as handbags in accordance with heading 4202 of the HTSUSA and HRL 086094 (March 16,1990).


Whether a tote bag is considered luggage or handbags under the HTSUSA?


Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for:

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

It is our position that the bags at issue, by reason of their design and construction, are similar to handbags and therefore correctly classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUSA. In addition, please note that HRL 086676, which amended HRL 086094, classified tote bags as handbags in subheading 4202.22.4500.

Therefore, due to the similarities between the present merchandise and that of the rulings above, namely, that such bags are not designed to contain personal effects during travel or for use as shopping bags, are not restricted to use for carrying purchases from place of purchase to place of use, and are used as secondary handbags, indicate that classification of the present merchandise under subheading 4202.22, rather than under a provision for "luggage," is appropriate.


The tote bags at issue are classified in subheading 4202.22.4500, HTSUSA, which provides for handbags, whether or not fitted with shoulder straps, including those without handle, with outer surface of textile materials, other, of vegetable fibers and not of pile or tuft construction, of cotton, textile category 369. The rate of duty is 7.2 percent ad valorem.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the visa and quota 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 your client 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 for inspection 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, your client should contact its local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Operations Division

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