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HQ 087792

December 18, 1990

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 087792 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 4202.22.8050

David A. Riggle, Esq.
Riggle, Keating and Craven
205 West Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606-1215

RE: Novelty "Pumpkin" and "Reindeer" handbags not traditionally associated with particular festival such that they would be classifiable as festive articles. Handbags designed to carry personal effects. HRL 084426. Request for reconsideration of NYRL 854013.

Dear Mr. Riggle:

This is in reply to your letter dated August 17, 1990,on behalf of your client, Imagination Factory, in which you requested reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 854013 dated August 1, 1990, concerning the classification of novelty bags under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples were provided with your request.


The merchandise in question consists of two novelty carrying bags known and marketed as "T. Reindeer Dooffles" and "Booffles." Both are manufactured in the Kingdom of Thailand and will be imported through various ports including Seattle, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

T. Reindeer Dooffles is made from 100 percent man-made fabric and measures approximately twelve inches long by eight inches high. The article itself is a bag that has been designed as a comic representation of a reindeer with the bag forming the body or trunk of the reindeer. Attached to the bag are arms, legs, ears, antlers, eyes, eyebrows and a nose. A drawstring encircling the open end of the bag allows the article to be fastened shut and also serves as a carrying handle.

Booffles is similar to T. Reindeer Dooffles except that it represents a comic pumpkin rather than a reindeer. Booffles is made from 100 percent man-made fabric and measures approximately eleven inches by six inches. Attached to the "pumpkin" are arms, legs, eyes and a mouth. The open end of the bag can be closed by means of a hook and loop fastener. Booffles has a textile carrying handle. Attached to Booffles' feet are two plastic shoes. The back of the bag bears the legend "Booffles Boo Bag. We Get Carried Away."


Whether the articles in question are classifiable as festive articles of heading 9505, HTSUSA, or as handbags of heading 4202.


Articles are classified under the HTSUSA in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRIs). GRI 1 provides that the classification of articles is determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, provided the headings or notes do not otherwise require, according to the remaining GRIs taken in order.

Heading 9505, HTSUSA, covers festive, carnival or other entertainment articles, including magic tricks and practical joke articles; parts and accessories thereof. The Explanatory Notes, which although not legally binding nevertheless constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level, provide in relevant part at EN 95.05, 1590, that festive articles of heading 9505 include:

(1) Decorations such as festoons, garlands, Chinese lanterns, etc., as well as various decorative articles made of paper, metal foil, glass fibre, etc., for Christmas trees (e.g., tinsel, stars, icicles), artificial snow, coloured balls, bells lanterns, etc. Cake and other decorations (e.g., animals, flags) which are traditionally associated with a particular festival are also classified here.

(2) Articles traditionally used at Christmas festivities, e.g., artificial Christmas trees (these are sometimes of the folding type, nativity scenes, Christmas crackers, Christmas stockings, imitation yule logs.

It is Customs' view that T. Reindeer Dooffles and Booffles are not festive or decorative within the meaning of heading 9505, HTSUSA, which as the Explanatory Notes state, is confined to those articles traditionally associated with a particular festival. Neither the Dooffles nor the Dooffles bags have such a traditional association.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides, inter alia, for handbags. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 084426 dated September 21, 1990, bags (Li'l Dooffles and Dooffus Dooffle) similar to those now at issue were held to be classifiable in heading 4202. In so holding we stated that:

[T]he 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 daily transport of personal effects.... 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.

The instant bags have handles and are designed for carrying personal effects. Consequently, Customs considers them to be handbags of heading 4202. Moreover, as articles of heading 4202, the bags are excluded from heading 9505 by virtue of Note 1(d), Chapter 95, HTSUSA.


The T. Reindeer Dooffles and Booffles tote bags are classifiable in subheading 4202.22.8050, HTSUSA, under the provision for handbags, whether or not with shoulder strap, including those without handle: with outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials: with outer surface of textile materials: other: other: other: of man-made fibers. The tote bags are dutiable at the rate of 20 percent ad valorem and are subject to textile category 670.

As a result of the foregoing, NYRL 854013 dated August 1, 1990 is affirmed.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, 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 that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which 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, you should contact your local

Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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