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HQ 089851

July 29, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 089851 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9490

Mr. Richard P. Keating
Assistant District Director
United States Customs Service
4430 East Adamo, Suite 301
Tampa, Florida 33605

RE: Application for Further Review of Protest Number 1801-91- 000014; Textile pouches; Jewelry pouches; Similar containers.

Dear Mr. Keating:

This protest was filed in response to your classification of textile flocked pouches in three entries liquidated in October and November of 1990. The pouches were manufactured in and shipped from El Salvador for entry through the Port of Tampa. For the reasons below, we find that the protest should be allowed for two of the three protested entries.


Merchandise invoiced as "jewelry pouches" were entered in three separate transactions through the Port of Tampa. The Customs Form 19 (Protest) filed in reference to these entries specifies the following details:

Entry No. Entry Date
1801 032 01443516 12/22/89
1801 032 01484163 05/10/90
1801 032 01495839 06/07/90

This protest was filed on February 20, 1991, more than 90 days after the 10/20/90 liquidation and less than 90 days following the 11/30/90 liquidation. The protest was therefore timely filed for entries numbered 1801-32-01484163 and 1801-032- 01495839 only.
The merchandise consists of pouches made of a woven fabric which has been flocked with textile material. Two samples were available for our examination, one measuring approximately 2 inches by two inches, the other approximately four inches by five inches. The pouches are closed on three sides, and open on the fourth. Around the open side is a drawstring which, when pulled tight, closes the opening. Inside the pouch is a layer of the flocked woven fabric, which serves to divide the pouch in half.

At the time of entry, the pouches were classified by the importer in heading 6305, HTSUSA. The Port of Tampa reclassified the goods in heading 4202, HTSUSA, as similar containers. Counsel for the importer, in protesting the classification change, claims that the proper classification should be under heading 6307, HTSUSA, as other made up textile articles. Due to an apparent inconsistency among the classification decisions issued by Customs, this application for further review of the Port's protest decision has been forwarded to this office, in accordance with 19 CFR 174.24.


Is the jewelry pouch classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA?

If not, where is the jewelry pouch classified?


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.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for a number of distinct but related items. To be classified here, the merchandise must fall within the scope of the heading. Jewelry pouches such as these are not specifically described by a heading term, although they may be included in the provision for "similar articles" to exemplars of the heading if they are ejusdem generis to the goods specifically named. We find that they are not.

Heading 4202 is not considered a "use" provision, nor is it strictly an eo nomine provision. While the phrase "similar containers" may reasonably encompass many items, in classifying goods as "similar" we look to certain factors which narrow the scope of the provision; we do not classify in heading 4202, HTSUSA, articles which may have the potential to contain or hold clothing and/or personal effects. For example, in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 086852, we found that the "textile drawstring pouches" were not "specially shaped or fitted" similar to other articles of heading 4202, HTSUSA. Those factors (or absence thereof) indicate an exclusion from classification in heading 4202, HTSUSA. Simple suitability for long term use is not, in and of itself, sufficient. That the pouches are of a type "normally carried in the pocket or handbag" is not an important factor at the four-digit heading level. And, although the bags could be used for travel, their character is not that of an article designed to transport personal belongings while traveling. While varying in size, bags of this construction are commonly provided as a type of premium packaging at the point of purchase for various items such as jewelry, liquor perfume, etc. The goods' impermanent nature is evident in their construction and most will, in our opinion, be disposed of or put to other uses. We find that the terms of heading 4202, HTSUSA, do not include this merchandise.

Since we find no other heading which, by GRI 1, includes this merchandise, we consider the pouches to be a composite good. The primary constituent materials in this case are the man-made textile flocking and the PVC material to which the flocking is adhered. GRI 3 provides that classification of composite merchandise shall be made according to that material which provides the article with its essential character. In this case, we consider the man-made textile flock to provide the essential character. Although the PVC may form the shape of the bag, it is the man-made flocking which is visible to the user; it is the flocking which provides the bag with a soft surface, an attractive feel, and consumer appeal. Therefore, the jewelry pouches are classified in subheading 6307.90.9490, HTSUSA.


The protest should therefore be allowed with regard to the classification of the subject pouches in subheading 6307.90.9490, HTSUSA, as other made up textile articles. The applicable rate of duty associated with that classification is 7 percent ad valorem. However, as products of El Salvador, which is a country designated as a beneficiary developing country for purposes of the generalized system of preferences, the instant merchandise is eligible for entry free of duty.

A copy of this decision should be attached to the Notice of Action (CF 12) to be sent to the protestant.


John A. Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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