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HQ 950030

August 19, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950030 SK


TARIFF NO: 4202.99.0000

Ms. Saralee Antrim
Carmichael International Service
P.O. Box 54772, Terminal Annex
Los Angeles, CA 90054-0772

RE: Classification of a portable case specially fitted to accommodate specific articles; toolbox; 4202.99.0000, HTSUSA; fitted cases imported without contents; fitted cases to be sold with contents as set at retail; Harmonized System Committee decision on portable toolboxes

Dear Ms. Antrim:

This is in response to your letter of June 28, 1991, on behalf of Alltrade Inc., requesting classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of a portable toolbox specially designed to accommodate drill bits.


The submitted sample, item 560-C-1, is a carrying case manufactured of blow molded plastic. It is specially designed to accommodate a 35 piece high speed drill set and each bit has its own fitted slot. It is also designed to accommodate a counter sink and 1/2" and 3/8" chuck keys. The case is shaped and fitted to contain the specific tools with which it will be sold at retail. The case is lightweight and is fitted with a handle so as to be portable. The article will be imported, void of contents, from Taiwan and a sample has been submitted for our examination..


What is the proper classification under the HTSUSA of a portable case specially designed to accommodate specific articles?


Classification under the HTSUSA is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes, and then, if the headings or notes do not otherwise require, in accordance with the remaining GRI's.

GRI 5(a) provides for the classification of specially shaped or fitted cases that are imported with their contents. Such cases are to be classified with their contents unless the case imparts the essential character of the article. Although the article at issue will be sold together with its contents as a set at retail, the case nevertheless will be imported without its contents. Accordingly, GRI 5(a) does not apply in this instance and the case will be classified with regard to its own characteristics.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for "trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, brief cases, ... camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, ... and similar containers ..., other, other." The cases in this heading are portable and many are shaped or fitted to accommodate specific articles. The subject article meets both these criteria: it is a portable case, as indicated by its handle, and it is of blow molded plastic fitted to contain a 35 piece high speed drill set. The case is of the type provided for in heading 4202, HTSUSA, and is properly classifiable under this provision of the Tariff Schedule.

We note that at the seventh session of the Harmonized System Committee, portable toolboxes specially fitted for particular items were definitively classified under subheading 4202.99, HTSUSA. See H/4/1 Doc. 36.482 Decisions of the Harmonized System Committee and accompanying U.S. Note. Accordingly, this subheading is the appropriate classification for the submitted sample.


The portable toolbox, item 560-C-1, is classifiable under subheading 4202.99.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, brief cases, ... camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, ... and similar containers, ... other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.

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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