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HQ 950011

December 3, 1991

CLA-2 C:O:R:C:T 950011 SK


TARIFF NO.: 4202.99.0000

District Director
U.S. Customs Service
909 First Avenue, Rm. 2039
Seattle, WA 98174

RE: Decision on Application for Further Review of Protest No. 3001-91-100714 on classification of plastic globe carrying case; 4202, HTSUSA

Dear Sir:

This is a decision on application for further review of protest number 3001-91-100714 timely filed on behalf of Kerr-Hays Company, Inc., on June 20, 1991, against your decision regarding the classification of an item identified as a plastic globe carrying case. All entries were liquidated on May 17, 1991.


The submitted sample is a molded plastic carrying case which simulates a globe. The item is identified as C-8983 and is called "The World Globe".

Item C-8983 is manufactured of a molded plastics material in the shape of a globe. The surface area, which is applied by means of a painting and masking process, has raised continents and land masses set against blue plastic representing the oceans. It has a molded plastic handle on the top, is hinged in the middle and secures by means of a tuck clasp. The globe is marketed as part of an educational set called the "Little Learners Library" which is a compilation of books for young children. The books are not imported with the "The World Globe".


Is the submitted article properly classifiable under heading 4202 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA)?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI's. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

Several competing headings have been suggested as the appropriate provision for the article at issue, namely 3923, 4905, 9503 and 4202, HTSUSA.

Heading 3923, HTSUSA, is the heading under which the protestant claims classification is most appropriate for this article. This heading provides for plastic articles for the conveyance or packing of goods. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to heading 3923 state that this provision covers "all articles of plastics commonly used for the packing or conveyance of all kinds of products" [emphasis added]. The articles listed in the EN include plastic boxes, crates and similar articles and are items commonly used to convey goods in the strictest sense of the word. The subject merchandise is not of the type commonly used to pack or convey products, at least not in the same capacity as the enumerated examples in this heading. The submitted sample is extraordinary in shape and design and is to be carried on one's person or used to store goods. It is not similar to the containers which are the subject merchandise of the Headquarter Ruling Letters (HRLs) cited in Kerr-Hayes' protest (i.e., HRLs 082698, 082988, 083600 and 084657 dealing with plastic contact lens case, plastic powder box, lipstick compact and empty cosmetic compact respectively). The submitted sample is a personal carrier and an article to store goods; it is not the sort of plastic article commonly used to convey or pack products and therefore classification is not proper under this provision of the Nomenclature.

Heading 4905, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, maps and globes. Classification is not proper under this provision because EN (f) to heading 4905 excludes relief globes from this provision. The land masses illustrated on the submitted article are slightly raised. You contend that this elevation is not in relief as within the definition set forth in the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, 1987, which defines relief as "the difference in elevation and slope between the higher and lower parts of the land surface of a given area". This is a rather limited definition. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1977, defines relief as " a mode of sculpture in which forms and figures are distinguished from a surrounding plane surface". The article at issue is in relief according to the latter definition and therefore is not classifiable as a globe under heading 4905, HTSUSA.

Furthermore, the EN to this heading require that globes be printed for classification to be proper under this provision. The subject merchandise contains no printing and is not classifiable under heading 4905, HTSUSA.

Heading 9503, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, toys. It is suggested that the article at issue is an educational toy inasmuch as it will contain childrens' books, it has met consumer safety specifications on toy safety as set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and great pains were taken to ensure the geographical accuracy of the globe. The books will not be imported with the globe, however, and notwithstanding the accuracy of the globe, or the fact that it has been deemed "safe" by the ASTM, it is nevertheless Customs' opinion that the submitted article is not a toy, but rather a container which is intended to carry or store children's books.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, in part, trunks, suit- cases, vanity cases, briefcases, school satchels ... and similar containers. As mentioned supra, the article at issue is a specially shaped carrying case designed to be carried with the person as well as used for storage. It is not more specifically provided for in other chapters of the tariff schedule and is properly classifiable under heading 4202, HTSUSA. In your protest, you noted that the EN to heading 4202, HTSUSA, mandate that all plastic items listed after the semi-colon in this provision be made of plastic sheeting. While this is true, the submitted sample is properly classifiable in the first part of heading 4202, HTSUSA, and the EN expressly state that "articles covered by the first part of the heading may be of any material.


The submitted article is classifiable under subheading 4202.99.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for trunks, suitcases, vanity-cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; other, dutiable at a rate of 20% 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, your client should contact its local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current applicability of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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