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HQ 950363

December 12, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950363 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3030

Kevin J. Downey, Esq.
Sullivan & Lynch
156 State Street
Boston, MA 02109

RE: Tote bags of man-made material; handbags; travel, sports and similar bags; Additional U.S. Note 1, Chapter 42, HTSUSA.

Dear Mr. Downey:

This is in reply to your letter dated September 11, 1991, on behalf of The Gem Group, Inc., in which you requested a tariff classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). Samples of the merchandise at issue were submitted and are described below.


The merchandise in question consists of two open-top tote bags of man-made materials. Style 2226 is made of nylon textile material and measures approximately 13.5" x 14.75" x 4.75". Style 3317 is made from rayon textile material and measures approximately 14" x 11.5" x 4.75". Both tote bags are unlined and have double textile carrying straps.


The issue presented is whether the tote bags in question are classifiable as handbags, or, pursuant to Additional U.S. Note 1, Chapter 42, HTSUSA, under a residual provision for travel, sports and similar bags.


The relevant heading for the purposes of this ruling is heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides, inter alia, for trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases...and similar containers; traveling bags...handbags...sports bags...and similar containers of...textile materials.... Within heading 4202, the pertinent subheadings are subheading 4202.22, HTSUSA, which provides for handbags...of textile material; and subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, which provides for other (articles of heading 4202)...of textile material. The residual provision of the latter subheading is further broken down at the U.S. level (eight digits) into provisions for travel, sports and similar bags, and for musical instrument cases, and a further residual category for other containers.

The provision for travel, sports and similar bags is defined by Additional U.S. Note 1, Chapter 42, HTSUSA, as follows:

For the purposes of heading 4202, the expression "travel, sports and similar bags" means goods, other than those falling in subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.39, of a kind used for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel, including backpacks and shopping bags of this heading, but does not include binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, bottle cases and similar containers.

The instant tote bags are made from nylon and rayon and are often printed with company logos, or promotional or advertising information. Since they are of relatively coarse construction, carry advertising and provide little protection for whatever items they may contain, it is unlikely that the tote bags in question are used in a manner similar to a women's handbag. Instead, it is Customs' opinion that tote bags similar to those at issue are used as multipurpose bags to carry any number of sundry articles, such as food, books and/or clothing. Since they do not fit the terms of subheadings 4202.11 through 4202.39, and since they are a type of bag used to carry clothing and other personal effects during travel, they meet the definition of travel, sports and similar bags of Additional U.S. Note 1, Chapter 42, HTSUSA.


The tote bags at issue are classifiable in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA, under the provision for trunks...shopping bags...and similar articles...: other: with outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials: travel, sports and similar bags: with outer surface of textile materials: other: of man-made fibers: other. They are dutiable at the rate of 20 percent ad valorem and are subject to textile category 670.

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.


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