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HQ 950703

December 3, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950703 KWM


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9020

District Director
Seattle District
United States Customs Service
909 First Avenue, Room 2039
Seattle, Washington 98174

RE: Protest Number 3001-91-101059; Jewelry boxes; Wholly or mainly covered; Textile; specially designed or shaped; Suitable for long term use.

Dear Sir:

We have received your correspondence regarding the tariff classification of flocked boxes referred to as jewelry boxes. Our response follows.


On October 23, 1991, protestant entered through the port of Seattle certain merchandise invoiced as "small velour box for necklace." The goods were entered under HTSUSA subheading 3923.10.0000, at a duty rate of 3 percent ad valorem. The merchandise was apparently released under an entry bond. On October 31, 1991, the port issued a notice of redelivery, having determined that the goods were properly classified under HTSUSA subheading 4202.92.9020, at a duty rate of 20 percent ad valorem, and requiring a textile visa for category 670 L. Protestant then filed the above referenced protest under the provisions of 19 CFR 174.21(b), the goods have become subject to exclusion pursuant to the redelivery notice.

The protest was dated October 29, 1991. Your office forwarded the entire matter to this office for disposition under the 30- day time limit imposed by the regulations.


Are the boxes classified as textile covered jewelry boxes under the provisions of subheading 4202.92.9020, HTSUSA?


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.

Protestant apparently does not agree with the port's
determination that the subject merchandise is within the scope of the term "jewelry box" of heading 4202, HTSUSA. The CF-19 filed by protestant includes the following:

We do not believe that the necklace boxes should be considered as "jewelry boxes" under Chapter 42 because they are not designed for storing various types of jewelry and further the box in question is very inexpensive (approximately $.30 each). The box is flocked with fibers, but the chief weight and chief value are plastic not fiber.

As justification we point out the Chapter note 2 (a) where bags of plastic ... not designed for prolonged use are excluded from this chapter (42). As indicated above, the box is not designed for extended use. This appears to carry forward through out the chapter as the items listed under 42.02 are for extended use.

First, we should note that the chief weight and value are not particularly relevant here, unless we are required to determine the essential character of the article. Further, we note that the Explanatory Notes to Chapter 42, HTSUSA, indicate that jewelry boxes include lidded containers, specially designed or fitted to contain one or more pieces of jewelry, normally lined with textiles, of the type in which jewelry in presented and sold, and which are suitable for long-term use. All of the Explanatory Note criteria are straightforward, except for the "suitable for long-term use" language. We do not believe that classification in heading 4202, HTSUSA, requires any showing of actual use over the long term. Rather, the language states only that the articles be "suitable" for long-term use. In the past, we have held that component materials, weight, heft and construction techniques (i.e, "substantial construction") have served as indicators of suitable for long-term use.

In this case, we believe that suitable for long-term use is what the protestant had in mind when arguing that the boxes are not designed for prolonged or extended use. We do not agree. Customs view is that such boxes are suitable for long- term use; the construction of the subject container supports such a finding. Therefore, the protestant's arguments with regard to classification as a "jewelry box" should be denied.

Covering or outer surface

The port's comments contained on the CF-6445 are directed toward the flock covering on the sample box. The port questions whether or not a box covered with such material should be classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA. In HRL 087733, we classified a jewelry box covered with textile material in subheading 4202.92.9020. In HRL 089759, we did not classify a drawstring pouch of flocked PVC sheeting in heading 4202, HTSUSA. Please note the merchandise at issue in HRL 089759 was excluded from heading 4202 because it was neither a named article or considered to be a "similar container." The pouch was then classified on the basis of constituent material. It is the latter holding, that which found the character of the pouch to be textile, which is now the subject of reconsideration at Headquarters. We expect that HRL 089759
will be modified in the near future. Our basic reasoning, which is pertinent here, follows.

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, is divided into two parts, separated by a semicolon. The latter half of the heading, in addition to listing several exemplars, also limits classification by the material the articles may be "of" or "wholly or mainly covered" with. For the purposes of this determination, Customs has decided that a composite material or covering, such as flocked paper or flocked plastic sheet should be considered as a whole, rather than separable components. For example, the box at issue in the current protest is made of molded plastic. The textile flock is sprayed directly onto the plastic. The box is, therefore, covered with a textile material, within the scope of the heading. In other instances, a similar box may be covered with a flocked paper material. Flocked paper is considered a paper classifiable in chapter 48, HTSUSA. It is not a named material of heading 4202, HTSUSA, and would therefore be excluded from classification in that heading.


The protest should be denied. The sample jewelry box is within the intended scope of heading 4202, HTSUSA, as a container specially shaped to contain jewelry, of the type in which jewelry is presented and sold, and which is suitable for long-term use. Further, the box is wholly covered with a man- made textile flock material. The goods should be classified under heading 4202.92.9020, HTSUSA. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem. The associated textile visa category is 670.


John A. Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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