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NY 868871

December 12, 1991

CLA-2-42:S:N:N3G:341 868871


TARIFF NO.: 4202.21.6000

Mr. Steven Papier
H.Z. Bernstein Co., Inc.
One World Trade Center - Suite 1973
New York, NY 10048

RE: The tariff classification and marking of a leather handbag from China.

Dear Mr. Papier:

In your letter dated November 8, 1991, on behalf of B.H. Smith, Inc. you requested a ruling addressing the acceptability of the country of origin marking as it pertains to a leather handbag.

The handbag's external surface is composed of 100% split leather said to be coated with polyurethane of .02 MM in thickness. The unit price of the bag is $6.65. In the handbag is a sewn-in fabric label that reads, "Leather... Made In China." Attached to the outside shoulder strap is a hangtag, which on one side contains the words "B.H. Smith U.S.A." You state it is a registered trademark. Although we requested a copy of the trademark registration, it has not been submitted. You have submitted a form letter recording a telephone conversation with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Examining Attorney. The other side of the hangtag states "Made In China" and a description indicating that the bag "... is crafted of genuine split leather".

Although the fabric label appears to satisfy the marking requirements provided for within 19 USC 1304, Customs Regulations 134.46 requires that the correct country of origin marking be within close proximity and comparable print to the words "U.S.A." It is recommended that the country of origin be printed on the same side of the hangtag as the letters "U.S.A.".

The reference to "leather" without identifying that it is a coated leather is not in conformity with Customs Regulation 11.13(a) which prohibits, in part, the use of words or representations tending falsely to describe or represent the article. The Federal Trade Commission "Guides For The Ladies Handbag Industry", promulgated June 27, 1969 is noted.

Your sample is being returned as you requested.

The applicable subheading for the leather handbag will be 4202.21.6000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for handbags, whether or not with shoulder strap, including those without handle, with outer surface of leather, composition leather or of patent leather: Other: Valued not over $20 each. The duty rate will be 10 percent ad valorem.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Section 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


Jean F. Maguire
Area Director

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