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HQ 084609

July 31, 1989

CLA-2 CO:R:C:G 084609 HP


TARIFF NO.: 4202.91.0090

Mr. Jim Pump
Magid Glove and Safety Manufacturing Co.
2060 North Kolmar Ave.
Chicago, IL 60639

RE: Classification of a leather welder's rod holder

Dear Mr. Pump:

This is in reply to your letter of May 3, 1989, concerning the tariff classification of a cowhide leather welder's rod holder, produced in the People's Republic of China, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


The merchandise at issue consists of a cowhide leather welder's rod holder, style 92190, measuring 3.5 inches by 16 inches, constructed from six pieces of leather sewn with KevlarRO thread and reinforced with 14 black rivets. The top of the holder has a heavy duty clip style swivel hook; the holder can be secured via this hook to a belt or snap hook. The top of the holder also contains a belt loop for easy attachment. The inside label states that the merchandise is "chrome tanned cowhide split leather." You have stated that this rod holder is primarily worn by welders in the welding industry. Its main purpose is to provide welders a convenient way to store metal welding rods; several rods can be housed in the holder while the welder is engaged in the welding process.


What is the classification of the rod holder under the HTSUSA?


Subheading 4202.11, HTSUSA, provides for trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels and similar containers, of leather. The Explanatory Notes to the HTSUSA constitute the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level.

Explanatory Note 42.02 states that "[heading 4202] covers only the articles specifically named therein and similar containers." It is our opinion that the instant merchandise is not a similar container to those enumerated in Subheading 4202.11, HTSUSA. The latter are designed primarily for the transport of personal items during travel; the rod holder is used to afford the welder easy access to his or her rods, thereby increasing productivity. As a result, the rod holders are not classifiable under subheading 4202.11, HTSUSA.

Subheading 4202.91, HTSUSA, provides for other similar containers of Heading 4202. Heading 4205, HTSUSA, provides for other articles of leather not falling in the preceding headings of Chapter 42. The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) to the HTSUSA govern the classification of goods in the tariff schedule. Goods which cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 are to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

GRI 3 states, in pertinent part:

When by application of Rule 2(b) [goods of more than one material or substance] or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows:

(a) The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. * * *

Explanatory Note 42.02 goes on to define "similar containers" for the first part of Heading 4202, HTSUSA, as " * * * includ[ing] hat boxes, camera accessory cases, cartridge pouches, sheaths for hunting or camping knives, etc." It is our opinion that the rod holders are similar to those containers previously mentioned; specifically, cartridge pouches used to house cartridges to afford the user easy access. This description is more precise than the general category of Heading 4205; therefore, the rod holders are classifiable under Subheading 4202.91, HTSUSA.


The welder's rod holder is classifiable under subheading 4202.91.0090, which applies to containers similar to those named in heading 4202 and not covered by other subheadings of that heading, of leather. The applicable rate of duty is 6.8 percent.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division?

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