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HQ 950187

October 21, 1991

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 950187 CRS


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.4500

Mr. Jeff Tollin
Knobler International, Ltd.
225 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010

RE: Shopping bag; travel, sports and similar bags; outer surface of plastics; Note 2, Chapter 42; U.S. Additional Notes 1 and 2, Chapter 42.

Dear Mr. Tollin:

This is in reply to your letter of July 24, 1991, to our New York office, in which you requested a classification ruling under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUSA). A sample of the merchandise at issue was submitted and is described below.


The merchandise in question is described as a shopping bag and measures 18 inches by 16 inches by 7. The bag is made from woven polyethylene strips which have been laminated on both sides with a clear polyethylene material approximately 1.25 mil thick. The bags will be manufactured in China and will be imported in three sizes.


The issues presented are (1) whether the instant bag is a shopping bag; and (2) whether it has an outer surface of textile material or of plastic sheeting.


Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, shopping bags. Note 2(a), Chapter 42, HTSUSA, states that bags made from plastic sheeting, that are not designed for prolonged use, are excluded from heading 4202 and are instead classifiable in heading 3923. The bag at issue is of solid construction and is designed for prolonged use. It therefore remains classifiable in heading 4202.

Additional U.S. Note 1, Chapter 42, HTSUSA, provides in pertinent part that:

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 designed for carrying clothing and other personal effects during travel, including backpacks and shopping bags of this heading....

The article in question is a durable bag typical of the class or kind of merchandise used to carry groceries. As a shopping bag, it is therefore classifiable under the subheading provision for travel, sports and similar bags pursuant to U.S. Additional Note 1, Chapter 42.

Travel, sports and similar bags are classified on the basis of their outer surface. Additional U.S. Note 2, Chapter 42, HTSUSA, provides that:

For the purposes of classifying articles under subheadings 4202.12, 4202.22, 4202.32 and 4202.92, articles of textile fabric impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics (whether compact or cellular) shall be regarded as having an outer surface of textile material or of plastic sheeting, depending on whether and the extent to which the textile constituent or the plastic constituent makes up the exterior of the article.

The instant shopping bag is made from woven polyethylene strip (a textile) that has been coated with a layer of clear polyethylene (a plastic). There is no requirement that the plastic coating or lamination be visible to the naked eye as there is for coated fabrics of heading 5903. Indeed, Additional U.S. Note 2 provides that the sole determining factor is the constituent material of the article's exterior. The exterior of the instant shopping bag is entirely coated with plastics. Accordingly, pursuant to Additional U.S. Note 2, Chapter 42, the bag is classifiable as an article with an outer surface of plastic sheeting.


The shopping bag in question is classifiable in subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, under the provision for trunks...; other; with outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile material;
travel, sports and similar bags; other. It is dutiable at the rate of 20 percent ad valorem.


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