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HQ 950281

February 3, 1993

CLA-2; CO:R:C:T 950281 ch


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9986

Michael Smerling
L.C. Industries, Inc.
1650 W. Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60613

RE: Revocation of NYRL 858166; tariff classification of shoe protector bags from China under Heading 6307, not 4202; shoe pouch; shoe bag; article used for storage/protection, not travel.

Dear Mr. Smerling:

New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 858166, dated November 5, 1990, concerned the classification of shoe protector bags under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). We have had occasion to review this ruling and find that the classification of said merchandise under Subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA, is in error.


The merchandise at issue are shoe protector bags designed to store shoes, or protect them during travel. They are closed by means of a cotton rope-like drawstring.

In NYRL 858166, this merchandise was classified under Subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags, with outer surface of textile materials.


Whether the subject merchandise is properly classified under Subheading 4202.92, which provides for travel, sports and similar bags, or Subheading 6307.99, which provides for other made-up textile articles?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides that classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied in order.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the EN when interpreting the HTSUSA.

The EN to Heading 6307 state that it includes in particular:

(5) Domestic laundry or shoe bags, stocking, handkerchief or slipper sachets, pyjama or nightdress cases and similar articles.
(Emphasis added).

(6) Garment bags (portable wardrobes) other than those of heading 42.02.

Thus, it is clear that shoe bags are to be treated as other made up articles. Moreover, the exemplars contained in (5) and (6) suggest that there is a class of containers or bags used for storing various personal effects which are not covered more specifically in Section XI or elsewhere in the Nomenclature.

On the other hand, Chapter 42, HTSUSA, specifically encompasses travel goods. Heading 4202 describes containers commonly used to transport personal effects. These items include:

Trunks, Suit-Cases, Vanity-Cases, Executive-Cases, Briefcases, School Satchels, Spectacle Cases, Binocular Cases, Camera Cases, Musical Instrument Cases, Gun Cases, Holsters and Similar Containers; Travelling- Bags, Toilet Bags, Rucksacks, Handbags, Shopping-Bags, Wallets, Purses, Map-Cases, Cigarette-Cases, Tobacco- Pouches, Tool Bags, Sports Bags, Bottle-Cases, Jewellery Boxes, Powder-Boxes, Cutlery Cases and Similar Containers.

Unfortunately, these competing provisions may overlap. For example, one may use a shoe bag as a protective sheath to protect both shoes and other clothing articles during the course of travel. Similarly, items such as cigarette cases and jewelry boxes may be used as storage cases completely unrelated to their use in travel. When these provisions overlap we must first rely on the chapter headings and the EN to help us determine which classification is proper for a particular item.

In this instance, the EN to Heading 6307 specifically state that shoe bags are to be classified as other made up textile articles. Hence, the subject merchandise is properly classified under Heading 6307.


The subject merchandise is classifiable under Subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUSA, which provides for other made up articles, other, other, other, other. The applicable rate of duty is 7% ad valorem.

In order to insure uniformity in Customs classification of this merchandise and eliminate uncertainty, we are revoking NYRL 858166. However, if after your review you disagree with the legal basis for our decision, we invite you to submit any arguments you might have with respect to this matter for our review. Any submission you wish to make should be received within 30 days of this letter.

This notice to you should be considered a revocation of NYRL 858166 under 19 CFR 177.9(d)(1). It is not to be applied retroactively to NYRL 858166 (19 CFR 177.9(d)(2)) and will not, therefore, affect past transactions for the importation of your client's merchandise under that ruling. However, for the purposes of future transactions in merchandise of this type, NYRL 858166 will not be valid precedent. We recognize that pending transactions may be adversely affected by this modification, in that current contracts for importations arriving at a port subsequent to this decision will be classified pursuant to it. If such a situation arises, your client may, at its discretion, notify this office and apply for relief from the binding effects of this decision as may be warranted by the circumstances. However, please be advised that in some instances involving import restraints, such relief may require separate approvals from other government agencies.


John Durant, Director

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