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HQ 951524

August 17, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 951524 ALS


TARIFF NO.: 6305.31.0010, 6305.31.0020

Mr. Vincent A. Sommella
Capital Customs Brokers, Inc.
P.O. Box 30942
J.F.K. Airport Station
Jamaica, NY 11430

RE: Polypropylene Bulk Bags

Dear Mr. Sommella:

This is in reference to your inquiry of March 25, 1992, on behalf of Schutz Container Systems, Inc., regarding the classification of the subject products which are used for the transportation and storage of dry materials.


The articles under consideration are woven polypropylene bags of various sizes with or without discharge chutes. The bags may have a 3 1/2 mil polyethylene liner and an inner or outer 1-mil polypropylene coating which serve as moisture barriers to protect the product from impurities and the elements. The basic bag fabric is treated for protection from ultraviolet rays. The bags, which are known as Chase mini Bulk~ semi-bulk bags, are reusable and can hold up to 3000 pounds. The bags are designed for both the transport and long-term storage of dry materials such as bulk salt and borax.


What is the classification of reusable woven polypropylene bags used for the transport and long-term storage of dry materials?


Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's) taken in order. GRI 1 provides that the classification is determined first in accordance with the terms of the heading and any relative section and chapter notes. If GRI 1 fails to classify the goods and if the heading and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's are applied, taken in order.

You have suggested that the subject products should be classified under subheading 8609.00.0000, HTSUSA, the provision for "Containers (including containers for the transport of fluids) specially designed and equipped for carriage by one or more modes of transport."

We have considered the documentation submitted with the request and concluded that the articles under consideration are not containers classifiable under subheading 8609.00.0000, HTSUSA. That provision, as noted in the Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized System, specifically EN 86.09, which represents the opinion of the classification experts at the international level, indicates that this provision deals only with intermodal containers. The EN notes that the containers covered by the subheading are receptacles specially designed and equipped for carriage by one or more modes of transport, that they have fittings to facilitate handling and securing on the mode of transport and that they are suitable for "door-to-door:" transport without intermediate repacking. Although the subject bags can be used for "door-to-door" transport and although they have handles which permit them to be lifted, we do not believe that the bags are specially designed and equipped for various modes of transport or that they have the noted fittings. The handles on the bags are for ease of filling and emptying the bags rather than transportation of the commodities or the securing of them while being transported. We further note that, pursuant to EN 86.09, cases, crates, etc., which though designed for the "door-to-door" transport of goods are not specially constructed to be secured to the transport vehicle, etc., are excluded from classification under Heading 8609, HTSUSA.

The bags under consideration are known as flexible intermediate bulk containers but may also be referred to by other names, e.g., big bags, jumbo bags, and bulk bags. They are generally described as flexible semi-bulk containers designed to
meet the packing, storage, transport and handling requirements of dry, flowable materials. They are usually made of polypropylene or polyethylene woven fabrics and have a capacity ranging from 250 kg to 3,000 kg. They have lifting straps at the four top corners and may be fitted with openings at the top and/or bottom to facilitate loading and unloading.

Based thereon, we next considered subheading 3923.21.00, HTSUSA, which provides for sacks and bags of plastic for the conveyance or packing of goods. EN 39.23, relative thereto, specifies that "[T]he heading excludes inter alia...flexible intermediate bulk containers of heading 63.05." We next referred to Heading 6305, regarding sacks and bags, of a kind used for the packing of goods. EN 63.05 relative thereto specifies that the heading covers sacks and bags of a kind normally used for the packing of goods for transport, storage or sale. The EN further specifies that the articles covered by the heading vary in size and shape and that they include flexible intermediate bulk containers, for coal, grain, flour, potato, coffee, etc. The subheadings under Heading 6305 for sacks and bags of various materials. Subheading 6305.31.00, HTSUSA, as herein pertinent, covers sacks and bags of man-made textile materials.


The articles under consideration are classifiable in subheading 6305.31.00, HTSUSA, under the provision for sacks and bags, of a kind used for the packing of goods, of man-made textile materials, of polyethylene or polypropylene or the like. Depending on the weight of the bag, the applicable subheading for the bag, will be either 6305.31.0010 or 6305.31.0020, HTSUSA. In either case they will be subject to a general rate of duty of 9.5 percent ad valorem and are subject to textile category 669.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are subject to frequent renegotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggested that you check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import quotas (restraint Levels), an internal issuance of the U.S. Customs Service, which is available for inspection at your local Customs office.

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification ) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, you should contact your local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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