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HQ 952112

December 16, 1992

CLA CO:R:C:T 952112 BC


TARIFF: 4202.12.2020

Mitch Spratford
Vice President - Marketing
PLANO Molding Company
Plano, Illinois 60545-0189

RE: Request for classification; subheading 4202.12.2020, HTSUSA; plastic cosmetic and accessory organizer cases; vanity cases; Caboodles

Dear Mr. Spratford:

This responds to your letter of June 25, 1992, requesting a classification ruling for three products marketed and sold by your company as "Caboodles." These are cosmetic and accessory organizers. Samples were provided for examination.


You provided a product catalog entitled "Caboodles." Therein, "Caboodles" are described as cosmetic and accessory organizers. The catalog contains seven pages of "Caboodles" of various sizes, shapes, colors, and features. There is the "Designer" series, the "Signature" series, the "Custom" series, the "Specialty" series, and the "Jewelry" series. Each series includes several designs. While sizes, colors, shapes, and features differ somewhat among and within the various series, all "Caboodles" are molded plastic cases with a top that opens upward and snaps closed. Inside the cases are compartments and/or trays that are used for storing small items; the main compartment is in the base of the case. Depending on the style observed, the trays and compartments either swing up as the case is opened, are removable, and/or slide out or over for convenient storage. Many cases contain small mirrors. Every page of the catalog pictures cases holding cosmetics and/or jewelry. The cases have handles on the top (for carrying) and are designed to be portable. Three pages of the catalog picture a young woman carrying a "Caboodle" case with other luggage. The sample has a sticker affixed to the outside top with the words, "Beauty Face Vanity Case." Your request specifies three model types: the 2610, 2622, and 2640, all approximately the same size (the 2640 is the largest at approximately 14"x9"x7"). Samples of these were examined. All models fit the above general description. You have asserted that these cases should be classified under 4202.12.2020, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA).


What is the classification of the three "Caboodle" cases designated as model numbers 2610, 2622, and 2640?


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

You assert that the three "Caboodle" cases should be classified under 4202.12.2020, HTSUSA. We agree. Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for the classification of "Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, brief cases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, . . . [etc.]." The definition of "vanity case" is as follows: "A small handbag or case for carrying cosmetics or toiletries [emphasis supplied]." Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, (1984), p. 1276. Given that the cases in question are clearly vanity cases, heading 4202 is an eo nomine provision covering the submitted samples. Subheading 4202.12.2020, HTSUSA, covers "Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, attache cases, briefcases, school satchels and similar containers: With outer surface of plastics or of textile materials: With outer surface of plastics . . . Structured, rigid on all sides: Trunks suitcases, vanity cases and similar containers . . ." The current Column 1 duty rate is 20% ad valorem.

In support of the foregoing is HQ 951404, dated July 24, 1992. That case affirmed New York Ruling 870044 which classified vanity cases under heading 4202, HTSUSA. The cases considered in HQ 951404 are remarkably similar to the "Caboodles" involved in the instant case. One of them (considered in HQ 951404) had the same dimensions, features (including the sticker "Beauty Face Vanity Case" on the top of the case), and model number (molded into the bottom of the case) as one of the "Caboodles." HQ 951404 rejected classification of the vanity cases in heading 3923, HTSUSA, in part, on the grounds that Note 2(h) of Chapter 39, HTSUSA, excludes from that chapter containers of heading 4202. Since we had determined (in HQ 951404) the cases to be vanity cases, the exclusion of Note 2(h) was conclusive. See HQ 087635 (October 24, 1990) for our classification of a lunch box/cooler in heading 4202 rather than heading 3923; see also HQ 951738 (August 11, 1992) for a similar discussion regarding plastic tackle boxes and rejection of heading 9507 in addition to heading 3923.


The "Caboodles," or cosmetic and accessory organizer cases, in question are classified under subheading 4202.12.2020, HTSUSA, as vanity cases or similar containers made of molded plastic, structured and rigid on all sides. The applicable Column 1 rate of duty is 20% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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