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HQ 952218

October 29, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952218 CAB


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.4500

Alan W. Greenfield
Lewis International Corporation
500 Morris Ave.
Springfield, NJ 07081

RE: Classification of a polyethylene shopping bag; Heading 4202; outer surface of plastics; Note 2, Chapter 42; U.S. Additional Notes 1 and 2, Chapter 42

Dear Mr. Greenfield:

This letter is in response to your inquiry of July 7, 1992, requesting a tariff classification concerning a shopping bag under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). A sample was submitted for examination.


The article in question is described by the importer as a general purpose bag. The item is constructed of woven polyethylene strips with a width of less than 5mm. Both sides of the woven material are coated with a heavy plastics material. The bag measures 17"x17"x15", contains braided textile material handles, and has no means of closure.


Whether the article in question is classifiable under Heading 4202, HTSUSA, as a shopping bag or under Heading 3923, HTSUSA, as an article for the conveyance and packing of goods?


Classification of goods under the HTSUSA is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's). GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Merchandise that cannot be classified in accordance with GRI 1 is to be classified in accordance with subsequent GRI's, taken in order.

The merchandise in question is potentially classifiable under Heading 4202, HTSUSA, or Heading 3923, HTSUSA. Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for, inter alia, shopping bags. Note 2(a), Chapter 42, HTSUSA, states that bags constructed from plastic sheeting, not designed for prolonged use, are excluded from Heading 4202, HTSUSA, and are instead classifiable in Heading 3923. Heading 3923, HTSUSA, covers articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics.

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

For 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 instant article is a bag that fits into a class or kind of merchandise that is generally used to carry groceries or small packages. The bag is constructed for durability and repeated use. In light of the aforementioned facts and legal provisions, the article in question is classifiable under Heading 4202, HTSUSA, as a shopping bag.

Articles that are provided for under Heading 4202, HTSUSA, are classified at the international level according to their outer surface. Additional U.S. Note 2, Chapter 42, HTSUSA, provides the following:

For the purposes of classifying articles under subheading 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 article in question is constructed from woven polyethylene strips (a textile) that have been coated on both sides with a layer of clear plastics material. Substantially similar merchandise was classified under Heading 4202, HTSUSA in Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 950187 of October 21, 1992. In HRL 950187, we further explained that "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." Therefore, pursuant to Additional U.S. Note 2, Chapter 42, the shopping bag is classifiable in subheading 4202.92, HTSUSA, as a textile shopping bag coated with an outer surface of plastic sheeting. HOLDING:

Based on the foregoing, the article in question is classifiable in subheading 4202.92.4500, HTSUSA, which provides for shopping bags with an outer surface of plastic sheeting or textile material. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division?

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