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HQ 952221

October 27, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952221 jb


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.3030

Mr. J.R. Caballero
Phoss Company
1125 La Porte Dr.
Waco, TX 76710

RE: Request for reconsideration of merchandise entered and ordered redelivered at the port of Dallas; novelty carrying bag; properly classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA

Dear Mr. Caballero:

This is in reply to your letter dated July 6, 1992, in which you requested reconsideration of a decision which classified products as handbags under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which you originally entered as toys. A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


The article in question consists of a combination "doll- handbag" manufactured in Taiwan and originally entered as "toys" at the port of Dallas. At that time it was detained due to lack of textiles visa and reclassified as "handbags".

The sample submitted, referred to as "Yantle Girl", is a small novelty carrying bag manufactured of an exterior man-made textile fabric with a lining of man-made textile materials and a batting of polyester non-woven fibers. The bag has a top carrying handle and a top zipper closure.

The body of the bag has been printed with a caricature consisting of crossed eyes and a broken smile. There are appendages on the bottom and the sides which simulate arms and feet. The feet are fitted with simulated sneakers of molded plastic.


Whether the article in question may be classified as handbags in heading 4202, HTSUSA, or as toys in heading 9503, HTSUSA?

Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is governed according to the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes, taken in order. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

The competing provisions in this case are heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, handbags, and heading 9503, HTSUSA, which provides for other toys.

Customs has ruled on similar items in the past. Those decisions have been consistent in determining that a crucial factor for classification purposes is the function of the article in question. That is to say, does the role of the submitted sample function as a handbag or as a toy?

In HQ 950752, dated January 9, 1992, classifying a stuffed toy with a backpack feature, Customs ruled:

Although the whimsical characters are designed to appeal to children, the presence of a functional compartment, shoulder straps and hook and loop closures indicate an intent for use as a carrying case, a use which characterizes the article at issue. The compartment which forms the animal body is functionally relevant and capable of use by a small child for the storing of small toys or supplies. Despite the proportions of this item, it is nonetheless recognizable as a backpack- the detachable shoulder straps do not detract form the items' carrying ability, since conventional backpacks also have straps which may be adjusted or removed... We therefore find that heading 9503 does not adequately provide for the present merchandise and may not be classified therein.

(See also HQ 081729, dated February 16, 1990)

Similarly, HQ 087792, dated December 18, 1990, in classifying novelty "pumpkin" and "reindeer" handbags, stated:

The only absolute requirement of a handbag is that it be held in the hand or hung by an arm/shoulder strap. This is true of the merchandise at issue. The size and sturdiness of these bags is more than sufficient for daily transport of personal effects.... It is true that the novel design will attract the consumer's attention to the article; it is our determination, however, that the utilitarian function of these items will provide the primary sales appeal and use of the product.
The submitted sample is similar to the novelty carrying bags described in the supra noted Headquarters Rulings. It is essentially a novelty bag within which a child can place personal effects. Though it is true that the features of the article are specifically designed to appeal to a child, it is the use of the article, i.e., as a carrying bag, which characterizes the article.

The article was properly classified in heading 4202, HTSUSA, which provides for, in part, handbags.


The "Yantle Girl" is classifiable in subheading 4202.92.3030, HTSUSA, which provides for, inter alia, handbags, with outer surface of textile materials, of man-made fibers, other. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem and the textile category is 670.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, the 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 suggest your check, close to the time of shipment, the Status Report on Current Import Quotas (Restraint Levels), an issuance of the U.S. Customs Service which is updated weekly and is available for inspection at its 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 the local Customs office prior to importation of this merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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