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HQ 952433

November 25, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:F 952433 K


Tariff No.: 3924.90.5000

Mr. Peter Hoodspith
Coghlan's Ltd
121 Irene St.,
Winnipeg, MB,
Canada R3T 4C7

RE: Tariff Classification of a Plastic Soap Container

Dear Sir:

The following is in response to your request of July 17, 1992, for a ruling concerning the tariff classification of a plastic soap container; a sample and a catalog were submitted.


The plastic container is referred to as a "Soap Caddy". The sample is in the shape of a box approximately 3 1/2 by 2 3/4 inches and approximately 1 1/2 inches in width. It has a cover at the top which is tied to the container by rope which permits the container to be carried around a person's neck. The cover is removable for the placement of a bar of soap. The bottom of the container has seven 1/4 inch holes which would permit water to drip out of the container. The plastic container is designed especially to carry a bar of soap into a bathroom for use in a shower or a bathtub.


The issue is whether the merchandise is classifiable as toilet articles, of plastic, other, subheading 3924.90.5000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).


The General Rules of Interpretation (GRI) set forth the
manner in which merchandise is to be classified under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). GRI 1 requires that classification be determined first according to the terms of the headings of the tariff and any relative section or chapter notes and, unless otherwise required, according to the remaining GRI, taken in order. GRI 3(a) requires, in part, that "when by application of Rule 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings, classification shall be effected as follows: the heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description...." There are three competing subheadings for the described merchandise and a discussion follows.

Subheading 3925.90.0000, HTSUS, provides for other builders' ware of plastics, not elsewhere specified or included. In Headquarters Ruling Letter (HRL) 087486, dated November 6, 1990, we held that soap and lotion dispensers designed for both permanent and temporary installation on a bath room wall by either screws or strong adhesives, were classifiable under this subheading rather than under subheading 3924.90.5000, HTSUS.

Subheading 3923.10.000, HTSUS, provides for articles for the conveyance or packing of goods, of plastics; stoppers, lids, caps and other closures, of plastics...boxes, cases, crates and similar articles. In HRL 083131, dated September 13, 1989, we held that a "surf kit" designed to be carried on the person by hanging a cord around the person's neck designed to place small items normally carried in the pocket or in a handbag for the protection from water and sand, was classifiable under this subheading. However, for heading 3923, HTSUS, the Explanatory Notes to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System states that "[t]he heading excludes, inter alia, household articles such as dustbins, and cups which are used as tableware or toilet articles and do not have the character of containers for the packing or conveyance of goods, whether or not sometimes used for such purposes (heading 39.24), and containers of heading 42.02."

Subheading 3924.90.5000, HTSUS, provides for tableware, kitchenware, other household articles and toilet articles, of plastics: other: other.

Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition, defines "toilet" as the act or process of dressing; epecif: the process of washing, grooming, and arranging oneself for the day's activities or for a special occasion." "Toiletry" is defined as an "article or preparation used in making one's toilet (as a soap, lotion, cosmetic, toothpaste, shaving cream, cologne)." A bar of soap is a toilet article used by an individual in a shower, bathtub, or sink. The "Soap Caddy" is especially designed to hold a toilet article, a bar of soap, that is carried into the bathroom
for washing purposes and it has holes for draining of water. Accordingly, the "Soap Caddy" is a toilet article of plastic and subheading 3924.90.5000 is more specific than the other two subheadings discussed above.


The "Soap Caddy" is classifiable as a toilet article of plastic in subheading 3924.90.5000, HTSUS, dutiable at 3.4 percent ad valorem.


John Durant

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