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HQ 952566

December 29, 1992

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952566 NLP


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9986

Ms. Judith Schechter
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman 12 East 49th Street
New York, NY 10017

RE: Trinket box; jewelry box; boxes not designed or specially fitted to hold and store jewelry; heading 4202; Explanatory Notes to heading 4202; heading 4823; heading 6307; GRIs 2(b), 3(b) and 3(c); Explanatory Note(VIII) to GRI 3(b); composite good; essential character

Dear Ms. Schechter:

This is in response to your letter dated September 14, 1992, on behalf of your client, Mast Industries, Inc., requesting a tariff classification for trinket boxes under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). A sample was submitted to this office for examination and will be returned to you under separate cover.


The article, style VA 7005A, is a three drawer trinket box measuring 6 inches x 5-1/2 inches x 4-1/2 inches. The box is constructed of paperboard and textile material. The structure or frame of the box is made of paperboard. The exterior and interior surfaces of the box are covered with a 70% cotton/30% polyester fabric. The textile adheres to the cardboard by means of an adhesive covering. The top of the box features foam padding underneath the textile covering. Each drawer has a gold tone handle for pulling. The drawers do not contain any compartments.

According to the information provided in your letter, the cost and weight of the box's different materials are as follows:


Fabric 100 grams $1.35
Cardboard 243 grams $0.52
Foam 4 grams $0.02
"Gold" handles 15 grams $0.23
Labor, transportation $2.03 and profit


Is the trinket box classified as a jewelry box in heading 4202, HTSUS, or as an other made up article of textile material in heading 6307, HTSUS?


The classification of goods under the HTSUS is governed by the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI's), taken in order. GRI 1 provides that classification shall be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. In the event that the goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI's may be applied, taken in order.

The terms of heading 4202, HTSUS, include the following:

. . . tool bags, sports bags, bottle cases, jewelry boxes, powder cases, cutlery cases and similar containers, . . . (Emphasis added)

If the subject article is considered a "jewelry box" of heading 4202, HTSUS, it would be so classified by application of GRI 1. We are of the opinion, however, that this article is not a jewelry box as that term is used in the Nomenclature.

The language of the tariff schedule must be read in pari materia, or constructed as a whole with regard to the same subject matter. In this case, the terms of heading 4202, HTSUS, all refer to items designed or fitted to hold, protect or store particular goods (e.g., maps, cigarettes, bottles or jewelry). Jewelry boxes of heading 4202, HTSUS, therefore, must be designed or specially fitted for holding and storing jewelry.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs) to heading 4202 provide, on page 613, the following definition of "jewelry boxes":

The term "jewellery boxes" covers not only boxes specially designed for keeping jewellry, but also similar lidded containers of various dimensions (with or without hinges or fasteners) specially shaped or fitted to contain one or more pieces of jewellry and normally lined with textile material, of the type in which articles of jewellry are presented and sold and which are suitable for long-term use.

The subject box is not specially designed with features for holding or displaying jewelry, nor is it specially shaped or fitted to contain one or more pieces of jewelry. For example, the box does not have compartments or inserts for the display of jewelry. The box has three drawers that pull out and are completely flat on the inside. The subject box is more akin to boxes referred to as "trinket boxes." They may be used to hold various loose articles, including keepsakes, stamps, cosmetics, or any other items, limited only by the size of the box. Therefore, the trinket box is not considered a jewelry box as that term is used in the HTS. See, Headquarters Ruling Letter 086109, dated April 11, 1990, which held that similar boxes constructed of paperboard and textile material were not considered jewelry boxes, as that term is used in the HTS.

As there is no other heading that specifically describes the subject box, the remaining GRI's, taken in order, are used. The principal component materials of the box are paperboard and textile. These form an inseparable whole, and the item is therefore a composite good. GRI 2 addresses classification of composite goods and states, in pertinent part, the following:

(b) . . . Any reference to goods of a given material or substance shall be taken to include a reference to goods consisting wholly or partly of such material or substance. The classification of goods consisting of more than one material or substance shall be according to the principles of rule 3.

GRI 3 governs the classification of goods which are prima facie classifiable within two or more headings and provides the following:

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:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which
cannot be classified by reference to 3(a), shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Two headings suggest themselves for classification purposes; each referring to one of the box's principal components. The first is heading 4823, HTSUS, which provides for "[o]ther paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, cut to size or shape; other articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers." The second heading is heading 6307, HTSUS, which provides for "[o]ther made up articles, including dress patterns."

EN(VIII) to GRI 3(b) provides, on page 4, the following guidelines for determining the essential character of an article:

(VIII) The factor which determines essential character will vary as between different kinds of goods. It may, for example, be determined by the nature of the material or component, its bulk, quantity, weight or value, or by the role of a constituent material in relation to the use of the goods.

It is our position that no single component imparts the essential character to the trinket box. The textile fabric comprises the highest cost element and it distinguishes the box from an ordinary, unadorned cardboard box and enhances its' marketability. However, the cardboard frame provides support and rigidity for the trinket box. Without the cardboard structure, the box would have not shape or form. In addition, the cardboard frame constitutes the bulk of the box's weight.

When the component which gives the products at issue their essential character cannot be determined, classification is ascertained by utilizing GRI 3(c). GRI 3(c) provides the following:

(c) When goods cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) or 3(b), they shall be classified under the heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration.

The heading which occurs last in numerical order among those which equally merit consideration is heading 6307, HTSUS. Accordingly, the trinket box is classified in heading 6307, HTSUS. Specifically, it is classified in subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUS.


The trinket boxes are classified in subheading 6307.90.9986, HTSUS, which provides for "[o]ther made up articles, including dress patterns: [o]ther: [o]ther: [o]ther." The rate of duty for articles classified in this subheading is 7% ad valorem.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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