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HQ 952928

August 9, 1993

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 952928 ch


TARIFF NO.: 4202.92.9025

Eddie Lee
Pacific Northern, Inc.
4006 Beltline Road
Suite 266
Dallas, Texas 75244

RE: Classification of a velveteen textile covered jewelry box with a removable pouch from Taiwan; set put up for retail sale; essential character.

Dear Mr. Lee:

This is in response to your letter of October 26, 1992, requesting tariff classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) for a jewelry box with a removable pouch. A sample was provided to this office for examination.


The submitted sample, item number 3500, is packaged in a retail carton featuring the legend "Jewel Box." The jewelry box is sold as an independent unit; i.e. without jewelry. It is not to be confused with jewelry boxes of a type in which articles of jewelry are presented and sold and which act as packaging for jewelry. The box is covered with velveteen textile material. It measures approximately 6.5 inches x 3.5 inches x 1.75 inches and includes a removable velveteen drawstring pouch affixed, by means of a metal snap, to the inside lid. The interior of the jewelry box is specially shaped and fitted to contain jewelry.

The velveteen material covers both the jewelry box and pouch. This covering is composed of flocked man-made fibers which have been blown over a base of woven man-made textile material.


What is the proper tariff classification for the jewelry box with removable pouch?


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

Heading 4202, HTSUSA, provides for:

Trunks, Suit-Cases, Vanity-Cases, Executive-Cases, Briefcases, School Satchels, Spectacle Cases, Binocular Cases, Camera Cases, Musical Instrument Cases, Gun Cases, Holsters and Similar Containers; Travelling- Bags, Toilet Bags, Rucksacks, Handbags, Shopping-Bags, Wallets, Purses, Map-Cases, Cigarette-Cases, Tobacco- Pouches, Tool Bags, Sports Bags, Bottle-Cases, Jewellery Boxes, Powder-Boxes, Cutlery Cases and Similar Containers, of Leather or of Composition Leather, of Sheeting of Plastics, of Textile Materials, of Vulcanised Fibre or of Paperboard, or Wholly or Mainly Covered with Such Materials or With Paper. (Emphasis added).

Thus, textile covered jewelry boxes are classified under heading 4202.

The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System constitute the official interpretation of the nomenclature at the international level. While not legally binding, they do represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the EN when interpreting the HTSUSA.

The EN to heading 4202 state in pertinent part, at page 613:

The term "jewellery boxes" covers not only boxes specially designed for keeping jewellery, 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 jewellery and normally lined with textile material, of the type in which articles of jewellery are presented and sold and which are suitable for long-term use. (Emphasis added).

In this case, the instant article is packaged for sale as a jewelry box, and is specially shaped and fitted for holding jewelry. Therefore, it is classifiable as a jewelry box under heading 4202. Jewelry boxes are classifiable under subheading 4202.92.9025 (Cf. jewelry boxes of the type in which articles of jewelry are presented and sold, classified under subheading 4202.92.9015).

The jewelry box contains a removable pouch which, if sold separately, would be classifiable under a separate subheading of heading 4202. Specifically, the jewelry pouch is of a design and size which renders it suitable to be carried in a handbag. Textile covered articles of man-made fibers which are normally carried in the pocket or handbag are classifiable under subheading 4202.32.9550. This classification is subject to textile category 670, and is dutiable at 20 percent ad valorem.

GRI 6 states that:

For legal purposes, the classification of goods in the subheadings of a heading shall be determined according to the terms of those subheadings and any related subheading notes and, mutatis mutandis, to the above rules, on the understanding that only subheadings at the same level are comparable. For the purposes of this rule, the relative section, chapter and subchapter notes also apply, unless the context otherwise requires.

Hence, the classification principles enunciated in GRI 1 through 5 apply to the subheadings of heading 4202.

GRI 3(a) provides in part that:

The heading which provides the most specific description shall be preferred to headings providing a more general description. However, when two or more headings each refer to part only...of the items in a set put up for retail sale, those headings are to be regarded as equally specific in relation to those goods, even if one of them gives a more complete or precise description of the goods.

Therefore, if the jewelry box and the jewelry pouch comprise a "set put up for retail sale," then the applicable subheadings which describe them are equally specific in relation to one another.

The EN to GRI 3(a), at page 4, define the phrase "goods put up in sets for retail sale" as follows:

For the purposes of this Rule, the term "goods put up in sets for retail sale" shall be taken to mean goods which:

(a) consist of at least two different articles which are, prima facie, classifiable in different headings. Therefore, for example, six fondue forks cannot be regarded as a set within the meaning of this Rule;

(b) consist of products or articles put up together to meet a particular need or carry or a specific activity; and

(c) are put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to users without repacking.

In this case, the first requirement is satisfied, with reference to GRI 6, by the fact that the jewelry box and pouch are classifiable under two different subheadings of heading 4202. The two articles meet a specific need, as they provide a means of both storing and transporting the same items of jewelry. Finally, as they have been packed together in a carton, they have been put up in a manner suitable for sale directly to the public. Accordingly, the jewelry pouch and box qualify as a set put up for retail sale.

GRI 3(b) states in part that:

[G]oods put up in sets for retail sale...shall be classified as if they consisted of the...component which gives them their essential character.

The EN to GRI 3(b), at page 4, provides some guidance with respect to the essential character determination:

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.

In this case, the role of the pouch is ancillary to that of the jewelry box. The pouch fits inside the box, and is designed for the temporary storage of jewelry during travel. On the other hand, the box provides a place for the permanent storage of jewelry. In addition, the box clearly is the more valuable of the two articles. It is the box that is marketed to the public, as evidenced by the phrase "jewel box" on the carton. We conclude that the jewelry box imparts the essential character to the set. Accordingly, both articles are classifiable under the provision for jewelry boxes.


The subject merchandise is classifiable under subheading 4202.92.9025, HTSUSA, which provides, inter alia, for jewelry boxes: other: with outer surface of plastic sheeting or of textile materials: other: other: other: of man-made fibers. The applicable rate of duty is 20 percent ad valorem. The textile quota category is 670. Please be advised that the applicable visa must provide for both the jewelry box and the jewelry pouch.

The designated textile and apparel category may be subdivided into parts. If so, visa and quota requirements applicable to the subject merchandise may be affected. Since part categories are the result of international bilateral agreements which are the subject of frequent negotiations and changes, to obtain the most current information available, we suggest that you 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 at the 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 importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.


John Durant, Director

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