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HQ 951486

June 12, 1992

CLA-2 Co:R:C:T 951486 JED


TARIFF NO.: 9605.00.0000

National Import Specialist, Branch 1
New York Seaport
New York, New York 10048

RE: Classification of a travel set for personal toilet

Dear Mr. Slomovitz:

This is in reply to your memorandum of March 25, 1992 (CLA- 2-96: S:N:N1:263-871885a), wherein you request our ruling on the proper classification for a "three pocket toilet/travel bag."


In response to a request for classification of two travel toilet sets, you issued NY 871885 (March 25, 1992), classifying one of the sets as follows.

[The bag has] an exterior which is made of 100 percent cotton and a lining of PVC.

The Toilet Travel Set possesses two (2) clear plastic side compartments of equal size, each with a zippered closure. The overall dimensions are approximately 10 inches in length, 3 inches wide at the bottom tapering to approximately 3/4 inch at the top, with a height of approximately 6 3/4 inches. This bag has two snaps for closing the top as well as two textile handles for carrying.

Inside one of the compartments in a separate plastic container are six empty plastic containers capable of holding personal toilet articles such as soap, perfume, powder, toothbrush, toilet water, make-up, etc.

The applicable subheading for the Toilet Travel Set will be 9605.00.0000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for travel sets for personal toilet, sewing or shoe or clothes cleaning. The duty rate will be 8.1 percent ad valorem.

The bag you have referred to us for classification is described as follows. The exterior of the bag is of 100% cotton material and is lined with polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The bag is 12 1/2" long x 7 1/2" high and when standing,'rests on a 3" bottom tapering to 3/4" at the top (all measurements approximate). The bag has a 3-sided zipper closure and two fabric loop handles. The interior of the bag is divided down the middle by an attached clear plastic pouch with a top zipper closure. The outside of the pouch is distinguished by four pockets, two on each side, capable of containing small items. There is also an unattached plastic pouch with a zipper closure containing a plastic toothbrush holder, plastic soap box, small plastic bottle with screw top and a small plastic jar with screw top.

Your expressed concerns over the classification of this bag are that "the essential character of the toilet set would be the content with simply a one pocket bag holding such content" [emphasis in original], and that the bag in question is "comparatively large" and gets its essential character from the three pocket bag, not from the plastic containers therein.


Is the merchandise described a travel toilet set classifiable in Heading 9605, HTSUSA, a travel bag of Heading 4202, HTSUSA, or classifiable in various headings according to its constituent pieces?


The General Rules of interpretation (GRI's) taken in their appropriate order provide a framework for classification of goods under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA). The majority of imported goods are classified by application of GRI 1, that is according to the terms of the headings of the tariff schedule and any relative Section or Chapter Notes. Further, the Explanatory Notes (EN's) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, which are the official interpretation of the tariff at the international level, facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI's. Customs believes the EN's should always be consulted (see T.D. 89-80).

Heading 9605 reads as follows:

9605.00.0000 Travel sets for personal toilet, sewing or shoe or clothes cleaning (other than manicure and pedicure sets of heading 8214)

The EN's at 96.05 (pg. 1604) state in pertinent part:

The heading covers certain travel sets consisting of articles individually falling in different headings of the Nomenclature or consisting of ~ifferent articles of the same heading.

The heading includes:

(i) Toilet Sets, presented in a case of leather, fabric or plastics, containing, e.g., moulded plastic boxes, brushes, a comb, scissors, tweezers, a nail file, a mirror, a razor holder and manicure instruments.

The travel set in question consists of articles falling in different headings of the nomenclature, i.e., travel bags and articles of plastics. It further meets the EN concerning toilet sets in that the set is presented in a case of fabric and contains among its items moulded plastic boxes.

Neither the heading itself, nor the EN's, include any restrictions on the size of the outer container of a travel toilet set or on the number of pockets or compartments into which the interior of that container may be divided. The size of the bag in question is not so large as to make it unwieldy for travel purposes. The interior volume of the bag in excess of that which is necessary to accommodate the plastic containers supplied with the bag is not unreasonable and makes it capable of holding some additional articles to suit a traveler's personal toilet needs.

The fact that the plastic pouch in this bag was attached to the middle of the bag thereby creating three compartments, as opposed to attaching the pouch to one side resulting in only two compartments, or simply having an unattached pouch inside the bag, is not a factor removing this travel toilet set from the coverage of Heading 9605. Prior rulings have not considered multiple compartments in a toilet travel bag a disqualifying factor. For example, NY 863956 (July 1, 1989), classified a cotton lace travel case with three zippered compartments and assorted contents in Heading 9605.00.0000, HTSUSA.

The bag and contents described above constitute a travel set for personal toilet and are classified in Heading 9605.00.0000, HTSUSA.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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