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HQ 953828

January 5, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 953828 CC 842882


TARIFF NO.: 4602.90.0000

Harry G. Kelly, Esq.
Givens and Kelly
950 Echo Lane
Suite 360
Houston, TX 77024-2788

RE: Clarification of NYRL 842882; classification of a woven polypropylene bag

Dear Mr. Kelly:

In New York Ruling Letter (NYRL) 842882, dated July 24, 1989, we ruled that a woven polypropylene bag was classified in Heading 4602 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), which provides for basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of Heading 4601. We have reviewed this ruling and find that although the classification is correct, the analysis used in reaching the determination was in error.


The bag in question is made with polypropylene strips of two widths: 2.5 millimeters for the warp and 5.6 millimeters for the weft. The rectangular pieces reinforcing the ends of the sack are made wholly of 5.6 millimeter strips (warp and weft). You state that only 27 percent of the bag is made of textile material. According to your submissions, the weight of the components of the bag is the following:

Strip over 5 mm..............................46.21 gm Warp strip (2.5 mm)..........................36.03 gm Plastic coating..............................33.14 gm Reinforcement fabric.........................11.38 gm Coating of reinforcement..................... 3.54 gm

Total.......................................130.30 gm


Whether the merchandise at issue is classified in Heading 4602, HTSUSA, in application of GRI 1?


Classification of merchandise under the HTSUSA is in accordance with 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 NYRL 842882, we classified the subject merchandise in Heading 4602 in application of GRI 1. Chapter 46 provides for manufactures of straw, of esparto or of other plaiting materials. Note 1 to Chapter 46, HTSUSA, provides the following:

In this chapter the expression "plaiting materials" means materials in the state or form suitable for plaiting, interlacing or similar processes; it includes ... monofilament and strip and the like of plastics ... but not ... monofilament and strip and the like of chapter 54.

Subnote (ii) to Chapter 46 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, Explanatory Notes, the official interpretation of the HTSUSA at the international level, at page 651, states that the following is not considered plaiting materials of Chapter 46:

Monofilament of which no cross-sectional dimension exceeds 1 mm, or strip or flattened tubes (including strip and flattened tubes folded along the length), whether or not compressed or twisted (artificial straw and the like), of man-made textile materials, provided that the apparent width (i.e., in the folded, flattened, compressed or twisted state) does not exceed 5 mm (Section XI).

Thus in order for the merchandise at issue to be classifiable in Heading 4602, it must be made of strip exceeding 5 mm in width. If it is made of strip under 5 mm in width, it is classifiable in Section XI.

The strip of the weft is greater than 5 mm in width, making the bag, prima facie, classifiable as plating in Heading 4602. The strip of the warp is less than 5 mm in width, making the bag, prima facie, classifiable as an article of textile in Section XI in Heading 6305, which provides for sacks and bags, of a kind used for the packing of goods. Consequently, classification cannot be effected by GRI 1 and the other GRI's must be applied.

GRI 3 provides for the classification of goods when, by application of GRI 2(b) or for any other reason, goods are, prima facie, classifiable under two or more headings. GRI 3(b) provides that mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character.

According to the Explanatory Notes, at page 4, 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.

For the merchandise at issue, the weight of the plaiting material far exceeds that of the textile material. In addition, taking into consideration the reinforcement material with the rest of the bag, the plaiting material covers more of the surface area than the textile material. Consequently, we find that the essential character of the bag is imparted by the plaiting strips in application of GRI 3(b). The bag, therefore, is classified, as it was in NYRL 842882, in Heading 4602, HTSUSA.


The merchandise at issue is classified under subheading 4602.90.0000, HTSUSA, which provides for basketwork, wickerwork and other articles, made directly to shape from plaiting materials or made up from articles of Heading 4601, other. The rate of duty is 5.3 percent ad valorem.


John Durant, Director

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