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HQ 954702

August 16, 1994

CLA-2 CO:R:C:T 954702 HP


TARIFF NO.: 4602.10.2500

Mr. Ken Melloni
P.O. Box 1256
Linwood, PA 19061

RE: DD 887262 affirmed. Picnic basket is luggage, not basketware.

Dear Mr. Melloni:

This is in reply to your letter of July 23, 1993. That letter concerned the tariff classification, under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA), of picnic baskets, produced in Indonesia.


The merchandise at issue consists of an unlined rattan picnic basket with two dividers, model # W-00158-0. It measures approximately 21" x 12" x 11.5"BH x 6"HH and has a single rattan handle. The slotted lid is designed to fit over the handle.

In DD 887262 of June 23, 1993, the District Director, Providence, Rhode Island, classified this basket under subheading 4602.10.2500, HTSUSA, as luggage, handbags and flatgoods of rattan. You disagree, arguing that the proper classification should be under 4602.10.1300, HTSUSA, as other baskets.


Whether the picnic basket is considered luggage or baskets under the HTSUSA?


Heading 4602, HTSUSA, provides for basketwork and other articles of plaiting materials. The Explanatory Notes (EN) to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System) constitute the official interpretation of the scope and content of the tariff at the international level. They represent the considered views of classification experts of the Harmonized System Committee. Totes, Inc. v. United States, No. 91-09-00714, slip op. 92-153, 14 Int'l Trade Rep. (BNA) 1916, 1992 Ct. Intl. Trade LEXIS 158 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1992). While not treated as dispositive, the EN are to be given considerable weight in Customs' interpretation of the HTSUSA. Boast, Inc. v. United States, 15 Int'l Trade Rep. (BNA) 1188, 1993 Ct. Intl. Trade LEXIS 19 (Ct. Int'l Trade 1993). It has therefore been the practice of the Customs Service to follow, whenever possible, the terms of the Explanatory Notes when interpreting the HTSUSA. The EN to this heading states that such articles include:

(1) Baskets, panniers, hampers and basketware containers of all kinds, whether or not fitted with rollers or castors, including fish baskets, creels and fruit baskets.

(3) Travelling-bags and suitcases.

(4) Handbags, shopping-bags and the like.

Heading 4602 does not distinguish between various types of articles of vegetable plaiting materials. The Explanatory Notes therefore cannot aid us in this matter.

Heading 4602 requires classification of baskets separately from "luggage, handbags and flatgoods" at the 8-digit level. By specifically listing luggage, handbags and the like separately from baskets, Congress demonstrated its intent to have articles used for the conveyance of items (which the picnic "basket" clearly is) classified apart from household containers constructed of plaiting materials. In addition, under the previous tariff schedule, we classified picnic baskets under the provision for luggage. Since the two competing subheadings are at the U.S. level in the HTSUSA, examination of prior classification practices is appropriate. Finally, we note that the basket in question is typical of those designed to carry items such as table linen and utensils, as well as food and beverages. Accordingly, classification of this merchandise as luggage was correct.


As a result of the foregoing, the instant merchandise is classified under subheading 4602.10.2500, HTSUSA, as other rattan luggage, handbags and flatgoods. The applicable rate of duty is 18 percent ad valorem. DD 887262 is affirmed.

A copy of this ruling letter should be attached to the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If the documents have been filed without a copy, this ruling should be brought to the attention of the Customs officer handling the transaction.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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